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Mandate Media: Internet Strategy for People Changing the World
Our Blog for Tips, Tricks, and News: Politics + Technology

echo: 5 Tips for Nonprofits Considering a New Website

Are you a nonprofit considering a new website? Before you get overwhelmed with all the technical details, it is important to be sure you are grounded in the basic elements that will make your site effective in supporting your mission. Here are five things to consider when kicking off the planning of a new site: 1. Put the user first. 2. Have clear and compelling content. 3. Showcase your impact. 4. Offer opportunities for other to help. 5. Be social and mobile friendly.

Los Angeles Times: Essential Politics: No more fundraising emails -- for a moment

Our team decided to collect every last message in the the onslaught of solicitations over the final 48 hours of the third quarter. We analyzed the notes for what they suggest about the campaigns. "Deadline," "help" and "immediately" were the most common terms. We found staffers who received slightly different solicitations based on their ZIP Code. One of us was asked to give $1. The other got a $5 ask — even though every word in the note was identical.

Twitter: Political donations, now through a Tweet

When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter. It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action. That’s why we’re making it easier for Twitter users to actively support candidates and causes. We’ve teamed up with Square to enable anyone in the US to make a donation directly to a US candidate through a Tweet, starting today. This is the fastest, easiest way to make an online donation, and the most effective way for campaigns to execute tailored digital fundraising, in real time, on the platform where Americans are already talking about the 2016 election and the issues they are passionate about.

Twitter: Five tips for brands from #Twitter4Politics

The Twitter DC team brought together 200 Washington insiders for the annual #Twitter4Politics event. The key insights that emerged from the event were simple but powerful. They were also applicable well beyond the Beltway for brands who want to build affinity and drive action.

ActBlue: Mobile giving just got a whole lot better

We’re always trying to improve our Contribution Forms — that means eliminating inefficiencies and making them more user friendly on every device. And nothing has seemed more inefficient to us than typing in 16-digit credit card numbers with your thumbs on a mobile device. That’s why we’re introducing ActBlue Express Pass, built with our 1.5 million Express user pool in mind. It lets Express users with a mobile phone number bypass the form by simply clicking a link in a text message to give. Express users are donors who have saved their payment information with ActBlue and can give in a single click. Here’s how it works: If an Express user starts filling out a Contribution Form on a device that doesn’t have their information stored and they have a mobile number associated with their account, we’ll offer them an Express Pass. Users fill in an average of 111 characters on a form, but with Express Pass they only have to enter their email address.

Change.org: Petition Trends: 4 Reasons Petitions to #StopYulin2015 Went Viral

A petition to save Beau the dog became Change.org’s most popular animal victory and the fourth most popular victory of all time when more than 630,000 people stopped the city of Dyersburg, Tennessee from putting him down. Millions more have supported a variety of animal petitions and victories on the site, making animal protection the most popular cause area on Change.org. So when petitions to stop the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin started gaining traction in early June, we knew people would voice support. But the response was even bigger than we anticipated.

Netroots Foundation: How to not ruin your website

How do you get a beautiful new site that meets your needs, on time and on budget? One of the first things we recommend people do is read up on the latest web design trends. See Frogloop and Mashable articles for what’s hot in 2014 and 99 Designs for what’s hot in 2015.

Share Progress: Top 4 A/B Testing Myths BUSTED

Maybe you’re not so sure about A/B testing, or you have a coworker with some questions about it? We’ve listed four common myths about A/B testing, and what the truth really is for each one. Myth #1: You and your supporters like exactly the same stuff. You like the environment. Your 80-year-old supporter Dolores likes the environment. You guys have a lot in common already! So maybe she’s been retired for 20 years, and lives in Fort Meyers, Florida, and subscribe to Birder’s World. And maybe you’re 24, and live in Brooklyn, and get most of your news from Vice’s Snapshot stories. But if you think something’s funny, she’ll definitely think it’s funny too, and then share it with their Facebook friends. You do both like the environment, after all.

New York Times: Facebook Use Polarizing? Site Begs to Differ

For years, political scientists and social theorists have fretted about the Internet’s potential to flatten and polarize democratic discourse. Because so much information now comes through digital engines shaped by our preferences — Facebook, Google and others suggest content based on what consumers previously enjoyed — scholars have theorized that people are building an online echo chamber of their own views. But in a peer-reviewed study published on Thursday in the journal Science, data scientists at Facebook report the echo chamber is not as insular as many might fear — at least not on the social network. While independent researchers said the study was important for its scope and size, they noted several significant limitations.

Social Media Today: Social Advocacy and Politics: Twitter and the Candidates on Day One

We now have four official candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination, three Republicans and one Democrat. Each of them used Twitter to promote their announcements. How they used it varies tremendously among them. It is too soon to tell if their initial Twitter splash (twash?) is indicative of things to come, but the contrasts in tactics and results are striking. Why does this matter, you might ask? Indicators from the last presidential primary season suggests that there is a correlation between who dominates social media and who leads in the polls at any given point in time. While this is not necessarily a predictor of final outcomes, it certainly affects media coverage and public attention at any moment in the campaign cycle.

The Washington Post: Why would Hillary Clinton join LinkedIn? Is it even still a thing?

To political junkies whose social network of choice is Twitter and who haven't touched their LinkedIn profile in years, Hillary Rodham Clinton joining the Internet's "professional" social network on Thursday might seem a little weird. Does anyone care she's on LinkedIn? Is there any political benefit to be reaped from it? Is it even still a thing? There might not be a strong overlap between LinkedIn users and people in politics or media, but the site has 115 million users in the United States, according to the company, and 28 percent of all Internet users are on it, compared with 23 percent on Twitter, per Pew, so yes, it's still a thing. It's just not a thing for getting news.

