Preparing for Success with Mountain Strong for Nonprofits

For those unable to attend today’s workshop “Preparing for Success with Mountain Strong for Nonprofits,” you can download a complete set of the Workshop Handouts.  It was certainly exciting to have a majority of the participating nonprofits attend!

Here is a quick recap of the most important things you can do to help ensure your organization’s success with Mountain Strong for Nonprofits (MS4NP):

Workshop key to success 1Now is the time to recruit your innermost circle of supporters to:

  • Help with donor matching funds
  • Engage  with communications
  • Kick off giving so you have results to report right away
  • Switch out their Facebook profile image for the “I AM MS4NP” graphic
  • Share your messages, images and stories with their social network

Workshop key to success 2

Lead by example so you can share the experience you had and the reaction you received when you did what you are asking your supporters to do. It will make them feel more comfortable doing it themselves.



Workshop key to success 3

Find a tangible and relate-able way to show a donation’s impact – a “mission product.” To give donors a reason to give at a certain level. It is much more engaging and will encourage larger gifts.

Consider your own reaction to a generic statement like “How much would you like to donate? $5, $10, $20.” Versus “How would you like to make an impact? You can plant a tree for $5. You can provide a meal and warm bed for a homeless senior for $10. You can send a cancer patient to one day of camp for $350.”

Workshop key to success 4

Besides making things tangible, consider including your goal and/or a deadline in your call-to-action. Incorporating a goal gives people something get behind and a deadline provides urgency. Both will help get people to act. (If you have a matching gift with a deadline, it can be especially effective.)


Workshop key to success 5

Use the tools and resources we’ll provide in the MS4NP toolkit! We are trying to make it as easy as possible for you with sample newsletter/email copy, key messages, graphics and social media ideas. (We will email a link to the toolkit as soon as it is available to all participating nonprofits. You will then also be able to access it on our Toolkit page.)

Workshop key to success 6

To make it even easier on yourself, “Like” and “Get Notifications” from our Facebook page. We’ll keep you up to date with new resources as they are developed and help you keep the momentum going.

Posted in General Nonprofit Information | Leave a comment

Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center offers donated computers for adoption

Moving the computers to prepare for adoptionEstes Park Nonprofit Resource Center (EPNRC) has computers available for “adoption” to area nonprofits thanks to a recent donation from the Town of Estes Park. There are a total of eleven computers available, seven Dell Precision Workstation T3400 and four Dell Precision Workstation T7400. Initially the project began with 26 computers available but fifteen have already been adopted out through word of mouth. The cost to adopt a computer is $75 and includes two flat-screen monitors, mouse and keyboard.
Alan Fraundorf, the Town of Estes Park’s Information Technology Manager says “we were thrilled to find a good use of the Town’s used equipment with local nonprofits through EPNRC.” He continued “for everyone involved, this was a much better option than sending them to the recycle center.” Alan contacted EPNRC Director Jill Lancaster to see if there was an interest in using the computers last fall. The project was put on hold until April due to the flood. Alan also handcrafted decorative stands for displays that did not have stands.
Lee Lasson, a board member of EPNRC has been the coordinator of the project. Volunteers from the Estes Park Computer Users Group (EPICUG), EPNRC and the Rotary Club of Estes Park worked together to remove Windows XP from the donated machines and install a new operating system along with Microsoft Office. Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Estes Park helped move the computers to temporary storage donated by Wheeler Management in the Stanley Village. YMCA of the Rockies loaned the project SATA Drive Duplicators for cloning the system’s hard drives. Lee Lasson, Jim Webb and Joe Calvin of EPICUG organized and updated the computers, then paired and tested the displays to get the systems ready for adoption. The computers are now located at the Duck Central Office, space donated by Wheeler Management.
The board members of EPNRC would like to thank the Town of Estes Park, Alan Fraundorf, EPICUG, the Rotary Club of Estes Park, Wheeler Management, YMCA of the Rockies, Baja Broadband, board member Lee Lasson and Director Jill Lancaster for helping to make this program possible.
If you are an Estes area nonprofit and interested in adopting a computer, please contact Jill Lancaster at For more information on EPNRC please visit

Posted in General Nonprofit Information, Technical | Leave a comment

Mountain Strong for Nonprofits Workshop Tonight!

