I’m a Jedi, He’s a Jedi, Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Jedi too?

By | Social Stories, Team, Tips | No Comments

As a member of AAF-ND, our local Ad Fed chapter, Tellwell (population 5) gets one free ticket for each of the association’s monthly Professional Speaker Luncheons. The Tellwell tradition is, the first one to RSVP when the notice comes out, gets that ticket. I happened to be the lucky first responder for March, and that earned me a lunch at the lovely Courtyard by Marriott, a sturdy notebook with a light-up pen from sponsor Midco, and a stellar presentation by Tug McTighe.

Armed with my trusty phone, I began to take notes in my preferred way, by tweeting highlights.

Tug is the Creative Director of DEG, a digital agency in Overland Park, KS. By way of introduction, he read through the slide that listed his upper crust clients and fancy-ass advertising awards at breakneck speed. He slowed down to a more normal rate to talk about the things that were truly important to him, such as his sources of inspiration, like award winning copywriter Luke Sullivan, and one of my favorite books, Hero With a Thousand Faces!

Other things of importance to him were family, and a little advertising-themed podcast blog thing he hosts, called American Copywriter. In the podcasts, he and his co-host John January discuss advertising, hair, Star Wars, marketing, cicadas, and creativity. I’m here to tell you, his experience in the field of creativity and advertising (I can only guess about hair and cicadas) is second only to his impressive knowledge of Star Wars trivia. I was excited to hear how he was going to tie this all together.

His aptly named presentation, “Everything I Needed to Know About Advertising I Learned from Star Wars” did not disappoint. Tug, who’s Twitter handle is @tugonthis, played directly to our emotions, when he talked to this room full of creatives about –what else, creativity.  Creativity, he said, is the only thing that solves problems. Damn straight Tug, damn straight.

Tugging expertly on our nerd heartstrings, he compared the Rebel Alliance and their problem to solve – the evil Empire’s attempt to take over the galaxy – with the alliance of creatives assembled in front of him, who every day, use their Force of creativity to battle and solve Death Star-sized client problems. A hush fell over the room, as we took this in… We creatives were really Jedi Knights! I don’t know about anyone else in the room, but I could really see it!

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Seizing on the fact that we were all now his Padawan, Master Tug then wielded his awesome power of metaphor, to share with us his Six Tenets of being a creative Jedi in an agency galaxy not so far away.

Tenet 1 – All Jedi have a Master

Even Yoda, at 900 years old, the master of all Jedi Masters, knew he was also a student. We all have strengths which need to be nurtured, and in the world of Star Wars, young Jedi Knights are assigned a Master, or mentor. Tug explained the lineage of Masters and their respective Padawan… you can look that up if you want to, but what he was basically saying was – keep learning. FIND, or BE a Mentor, but learn either way!

Tenet 2 – Don’t Bring Two Blue Lightsabers to a Battle

The explanation of this tenet involved some pretty intricate Star Wars knowledge about natural and synthetic Kyber Crystals, and how the color of a Jedi’s lightsaber indicates their specific strengths or talents. What Tug was telling us, was that two heads are better than one. If you’re a copywriter meeting with a client, don’t go with another copywriter. Bring along a graphic artist, or a project manager – someone with talents that are different than your own. In short -Collaborate!

Tenet 3 – Work on The Work On Your Desk

“This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away-to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was-what he was doing.” Here, Yoda basically says that Luke may be talented, but has never been able to concentrate on the matter at hand. Tug brought that message home by telling us how he begrudgingly created an ad for his boss’s daughter’s gymnastic team’s program. It was a small, boring project, that he didn’t want to do, but subsequently won an Addy for. The takeaway: There are no small projects. Give your full attention to the project you’re working on, and do it well.

Tenet 4 – Beware the Dark Side!

