Should Fundraisers Friend Donors on Facebook?

Guest post by Steven Shattuck of Bloomerang Stories

Republished with permission

Social media is great for connecting with true friends and close family members, but it also creates awkward situations when a friend request comes through from a person who we might not went to let into our private lives just yet.

A co-worker, a distant cousin, a new acquaintance.

What about a fundraiser? Should they accept a friend request from a donor?

Should they dare send the request to a donor themselves?

In this post, I am going to explore both sides of the argument of whether a fundraiser should become friends with a donor on Facebook.

The Case For

Strengthening the donor relationship

As a fundraiser, your job is to build relationships with donors. Sure, you can get by with one-off gifts from people you never truly get to know on a more personal level, but it’s not a path to sustainability.

While there’s no replacement for in-person interactions, and as impersonal as social media can be sometimes, Facebook can still be an amazing way to go beyond a transactional relationship.

Imagine the power of all the information you can glean from someone’s profile and regular status updates, like sending a note of congratulations or condolence when something major happens in their life, or being able to tailor appeals to them based on what you learn about their interests and passions. You might even be able to infer why giving suddenly stopped.

Besides that, there’s an opportunity for direct interaction that you can’t quite get through email or direct mail. At the very least, you can say thank you. Most donors love to put their philanthropy on display, and when you’re connected with someone directly on Facebook it’s much easier to tag them in posts, photos and videos – and get them to share the content published from your brand page (which is very important in light of the latest algorithm changes).

Okay, maybe you’re reading my case for friendship and thinking “that sounds a little creepy, Steven!”

It’s possible that you might alienate a donor by weaponizing too much of their personal information, but consider this: if they initiate the connection, aren’t they opening the door to it?

And what do you risk by not accepting a request from a funder? Couldn’t that alienate them?

Now, if you initiate the connection and put all the info to use, that’s a different story…

The Case Against

Screwing up a donor relationship

Speaking of which, all of those ideas above might not be worth screwing up a good thing!

But beyond that, there’s always a risk of alienating someone (or being alienated) when you open yourself up to the more personal aspects of your life.

Imagine friending a donor, only to have them turned off by your posts (politics comes to mind, but heck, they might even hate your favorite sports team – who knows?) – or vice versa. It might become harder to do your job if you’re constantly thinking to yourself “ugh, I have to meet with that Indianapolis Colts fan today” (author’s note: the Colts are trash #sorrynotsorry).

Sure, professional maturity should prevail, but we are all human after all. So why even open the door to all of this when there are other relationship-building channels that are more effective?

The Case For – Cross Examination

If you’re worried that your posts on Facebook might alienate potential donors, it might be time to rethink what you’re posting and why. Besides, even though Facebook is somewhat of a closed system, other social networks are not, and if a funder wanted to see what you’re posting, they could do it pretty easily. It’s naive to think that you can keep your personal/digital life completely separate from your professional one.

Lastly, if you’re going to open the door to nonprofit employees connecting with people on social media, you’re going to need a documented social media policy. After all, they are representing the organization.

What do you think? Have a strong opinion either way? Did I miss anything in either argument?

Steven Shattuck, Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang

Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang and Executive Director of Launch Cause. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to “Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition” and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member.

New Free Technology Resource for Nonprofits in Tampa Bay!

Lorraine Faithful News

A Tech4Good Group launched recently in Tampa, which is a great new FREE resource to help you with your information technology, information security, social media, and data questions/guidance, education, and troubleshooting/fixes.  To join, join their MeetUp Group at  They also have a Facebook Group at

Primary Ways Nonprofits Can Benefit From Tech4Good Group:

  1. Overall technology audit/health assessment
  2. Fixing small issues/bugs (EX. functionality on your website might be broken and need to be fixed/troubleshot)
  3. Website additions/enhancements – small additions, like integrating PayPal or social media or adding a webpage/content, that could be accomplished in under an hour!
  4. Education – Learning how to do certain things, like maintain website, utilize social media, etc.

The State of Nonprofits in Pinellas County presented by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg & Nonprofit Leadership Center

Jenn Dodd News

The State of Nonprofits in Pinellas County

presented by

the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg & Nonprofit Leadership Center

Thursday, May 10, 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Student Center
200 6th Ave South, St. Petersburg FL, 33701

Registration and networking breakfast 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Program 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required. Free parking is provided.

This event will include a presentation of the survey findings, discussion with the survey team, presentation of key themes and a digital toolkit.

This is an important moment for Pinellas County nonprofits. From the arts to the environment, health and human services and employment to education, nonprofits and their employees and volunteers are hard at work creating a more livable and vibrant community. The better the sector understands itself—its resources, capabilities and areas in need of improvement—the better equipped it will be to meet the needs and demands of 21st century Pinellas County.