Join us to learn about how you can benefit from the Mountain Strong for Nonprofits collaborative AND how you can easily produce a short video that powerfully tells your nonprofit’s story.

Mountain Strong for Nonprofits Workshop

6:30-8:30 pm
Estes Valley Library, Hondius Room


Use video to ignite audiences     Making Video Work for You    

– What makes effective video and tv campaigns

– How and why messaging works

– How the tools used by big companies can be effectively used by nonprofits

       Nonprofit Video How-To       

– How to create a video for your nonprofit at little or no cost

– Tools to create a video to use on the Mountain Strong for Nonprofits website

– How to check out the Mountain Strong video camera

– Get your effective video checklist

– Discuss free and inexpensive ways to get your video seen

Use video to tell your story
Join the Mountain Strong for Nonprofits Fundraising Collaborative          Join the Collaborative!         

– Why we are doing this and how it got started

– How nonprofits will benefit by becoming a Mountain Strong member

– What makes your nonprofit eligible to participate

– How we will reach people outside of our community, visitors and part-time residents

– What you need to do to get your nonprofit signed up

– What it will take to be successful

Posted in Fundraising | Leave a comment

Mountain Strong for Nonprofits

Mountain Strong for Nonprofits

The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center (EPNRC) has announced Mountain Strong for Nonprofits. This new online marketing collaborative is designed to raise seriously needed funding for the local nonprofit community. The program will assist in rebuilding efforts following last year’s flood and will help increase capacity for nonprofit organizations that serve Colorado residents most affected by the flooding.

The campaign’s goals are to raise awareness through video, online advertising and PSA’s, and to provide sustainable tools to be used by member organizations for additional marketing / capacity building campaigns in the future.

Mountain Strong for Nonprofits is a grant-funded collaboration among EPNRC, Stage 2 Studios and Neanderthal Marketing. The primary access point for this campaign will be a new dynamic, video-centric website where individual member organizations will be profiled along with donation links for each organization. Each member organization will receive training on how to best communicate their need through available media, and they will be assisted in the creation of a video that highlights their program.

“It’s going to really impact nonprofits in the community, many of which lost thousands in funding during last year’s flood or were compelled to increase their services due to the disaster,” said Jill Lancaster, Director of EPNRC. “Several local organizations had to cancel their annual fundraising events and at least one nonprofit had to close their doors due to lack of funding.”

These marketing tools will be hosted on a new Mountain Strong for Nonprofits website. The website, to launch in September of 2014, will be marketed nationwide through free media distributed PSA’s, online advertisements, social media and in news coverage of the anniversary of the flood. Membership in the Mountain Strong for Nonprofits program is free of charge for all participating organizations for one year. (Optional paypal donate links will be available for an additional cost).

Estes Park area nonprofits interested in participating or learning more about this great opportunity can attend a workshop Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30PM in the Hondius Room at the Estes Park Library. Register at:


This program was funded by a Community Foundation of Northern Colorado grant.


Posted in Flood Recovery, Fundraising, Marketing | Leave a comment

Book Review: New Voices at the Table: Welcoming the Next Generation of Board Leaders

417_NewVoicesa-theTableNew Voices at the Table:  Welcoming the Next Generation of Board Leaders was recently purchased and made available at the Estes Valley Library.  Rather than a book, it is a 51 page “toolkit” that informs nonprofit boards about recruiting the next generation of leaders.  Potential board members, ages 18 to 40, actually are a key component in solving pressing issues for the nonprofits. Information answers questions related to who the new board members might be, how they will function, where they will be found, how they will affect the board, and what orientation they will need.  As your nonprofit board goes through the process of recruiting the next generation of board members, consider using the guidance from this toolkit.  The information is divided into three major sections.

Part 1 is “Motivation and Values,” which highlights the challenges of facing the nonprofits and the skills the new board members can bring.  The tools in this first section include generational trends and their potential  contribution to your organization, the impact of building a generationally reverse board, benefits that the new board members can offer your board, and the leadership of the next generation.

Part 2 focuses on “Recruitment Channels and Challenges” by expanding your recruitment channels in several ways.  The tools in this second section include identifying the skills for your board, developing a board matrix and a worksheet, the use of technology, and strategies for engaging new generation leaders.