Yoda says, “Anger, fear, aggression: the Dark Side of the Force are they. Easily they flow. Quick to join you in a fight.” Basically, those dark emotions make you feel like you want to fight, and lordy don’t we all know it, you don’t ever want to fight with a client! If you feel yourself being pulled to the dark side, Tug gave us two ways to pull back. First, remember the Ewoks. According to him, those lovable denizens of Endor were the second most hated Star Wars characters, right behind Jar Jar Binks. I don’t believe that for a second… but I digress. The point Tug was making was that the Ewoks, using only items available to them in the forest, like sticks and stones, unbelievably (to some) were able to bring down the attacking Imperial soldiers. All the while being so cute you just want to hug them! The second way to avoid the dark side according to Tug, (and also Tina Fey) is to turn the conversation into a creative endeavor by using the first rule of improv – Always Say Yes. But not only yes – Yes, AndThe benefit of saying ‘yes and’ is that now you have an open mind. Instead of being negative, you’ve just created an opportunity for new ideas.

Tenet 5 – Do, or Not Do, There Is No Try

This one had so much info I had to tweet it twice. Again, we hear Yoda’s wisdom telling us, if you have a great idea, do it, bring it, pitch it, sell it like there’s no tomorrow! Chances are it will get shot down, or at the very least have some holes poked in it. And that’s OK.

Tug reminded us that in the Star Wars movies, sometimes a Jedi dies, but there is always another one. What he meant was, not to worry about losses, just pitch those amazing ideas, and if you get rejected, don’t worry, there will be another amazing idea tomorrow.

Tenet 6 – Take Celebrations Seriously

At the end of many Star Wars movies, there is fanfare, or a parade, or an awards ceremony. In real life, you battle daily, long and hard, to win your client’s approval. You’ve survived changes, and late nights, and yes, some losses along the way. But in true Jedi fashion, the end, you won, and when you win, you celebrate!

Enjoy your celebration, because no matter how brilliant your latest creative endeavor was, you’ll need to start all over again the next day. Your clients are always building the next Death Star. May the Force be with you!

Tellwell

We’re STILL Growing!

By | Team Tellwell | No Comments

We are STOKED to finally introduce our two newest team members!

Put your hands together for the one, the only…

 

15937071_10155780710157627_6141025070711140534_oLINDA ANDERSON!

Here’s a bit more about Linda:

What do you like to do in your free time/when you’re not at Tellwell?

When I am not writing or herding cats at Tellwell, I can usually be found hunting big game – I don’t mean live animals, I mean card games, and by card games I specifically mean Cards Against Humanity.

Someone once said, I know you love to write, but “what do you create? What do you manipulate with your hands?” My answer is fabric. When I’m not working, or writing, I love to iron (Iron, really? Yep.) And I love to sew. I love not only the feel of the material, but the smell. It’s wonderful to me to be able to see a garment, or accessory come together by using scissors, thread and a little patience.

What are you involved with in the community?

Team Tellwell

Here’s a photo of Linda taken during her first winter in Fargo when she heard the temperature in January. Just kidding — (but it’s probably not that far off).

My husband Dave and I moved here from Iowa, in 2000 when he was selected to head up downtown Fargo’s revitalization. We both have a passion for community building and have been very involved in the growth and development of both downtown Fargo and Moorhead.

What are you passionate about?

I love to write! Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, content for clients, anything! Much like my description of handling fabric, I derive great joy from crafting or editing words, then seeing a piece emerge that tells a great story. (Pssst… check out her blog)

 What do you love about Fargo?

I am passionate about the arts. Theatre, dance, music, galleries, exhibitions, these are all a vital part of a healthy community and we’re lucky here in the F/M to have an abundance of amazing local arts organizations!

If you were a tree, what kind would you be?

I would be a palm tree because they bend in the wind, they’re the shape I think a tree should be (I grew up in Southern California), and they remind me of ocean and beach, sun and sand.

We’ve also welcomed the legendary…

GRACE “GRIZZAC” BATEMAN!

14425466_1428575507158332_8194160994049899664_oGet to know her:

What do you like to do in your free time/when you’re not at Tellwell?

I run/bike/walk, fish, talk (all the time), admire dogs, and creep on Instagram (I’ve probably seen you before).

What were you doing before Tellwell?

In December, I graduated from Concordia College! (Whoot) In other words… before Tellwell, I spent all of my “free time” in the library, trying to get out.

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I’m most passionate about appreciating the great outdoors and connecting with people.

What do you love about Tellwell?