The survey results will guide the Foundation in future nonprofit capacity building efforts, in partnership with the Nonprofit Leadership Center. The survey will also be a helpful resource for the public, private and faith sectors to better understand the nonprofit partners working in their communities.



UPDATE: 2018 Leadership Conference Breakout Sessions

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

We’re only 10 weeks out from the 2018 Leadership Conference presented by Bank of America on May 17th, and we have exciting updates to share! (Don’t you love our snazzy, new official logo?! Huge kudos and great thanks to our friends at C3 Media!)

We’ve already announced our Keynote Speaker, organizational psychologist and researcher Dr. Tasha Eurich, and shared some of her videos and articles.

Now we’re ready to spill the tea on 3 of our 6 breakout sessions!

We’re thrilled to introduce to you to 3 local experts who will facilitate working breakout sessions; these one-hour sessions will help individuals, teams, and even entire organizations understand and implement new meta-skills to increase success!

NLC trainer and consultant John Loblack, Ed.D., is back by popular demand! His breakout will focus on the meta-skill of LEADING CHANGE. Here’s a teaser from his full session description:

“While change is something that excites people who love opportunities for growth and to see and learn about new things, it can scare those who love the status quo. Personal and organizational change can inspire expressions of resistance and anger. In this breakout, you’ll learn how to manage and cope with change, while helping others do the same.”


NLC’s own Board Chair and CEO of Girls Scouts of West Central Florida Jessica Muroff joins us this year to facilitate her first Conference breakout session on the meta-skill of VISION.

“Master personal and organizational vision-casting and defining the most important metrics to show true growth: Dashboards are powerful tools for individual and organizational goal tracking and strategic decision-making. By illustrating performance over time toward defined metrics, a dashboard can help you, your team, your board, your organization not only to perform better but also to telling compelling stories of your performance. “


NLC trainer and consultant Ellen Nastir
joins us to facilitate a breakout addressing the meta-skill of SELF CARE.

“Once upon a time, we were expected to check our emotions at the door as we entered work each morning and our work worries at the door of our home in the evening. The reality is that’s impossible. Whatever is stressing you follows you–all day long. By not dealing with it, you open yourself up to (at best) a drop in productivity and (at worst) serious illness. Learn real-life strategies for understanding and dealing with the people, events, and issues you’ve struggled with. Because it’s only after taking care of yourself that you can begin to take care of the people and tasks around you.”

What an exciting line up! And, just as they did last year, our breakout facilitators will guide you through creating and implementing your own, custom Action Plan for putting the new knowledge and tools you’ve gained to immediate use in your personal and professional spheres.

Stay tuned to our web site, weekly e-newsletters (you can subscribe here), and this blog for additional updates on the remaining breakout sessions!

Don’t wait! Register now for the 2018 Leadership Conference; early bird pricing for individual tickets expires on March 16th. So act now to save $25! Or have even greater impact on your team and organization–reserve your table of 10.



Up Close & Personal with our 2018 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

It’s been a couple of weeks since we announced Dr. Tasha Eurich as our 2018 Leadership Conference keynote speaker, so we figured the time was ripe to share a few more details.

We already shared that she’s an organizational psychologist and researcher. And, oh yeah, a best-selling author.

But here are 3 things you might not already know:

Like the fact that Tasha is an avid blogger:

Oh, and she’s done a couple of (not just one!) TEDxTalks (Go ahead; watch ’em both. We’ll wait.):

She also has a YouTube channel!

And here a couple of bonus points about Tasha, just to set your expectations that while this will be and impactful AND enjoyable experience:

1. Tasha has a fresh, modern, and fun take on leadership. People use words like “enthusiastic,” “sharp,” and “pithy” to describe her style.
2. Her approach is geared towards busy professionals who don’t have time to pontificate. Instead, she gives leaders tools and helps them implement them.

In fact the entire day will be about tools you can use–hence our theme, “Agility: Meta-Skills for a Changing Workforce”–each of the 6 breakouts will focus on an individual meta-skill to help you develop tomorrow’s skills for today!

If that’s not a day of personal and professional development worth experiencing, we don’t know what is.

Registration is now open, and early bird pricing is in effect for individual tickets. Remember, there are a limited quantity of individual tickets, so why not just go ahead and reserve your table now?




Madeira PR to Help NLC Turn Up the Spotlight!