Finally, Part 3 expresses “Culture and Orientation” through a list of skills for new board members, a guide to mentoring relationships, and case studies for potential pitfalls.  The tools in this third portion specify the skills for outreach for younger board members, mentorship, as well as “youth movement” and “out of tune” case studies.    The end of the toolkit actually lists several book titles and resources to assist in your future nonprofit advances.

Although this book is brief and focused, it does provide an emphasis on the next generation of nonprofit board leaders that can continue to assist your goals.  Head to the Estes Valley Library and you will find the book in the Nonprofit book area listed at Nonfiction 658.4 NEW.

Image Credit: BoardSource

Posted in General Nonprofit Information | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Boost Engagement on Facebook

Facebook has an entire guide designed to help nonprofits make the most of Facebook pages to tell cause-related stories and build deep, lasting connections with supporters. Here are their tips for boosting engagement:

  1. Post succinct content
  2. Post photos and videos
  3. Post regularly
  4. Try a “fill in the blank” or “caption this photo” post
  5. Be timely

Download the entire guide.

Interested in getting even more up-to-date expert advice on using Facebook for your nonprofit? Attend next week’s workshop:

Who “Likes” You: Telling Your Story Through Facebook

Posted in Social Media | Leave a comment

Short Form Video – High Impact at a Low Cost?

Have you thought video would be too expensive for your nonprofit to use?

Beth Kanter shares a quick tip with See3 Communications about how you can produce a short form video with your smart phone.

short form video can have a large impact with your audience

You can find more advice in How to Make a Video for Non-Profits from What Took You So Long. Although it is tailored to bigger productions produced in international locations, there are a few points that easily apply to our small local nonprofits:

  • Capture honest moments
  • Share positive stories
  • Keep the message simple

Have you given video a try? Share a link to your work below or send it to  We’d love to feature it on our site and social media!


Photo Credit: still from “shorter is better – Beth Kanter” video by See3 Communications


Posted in Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Does Your Board Have Fun with Fundraising?

Are your board members eager to help with fundraising? If not, maybe they don’t understand that Fundraising is not just asking for money.

In this week’s video from Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals, Janet Boguch from Non-Profit Works shares how she’s able to get board members to be engaged and have fun in the fundraising process.

The mind-shift for boards starts with explaining that fundraising is built on a whole set of strategies and activities (listed below) that are carried out continually to bring resources to the organization. There is a lot more for board members to get involved with than just “the ask.”

The 6 Rs of Relationship Building

  1. Research
  2. Romance
  3. Request
  4. Recognize
  5. Retain
  6. Renew (or upgrade)

Find out more details about the 6 R relationship cycle in the video Getting Board Members to Have Fun with Fundraising.

Posted in Board Development | Leave a comment

Connecting Donors to Your Mission Can Pay-off

Helping other undertake consequential acts of kindness and generosity

A couple things in this episode of Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals reminded me of the great roundtable session we had back in November about donor relations:

  • It starts off with an inspiring Jerry Panas quote (one of the authors that our roundtable facilitator, Jill Anderson, recommended); and
  • It includes the idea of hosting a “VIP volunteer opportunity” to meaningfully connect a donor (or board member) to your mission.

Have you ever put together an event that put your donor(s) right in the midst of your organization’s mission?

An example that Jill provided was from her days at Red Cross. She invited a board member to go on-call and accompanied them to the scene of an apartment complex fire, where they assisted crew members with comforting victims and finding temporary housing.

It was a monumental moment for that board member to experience why the organization’s work is so important. It provided them with a strong emotional tie and a personal story that made asking for funding easy.

If you haven’t yet, give this idea a try!

A two-part series on Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog provide five questions to get you started on creating a donor cultivation event and some additional examples of meaningful ways to connect donors to your mission.

Posted in General Nonprofit Information | Leave a comment

Thank Yous Your Donors Will Love

thank you

Big Duck offers this guidance on making your thank you’s stand out:

  • Be sincere
  • Share the big picture
  • Be creative AND relevant
  • Don’t treat this as JUST an excuse to ask for more
  • Showcase the ones you serve

How do your thank yous measure up?

Here are a few examples of thank you videos that may spark ideas.

Photo Credit: “thank you card” by Jon Ashcroft via Flicker cc

Posted in Donor Relations, Fundraising, Volunteers | Leave a comment