Everyone is as weird as I am! It’s awesome to work in a place where you can be 100% true to yourself while creating with such a tight team.

If you were a tree, what kind would you be?

I would be a pine tree because they’re green all year round (never lose their “energy”) and they remind me of growing up in Northern Minnesota.

 

Thanks for helping us welcome our newest Tellwellers! There’s a lot more excitement to come. Stay tuned!

Yeah, they're rockstars.

Yeah, they’re rockstars.

Prologue Package

The Prologue Package!

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Why do people give? What is that X factor that takes people from liking your mission, to financially supporting it?

Decades of research point to one thing: it’s all about the story. At Tellwell, storytelling is our expertise. We want to work with your team to provide heartfelt content and beautiful design — all with goal of growing your audience, and raising more money for your mission.

We ventured into this work with the launch of Tellwell for Good last Fall, which lead us to work with nine local non-profits for Giving Hearts Day. The result showed us that there is a need for storytelling work in our community!

As we move into the new year, we want to keep that going. So we bundled it all together in our brand new Prologue Package.

The Prologue Package

The Prologue Package — named for the preface of a story that is about to begin — includes key elements to keep your audience engaged and involved. We split it into three options to fit your needs.

Prologue LIGHT

  • 2 Newsletters
  • 2 Appeal Letters
  • 4 Feature Stories/Testimonials
  • 2 Brainstorming meetings

Prologue BASIC

  • 8 Feature Stories/Testimonials
  • 12 Hours of Photography
  • 4 Appeal Letters
  • 4 Newsletter Designs
  • 4 Brainstorming meetings

Prologue PLUS

  • Everything in Prologue Basic
  • PLUS 4 high-quality videos (includes filming + editing)

Break it down for me…

Newsletters are a key piece to growing your donor base and keeping them aware. So, we wanted the Prologue Package to be centered around the creation and distribution of comprehensive, custom-made newsletters to share what’s going on in your world.

The newsletters will be sent throughout the year both in print and digital. We work with your team to pull together all latest updates from your organization, along with testimonials, upcoming events, re-caps of past events, and more. We pair that with beautiful photography (which we provide) and quality design, to create a stunning final product.

From there we work with your team to send it to the printers, and ship it to everyone in your network (to clarify: Tellwell is not responsible for the printing, but will help your team to do so!)

For every newsletter, we follow up with an appeal letter to compel your audience to take that next step. We’ll help you to convey the true heart of your mission in clear, authentic words and design.

The end result? We want to help you grow your network, and increase your donations. We want to see the good work being done in our community continue to thrive. And we want the world to know what you’re doing! The first step is sharing your story in a compelling, appealing way. And that’s exactly what we do.

For more questions please e-mail us at talk@wetellwell.com, or give us a call at 701-212-5372.

Thank You!

– Team Tellwell

tellwellforgood

Free treats and fake parking tickets: National Random Acts of Kindness Day 2017

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It was an unseasonably warm Friday afternoon on National Random Acts of Kindness Day, February 17. It put Team Tellwell in good spirits as we headed to the Prairie Den, where Project Wildness, a local non-profit dedicated to spreading acts of kindness, was hosting a special event.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Nate and Shane, the co-founders of Project Wildness. They explained what the next hour would hold. Each team received $100 and a half hour to go out and use it to spread as much kindness as possible.

“Get creative,” they said. “You can buy lunches for people, you can buy gifts, it’s up to you!”

In addition, Lucid Bakery donated boxes of treats — salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, raspberry swirl brownies, and more — to hand out to strangers and make their day a bit sweeter. With the clock ticking, we hit the streets.

Truth be told, people are — perhaps rightfully so — naturally skeptical. Being offered something for free, with the simple explanation that “It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day!” is not an everyday experience. Too often a gift comes with an added agenda, a ‘sign here’ or ‘buy this’. But these gifts had no strings attached. Before long, people caught on, and our first recipients were a group of guys heading back from lunch. They accepted the sweet treats with big grins. After all, in the end, who doesn’t love a good cookie?

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The next part of our plan was this: to buy gift cards from local businesses (support local shops!), package them in an envelope, and stick them on people’s cars. Yes, usually where a parking ticket would go, but instead of a ticket you would find a gift card and a note.

“Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!” we wrote in each one. “No, this is not a parking ticket, it’s a random gift to make your day awesome. Enjoy. Spread the love — pass it on!”

We signed it “A friend” and included a sticker for Project Wildness, where you can read even more stories of kindness shared across the country.

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In total, we purchased three $10 gift cards to Twenty Below Coffee, a local coffee shop, and three from BernBaum’s, a bagel place downtown (and one of Team Tellwell’s favorite places for lunch!). We also gave BernBaum’s an extra $20 to cover the next few lunches. “Make sure to wish them a Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!” we told the cashier. She smiled and nodded. “You got it!” (We were later told by chef Andrea Baumgardner that a sweet couple got the lunch and were surprised and delighted. )

As Andy went on his own adventure passing out the rest of the Lucid Bakery sweets on Broadway, the rest of us set off to place the envelopes in various vehicles. At one of the first ones, the owner began approaching the car just as Noah finished placing the envelope in her windshield wiper!

“Uh — we left you something!” he said, abruptly, and then we ran off. It was like ding-dong ditching but with gift-giving instead of being obnoxious. Turns out, our teammate Grace knows this girl, and saw she later posted on social media celebrating her gift.

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Then there was the FedEx truck where I (Marisa) attempted to sneakily deliver an envelope by placing it on the handle near the driver seat. We watched to make sure he got it — but he entered from the back of the truck, and started driving without seeing our gift! Thankfully it stayed put, and when he stopped at the alley, I ran up and handed it to him directly.

“It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day – this is for you!” I explained. His concerned expression broke into a smile.

“Oh! Thank you!” he said, taking the card.

With the rest of the envelopes tucked into the wipers of various cars, we headed back to the Prairie Den to reconvene with the other teams. Andy returned as well, with a nearly empty box of sweets, claiming he was able to give them all away to people out and about. “They loved it,” he said. Over fresh pizza donated by Rhombus Guys (thanks Rhombus Guys!), we swapped stories from the afternoon. The other team had purchased roses from local floral shop Love Always and handed them out to strangers. They too received reactions first of surprise, then joy as people realized there was no hidden agenda.

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Marlo Anderson, the creator of National Day Calendar, was monitoring the activity of the #RandomActsofKindnessDay hashtag. He stopped in to say congratulations, sharing that over 120,000 hits had come through the National Day Calendar website already. In fact, the website had a temporary shutdown due to the amount of traffic.

As we wrapped up, we still had $20 tucked away for a special gift. You see, one Tellwell teammate was not able to join us. The lovely Miss Linda had stayed behind due to knee pain. What better way to spread kindness than with a handwritten letter…and a little Cabernet Sauvignon?

On our way back to the office, giddy with the thoughts of all the gift cards strangers would soon be receiving, we stopped and picked up some red wine and a card that read, “You’re one in a Melon.”

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“How was it?” Linda asked as we all came in. We ran over and handed her the gifts.

“It was great — and hey, Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!”

“Oh!” she said, taken aback. “Oh thank you!!”

Thus concluded our adventures of the afternoon. And while they may have lasted less than two hours, the joy of giving to others lasted the rest of the day. We encourage everyone and anyone reading this to go out and experience your own random acts of kindness adventure! Whether it’s sharing a gift or a simple hug, you don’t need a special day to spread some love. All you need is that first step.

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Special thanks to the donors of Project Wildness who contributed finances for these special gifts! Learn more about their work, here.

Learn more about Tellwell for Good and our work with local non-profits, here!

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Announcing Tellwell for Good!

By | Team Tellwell | No Comments

Drumroll please, for Tellwell’s newest initiative.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Tellwell for Good!

Tellwell for Good offers Tellwell services, such as social and video content, with a focus on for-good organizations.

For-good organization (noun): An organization, non-profit or for-profit, dedicated to a charitable mission involving philanthropic of humanitarian efforts.

We are focusing on for-good entities because we see an opportunity for storytelling in this realm. With years in the non-profit world under our belt, we see a need for an efficient, streamlined team to work with on marketing strategy.

