Tag Archives: organization

Rainy Day Project: Photo Organization

It may be gross outside, but it’s a perfect day for a little in-house organization. I’ve told you how important photographs can be in marketing your message, but those photos will be of little use if they’re not organized, backed up, and shared.

Get ’em off the camera!

In more than one case, after taking photos for a client, I’ve gone back to their office to download the photos to their computer and found that there are dozens or hundreds of photos, weeks or months old, just hanging out on the camera. One client would fill up memory cards and start piling them up in a desk drawer. Seriously, folks. Neither your camera nor it’s memory card is a long term photo storage device!  After you finish taking photos be sure to download them to your computer and to your server where they can be backed up regularly.

The name says it all.

It doesn’t do anybody any good if you have one folder with 1,000 random photos. First, make sure that everyone within the organization is using the same software to organize photos. If one person is using iPhoto and another is using the software that came with the camera, you’re going to have a difficult time tracking down photos when you need them. Organize your photos into folders by date, event, or program. If it’s by date you might use 2011_07 for all of July’s photos, or if it’s by event, you might have a “Gala” folder with a “2011” sub-folder, etc. The naming hierarchy is up to you. The important thing is to have a file naming system that is followed by everyone within the organization. At the very least, give all photos a date and title. As time allows, you can also benefit from using tags, detailed descriptions, sets, collections, albums, archives, or facial recognition software (an awesome feature of Apeture).


Online photosharing services allow users to upload photographs, store them, organize them, tag them, share them, and discuss them. Most of these services are free. Flickr, Picassa, Smugmug are some of the more popular ones. With these services, you can easily create slide shows to email to donors and constituents and post photos to your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter. For example, see how the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way uses Picassa to organize and share their photos. Charlottesville Tomorrow prefers to use Flickr. The Rivanna Conservation Society has good example of a slideshow on their own site. Another local nonprofit, Animal Connections, organizes photos from their events and posts them to Facebook. The point is, no matter how they choose to share them, these organizations have system for organizing and saving their photos online.



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Spring Cleaning Your Website

Spring has sprung in Charlottesville! If you didn’t get a jump on spring cleaning, there’s no avoiding it now. While you may be tempted to start by boxing up old files or dusting cobwebs out of corners, I suggest you start by cleaning up your most public interface: your website. Some of these suggestions may be obvious, but I know that many of you rely on volunteers or staff who are not web developers and have little, if any, website experience. Often, nonprofits’ websites are created by a professional firm and then managed and updated in house. Make sure that over time, your site hasn’t become cluttered or disorganized.

Put on a Different Hat

In your position, there are probably a few pages that you visit regularly and others that you never see. Ask a friend who is not affiliated with your organization to help. Come up with a few scenarios and consider how your site looks and feels to different constituents, such as:

  • A supporter looking to make a donation
  • A board member looking to contact a staff member
  • Someone needing assistance who is trying to figure out where to start
  • Someone who wants to volunteer
  • A local business that wants to provide support
  • A former volunteer who wants to know what’s going on at the organization

Check Your Links

Just last week, I visited a local nonprofit’s website to browse a directory of resources. None of the links worked because of a typo in all of the urls (there was an extra www.)  Take a couple of minutes and use a tool like Link Checker to make sure that all of your links are functioning.

Clean Up Your Sourcecode

Do you know what what HTML tags to use where, and what content to place within them? Doing this correctly can have a significant impact on how your website looks on the search results page when someone googles you. Confused? Google Grants offers some useful advice.

Supersize Support

Make sure the volunteer/support sections of your site are visible and easy to access. You don’t want anyone clicking around trying to figure out where to make a donation. A simple solution is to add a donate/donations tab to your navigation bar.

Update Your Content

Have someone take the time to read through your website. This is a great job for an intern or new volunteer. Is your content up to date and relevant? All too often I find staff listings, email addresses, and phone numbers that are incorrect or need to be updated.


What are your web traffic statistics? How are visitors finding your site? What are they clicking on? How long are they staying there? If you’re not hooked up to Google Analytics (or a similar monitoring tool), you could missing some very valuable information about how your website is functioning as a marketing tool.

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Creating an Editorial Calendar

It’s winter and it’s cold. It’s easy to procrastinate while snuggled in with a cup of cocoa. It’s only January, after all.

Yes, and January is when you get organized and start planning!

Don’t wait around until it’s time for your next newsletter to go out only to realize that you have no idea what to write. Start planning now! The best way to do this is with an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar enables you to schedule your website updates, blogs, and Facebook posts, and to manage their content. Choose a time frame that’s comfortable and attainable—quarterly, monthly or weekly. Create a spreadsheet that includes what the content will be, when it will be published, and where. Then start filling it out. What content can be written ahead of time and what is TBD (such as a success story or donor recognition)? Who else will you rely on for content—staff, board members, clients, experts? What content will you post on YouTube vs. your blog or Twitter? Things will always pop up unexpectedly, giving you more to write about, but it’s better to have a plan for some content now than to be desperately searching later.

An editorial calendar can also help you tie your organization’s work to what’s happening in the world—be it a cause-specific campaign, a bill before the General Assembly, or an upcoming holiday. And by holidays, I don’t just mean Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Be creative with unofficial holidays, special months, and awareness campaigns. (Extra points to whoever works “Talk Like a Pirate Day” into their next campaign.)

The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA does a great job of this. Throughout the year, they make the most of unconventional events like Elvis’s birthday, football bowl games, and March madness. With a little creativity, they raise publicity and promote their cause in fun ways that make their audience feel more connected.

Read more about designing, creating and using an editorial calendar.

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