Social Media Today: Start A/B Testing if You Are Not Doing It Already

The A/B Testing is a wonderful way for businesses to effectively test their online marketing strategies and get the best out of their existing traffic. With A/B Testing, you take the guesswork out of website optimization and validate that any prospective change to your website is improving its conversion before you move on to change your site code. Testing and measuring the effectiveness of the online promotional and marketing strategies can make a big difference in your marketing efforts. At the end of the day, it’s all about hitting the sweet spot, and maximizing return by persisting with the changes that convert best. For those who are new to A/B testing, we have listed a few basic concepts you have to consider in order to ensure better results from your campaigns.

Social Media Today: Social Advocacy and Politics: Can Social Media Increase Political Efficacy?

The long presidential campaign season is upon us and the media is filling up with stories about how social media is changing politics. And perhaps because bad news always seems to sell better, many of these stories take a dim view of the impact. They focus on the risks candidates face from getting caught saying bad things on video; how those videos can spread like wildfire through social media. They point out how social media may be trivializing politics. But few of these articles talk about the potential for social media to increase political efficacy. And that is something the media should consider covering. Poltical Efficacy is the people's belief in their governmentPolitical efficacy occupies a corner of the larger notion of “trust in government.” Efficacy, when it comes to politics, is the degree to which citizens feel that the government is responsive to the will of the people. Research reveals two levels, internal political efficacy and external political efficacy, both of which comprise the whole of political efficacy. External efficacy is the degree to which citizens believe that the government is responsive to the will of the people, at large. Internal efficacy is the belief that the government is responsive to “me,” as an individual citizen.

Care2: Is There A Correlation Between Paid Marketing and Donations?

Last week, we updated you about why tracking your nonprofit’s growth can make or break you. We supported our claim with the recently released 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study that featured stats from 84 nonprofits. We promised a follow up with highlighted findings on website engagement. We’re here to deliver!! Let’s start with some good news. Overall website visitors per month increased 11% since 2013. Unfortunately website donations went down in the nonprofit sector. Check out the stats.

We're Hiring!

Do you know the ins and outs of digital advertising? Ready to change the world from your desk in Portland? If so, we've got a job for you. We're looking for a Digital Advertising Strategist who is smart, happy, and creative to join our team. Get all the details here.

USA Today: Cool chart: Political Twitter is a whole different world

The Republican-leaning data analysis firm Echelon Insights produced a fascinating graphic over the weekend suggesting that the Twitter conversation of political junkies and journalists is completely different than the Twitter conversation in the rest of the nation. Echelon co-founder Patrick Ruffini explains: “There are a very small percentage of people (on Twitter) who are producing a lot of the political content.”

USA Today: Pew: Millennials get political news from Facebook, social media

For the younger generation known as “millennials,” social media — particularly Facebook — has replaced local television as the biggest source of news about politics and government, a new poll says. A little more than six in ten millennials — 61% — “report getting political news on Facebook in a given week, a much larger percentage than turn to any other news source,” reports the Pew Research Center. The news habits of the”Millennial Generation” — those born between 1981 and 1996 — differ quite a bit than those of “Generation X” (born between 1965 and 1980) and the highly-populated “Baby Boomers,” who entered the world from 1946 to 1964. For Internet-using Baby Boomers, 60% said local television tops their list for political news, Pew said — very nearly the same percentage as Facebook-using millennials. How many Baby Boomers rely on Facebook for politics? Only 39%.

Netroots Foundation: How to launch your organization online

It’s spring, and it’s the season of new growth and renewal! Whether you’re a rather famous political leader running for President, or a future Executive Director launching a brand new organization, here’s some tips to make it a successful one. The phase between “thinking about it” and launching is crucial. What you do now can give you the boost you need for a successful launch. 1. Your list is the heart muscle of your organization. So strengthen and build it as much as you can before you launch. I’m talking about your list of donors, prospects, volunteers and supporters. Even if you’re starting from scratch, you have a list: your friends, family, coworkers etc. Now is the time to be combing through stacks of business cards and inputting the info, getting your personal email address book, work email address book, and your cellphone contacts all synched. You’ll wind up using at least parts of this list for your announcement email (filter out the people who wouldn’t be interested), and also potentially for initial fundraising call time sessions to fund your organization.

Change.org: How the internet is changing politics

Ahead of the UK’s 2015 General Election, we asked our users who they planned to vote for, what the most important election issues are and how they think politicians and the electorate could connect with each other more effectively. What did we find? 7 million people are using Change.org in the UK - starting a two-way dialogue with decision makers on the issues that matter to them and winning an average of 10 victories a week.

Care2: 9 Things To Do After A Donor Donates

Acquiring a new donor is just the start. Developing long-term donors who contribute year-after-year should be the goal of any fundraiser. Donor acquisition takes a lot of work. What can you do to improve your donor retention rate? Consider these nine ideas: Say thank you. A “thank you” is one of the easiest things you can do, but it’s often forgotten. People remember thank yous, especially if they’re personalized and inventive. Just watch how the ONE organization thanked its volunteers and supporters. Celebrate donors as they give. Use social and other platforms to thank them publicly and to welcome them to your organization’s community. Don’t forget to include top donors in annual reports—they look for their names, so mention them.

Looking for more? Check out the full archives of our blog entries and news stories.

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