This is Tellwell for Good. We bring great design, engaging social and mission-driven marketing strategy to local for-good organizations. We are a small team that can work quickly and collaboratively with yours, in a way that is relatable and targeted. And we’re fun to hang with too.

All hands on deck for Giving Heart’s Day! 

We’re launching now in preparation for the most generous day of the year: Giving Heart’s Day! With four months to go, we’ve partnered with the experts at Impact Foundation to create a package deal for the ultimate Giving Heart’s Day campaign.

With this package we provide:

  • Digital assets like e-mail newsletters and ongoing communication, so you don’t have to stress about what you’re going to send out.
  • Blog posts and articles to tell your Giving Heart’s Day story to your donors.
  • Social messaging and graphics to empower your staff and advocates with stunning visuals.
  • A super sweet video to tell your story and get people engaged!
  • A PLAN, so you and your staff know when, how and what to communicate all of the above.

Our goal is to save you and your team time and energy, so you can focus on the work already filling your plate. We provide you these materials in a matter of weeks. In it, you’ll have everything you need to create a compelling campaign — without being taken away from your work.

We’re so incredibly excited to get the ball rolling. In fact, we already have with groups like FirstLink, Hayley’s Hope and Family Healthcare.

Want to tell your story? E-mail us at forgood@wetellwell.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Woo-hoo!

~ Team Tellwell for Good

P.S. Check out our new web page here!

Team Tellwell is GROWING!

By | Team Tellwell | No Comments

Hey friends!

We know it’s been a while since you last heard from us. So we thought we’d make a comeback with some fan-tas-tic news. We have two new teammates! *dance parties commence*

With our second birthday on the horizon, we couldn’t be more excited to be growing our team. Get to know them right here and get ready for some big bright beautiful things in the Tellwell world!

Marisa Jackels

Marisa Jackels is a Southern California native who moved to Fargo-Moorhead for Concordia College, and stayed for the hotdish. She’s been described as a “temptress of words” and revels in storytelling in a variety of mediums.

After two years of writing with local non-profit Emerging Prairie, Marisa is joining the Tellwell team to help create lots of content: blog posts, killer newsletters, all the goods. Look for her hilarity on our social media channels (Twitter: @wetellwell, Facebook: Tellwell #shamelessplug).

In her spare time you can find Marisa plunking away on the piano or waiting in an airport terminal for her next adventure. Here in town you’ll likely catch her at the Prairie Den or stocking up on boba drinks at Teaberry.

Justin Odney

Justin Odney is a social media enthusiast, fantasy football guru, and community builder who is currently finishing his senior year at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. His background includes expertise in event planning, digital marketing strategy, and community partnership programming. Also having perfectly combed hair.

At Tellwell, Justin will be responsible for conducting market research, acquiring and maintaining clientele, and providing necessary support for members of the Tellwell Tribe. He is hopeful that his love for the ten dollar founding father will be emulated throughout the office.

You can catch Justin at the Prairie Den or on campus at Concordia where he is involved in a number of activities; from being the lead in the upcoming musical Big Fish (yes, like the amazing movie), planning events, or hustling, as usual.

YAY.

Thanks for getting to know our new teammates.

We’re excited.

Bring it on!

-The Tellwell Team

These Tweeters Ain’t Afraid of No Snow

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Impending storms bound around the Fargo-Moorhead area, with 60+ MPH gusts expected, it sounds like the perfect time to sit at home, binge watch Netflix, warm up with a box of wine, and fire up the second screen to see weather professionals Twitter accounts light up! Here are some accounts to watch for #StormKayla

From the wise John Wheeler

…To the humorous Hutch

…To the keen Lisa Green

…To reliable Robert

…To the astute Aaron

As long as you’re at home with your second device in hand, following these folks you’ll have a great storm! Happy #WinterstormKayla!

[Tweet “#FF Check out the top Weather Tweeters in #ILoveFargo #WinterstormKayla”]
Blog Better in 6 Super Simple Ways2

Blog Better in 6 Super Simple Ways

By | Tips | No Comments

With hundreds of thousands pieces of content being produced daily, cutting through the clutter to your target audiences.

1. Provide takeaways

Writing to write just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Excite, inspire and engage your audience by providing real takeaways.  Create a thought or tool that readers can put to use in all of your posts.

2. Writing the Right Title

Just getting in front of your audience is hard enough, getting them to click into your content is even tougher which underlines the importance of a perfect title.  Spend real time on thoughtfully curated titles as they are the cover of your book, and while we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, we already do.

 

Favorite Tool? CoSchedule Blog Post Headline Analyzer

3. Designing for Readers

Times, they are a changin’ and the content that we produce needs to match that which the reader wants to read. No longer will readers sit through screen after screen of text, rather utilize short paragraphs, bold headings, lists and relevant imagery whenever possible.

Favorite Tool? UberSuggest

4. Research is Required

Doing your research and citing relevant sources adds not only credibility to your content, but adds some serious weight to your credibility.

5. Be Passionate

If you’re not excited about your blog topic, your audience will read and feel that throughout your writing. Passion is contagious, so don’t be afraid to show some excitement and enthusiasm in your writing.  Your readers will thank you.

6. Optimize

In the evolving landscape of digital marketing, search engine optimization will always be a key tactic in making your company and content visible. Always take the time to do some research to discover the right keywords and then include them throughout your blog.

Favorite Tool? Canva

Use these tactics and your blog will be better, your audience will be more engaged and you’ll lose 20 pounds.  Ok maybe not the 20 pounds part, but implement these tactics and you’ll be good to go.

 

For the Love of FM3

For the Love of F-M: A Gift Guide for Small Business Saturday

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For the Love of F-M: A Gift Guide for Small Business Saturday

As proud Fargo-Moorhead residents, Team Tellwell believes in helping share the stories of our community, and also in supporting the small businesses who make up this place we call home.

In honor of our love for this place and the upcoming Small Business Saturday, we’ve created a handy guide on local gifts for everyone on your shopping list. (You’re welcome)

For the Love of FM1. For the Craft Beer Snob:

Stop by one (or all – we won’t judge) of our four local breweries (Drekker, Fargo Brewing Company, Junkyard or Kilstone) for a some sweet apparel, a growler, a gift card – or maybe to enjoy a relaxing break from holiday shopping madness.

Pro tip: a six-pack of Woodchipper from Fargo Brewing Company makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys hoppy brews, the cult-classic movie or the hit FX show.

For the Love of FM22. For the Vintage Hipster:

Junk Giant, the area’s newest antique shop is a treasure trove of vintage furniture, decor, vinyl, instruments – all the things! For a place with “junk” in the name, it’s anything but.

Small Business Saturday bonus: Vinyl Giveaway Extravaganza

For the Love of FM33. For the Art Lover:

Love local art? Thanks to this sweet shirt from the Arts Partnership, you can literally wear your support on your sleeve.

Feeling crafty? Check out Make Room event calendar for classes for aspiring artists of all ages.

For the Love of FM44. For the Lover of Fabrics + Crafts:

The amount of creative folks around here is highly impressive. Support local makers at the Holiday Maker’s Mart this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Out and about on Saturday? We also recommend stopping by Modern Textiles and Unglued for some great giveaways, one-day-only pop-up shops and free cupcakes from Bakeology.

For the Love of FM55. For the Coffee Lover:

Whether you need a boost of energy to sustain your shopping stamina or the perfect gift for espresso lover on your list, our local coffee scene is on-point. Drop by 20 Below, Stumbeano’s or Moxie Java for a great selection of all things coffee.

For the Love of FM66. For the Sustainable Steward:

Want to support local, go green and reduce waste? Enter The Little Scrappy Tree Company, co-founded by a local sawyer and a seamstress dedicated to sustainability and reusing leftover scraps of fabric and wood. The result? These adorable, eco-friendly trees. 

For the Love of FM77. For the Fancy DIY-er:

Know someone who loves to update old furniture – or someone who wants to look like they’re crafty? Check out Eco Chic Boutique! They have adorable upcycled furniture in adorable chalk paint colors. Or, get craft supplies if you want to work on your own project. The options are endless, and all of their stuff is earth friendly.

For the Love of FM88. For the Fargo-Moorhead Fanatic:

This category exists because, frankly, these people exist – and we include ourselves in that group of proud FMA ambassadors. Rep your Midwestern pride by stopping at one of these great local locations:

  • Old Lutheran
    Awesome selection of Midwestern apparel printed in-house. (Does it get anymore local than that!?)
  • Unglued
    So many uniquely Fargo-themed treasures.
  • Zandbroz Variety
    Books, toys, stationery, bath + body, home decor + so much more!

SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

We fully acknowledge we are missing a ton of very fabulous and very worthy local businesses. What local stores are your favorite? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

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7 Ways to Get Social During the Giving Season

7 Ways to Get Social During the Giving Season

By | Tips | No Comments

Here’s the 7 Ways to Building a Strong Online Presence (through social media) for the Giving Season.

1. Stick to a handful of sites

It’s good to branch out into a social media site for a few months during a trial period. For the giving season, it may not be the best time for a new date with a social media site. Starting a new site may suck more time than you had planned, and your original followers on the sites you’ve cultivated may feel neglected or could miss out on your message.

Stick with what you know, what you have a strategy for, and what you have built throughout the year. Share information, photos, videos, and other content to the donors who are already following you.

2. Photography

As you probably have noticed, photos win the internet. Sharing photos is a great way to share what your organization does and the impact it makes. (Make sure the people you’re posting have signed a media release!).

Here’re some ideas of what/who to photograph:

  • volunteers
  • staff with thank you’s
  • people you’ve served
  • donors
  • a donor appreciation event
  • fundraising event
  • quick slideshow video outlining the accomplishments of the year- visually
  • visual statistics- a photo of someone holding a sign of an impressive stat.

Now is the time to bring out your creativity. It’s also a great way to get volunteers more involved. Photographers or people who can put together video slideshows or who want to share how your organization has impacted their lives are great ways to cultivate relationships with volunteers (and donors).

3. Giveaways

As people are giving to you this holiday season, don’t forget to give back to them as well! A great reason for giveaways is hosting contests.
Some ideas for contests:

  • Caption contest for a photo
  • The first person to correctly answer a trivia question about your non-profit
  • A video contest of why people support your organization or…
  • Video contest of volunteers working at your org.
  • First 20 people to sign up for your e-newsletter beginning in December receive a small token of appreciation (magnet, window cling, pen, t-shirt, mug, etc…)
  • Showing appreciation for people getting more involved will have others wanting to get more involved.

4. Create an awesome website

Depending on staff, talent, and financial resources- this may not be an option at the moment. If it is- get on it! If not, make sure whatever your website is- has information that donors want to see. Content donors want to see:

  • a story of someone you’ve helped
  • photos
  • videos
  • a wishlist- physical needs your organization has
  • a call to action to donate
  • an explanation of what their donation can do
  • accomplishments of the year
  • goals for the year ahead

5. Be an active blogger

This is a great tip- especially if you don’t have the greatest website. A blog is a great way to share more information about topics you post on social media sites.
If your website has a blog attached or you have a separate website for your blog, make sure you’re sharing all the wonderful information donors will be looking for that is posted on your website. It’s a great place to go more in depth about how they can help at the end of the year.

AreaVoices.com is a great place to start if you’re in North Dakota, Minnesota, or South Dakota. It’s a free blog site community based in WordPress!

6. Brand loyalty

Many non-profits may not see themselves as a “Brand” but in fact, you are. Brands aren’t just a logo, color scheme, and unique URL. It’s your story. Your mission.
Having people believe in your organization and becoming engaged online by sharing why they love your mission, signing up to volunteer, to comment on a blog post, etc… is now non-profits can build “brand loyalty.”

7. Make it easy to pay (donate)

Having an easy way to donate online is extremely important. Think about what information you want to collect and the ease of the donor. Can people donate online in memory or in honor of someone? Giving to charities are great presents for family and friends. Is their e-mail address going to be used for the e-newsletter? Make sure they know what their information will be used for if it will extend past the donation. Make sure they have an option of a recurring gift as well. Online is a great way to build your donors from one-time givers to sustaining donors.