Guest post by NLC trainer Heather Grzelka News, Stories

Over the years, Madeira Public Relations has not only delivered Nonprofit Leadership Center (NLC) classes but has also relied on NLC for our own training needs. Let’s face it: finding the budget and time to attend an out of town conference is not often a realistic option.

For those of us who call the Tampa Bay Area home, we’re fortunate to have easy access to the wide range of professional development services NLC offers. So of course, it goes without saying that we were thrilled when NLC tapped our firm to brighten the spotlight on the broad range of services it provides.

Chances are you may not be taking advantage of all NLC has to offer!

  • Did you know in-person workshops at NLC’s headquarters in Tampa are just one of the many training options available to nonprofit professionals?
  • Training can be delivered at your office, making professional development and organizational capacity-building highly accessible regardless of which side of the bridge your organization calls home.
  • And did you know Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, and Hernando counties are all served by NLC?
  • Have a problem? NLC has a solution! Organizational assessments and customized solutions are tailored to address your unique needs.

The strength of our region’s nonprofits begins with an investment in sound leadership infrastructure. That is why your success is our mission. The goal of our collaboration with Team NLC is to increase the number of organizations that turn to NLC first for their professional development and problem-solving needs.

Madeira is more than up for the task. Our firm has a long history of supporting cause-focused organizations. Since our founding in 2011, some of the nation’s most respected health and service organizations have relied on our strategic direction including The ALS Association, American Lung Association, Pinellas Community Foundation, National Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Heart Association, and the state of California.

Stay tuned! We can’t tell you now, but we know that NLC has several big announcements coming for the 2018 Leadership Conference. A few weeks ago, Team NLC revealed the conference’s theme, AGILITY: Meta-Skills for a Changing Workforce , and also announced the conference’s keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author and organizational psychologist Dr. Tasha Eurich, who will discuss what she calls “the meta-skill of the 21st Century” — self-awareness.

We can also share that NLC is in the midst of exploring other presenters and topics for the conference’s breakout sessions relating to other meta-skills you can use for personal and professional development. Possible subjects include finding work-life balance, emotional intelligence and leadership, and developing an inclusive workplace, to name a few.

Team NLC will announce the 6 Meta-Skill breakouts and the session facilitators in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can already register for the conference, which is May 17 at the Tampa Convention Center. We promise you’ll be glad you did!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Heather Grzelka, APR, is principal and owner of Madeira Public Relations, which has earned more than a dozen national awards in communications, marketing, and media relations in the past seven years. She has nearly two decades experience in in advancing social causes by generating positive media attention that furthers organizations and their missions.

She is a past president of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Tampa Bay Chapter and now serves the state executive committee in the role of Vice President of Research and Planning.

Update Your GPS: NLC is Moving!

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

Team NLC is thrilled to announce an exciting change–of address!

As of April 1, 2018, the brand-new NLC HQ will be operational, and we can’t wait to host you for classes, round tables, custom training sessions, and more at our new location: 1408 N. West Shore Blvd., Ste. 140, Tampa FL 33607.

The photos you see here were taken just after the final walls were put up and on the day we visited to make final wall color, flooring, and furniture configuration decisions.

The first photo is Team NLC is our new Training Room.

The two above are our new front door and your view from our front entry; that’s the Training room on the right, reception on the left, and the hallway leading back to our communal innovation space and our offices.

Of course we chose NLC logo colors for the wall paint! Here we are in front of our energetic orange, the same color you see in the L in our logo and the backdrop to our work area near the back of the Center and in front of our offices. This is where we produce materials for classes, Conferences, custom engagements, funding proposals and so much more! We can’t wait for you to see where our brand teal and gold colors end up!

Nope; that address above is not a typo and you’re not reading it wrong: We’re moving directly across the street!

Why? Well, there are 3 great reasons:

Plan Your Work, Work Your (Strategic) Plan: Building Our Own Capacity

In 2015, NLC staff and board adopted a 3-year (2016-2018) Strategic Plan with 4 goals:

1. To engage more deeply with nonprofits in Tampa Bay through high-quality and innovative learning experiences
2. To ensure that the NLC has the capacity to deliver and manage high-quality programs
3.  To ensure that the NLC has the financial resources necessary to support priority growth areas
4. To position the NLC brand to be broadly recognized as the premier resource for quality and innovative knowledge-based solutions for the nonprofit community of Tampa Bay.

The move to our new HQ  represents a significant investment in our own capacity: A larger training center (below, just after the walls were raised) with new, state-of-the art technology supports the goals above and our mission of “developing and connecting nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our community.”

NLC HQ also affords us more office space and accommodates our staff growth as a Fellow in Fund Development and Education & Data Manager join our team. Side note: several members of the team are also pretty darn excited about the variable desks we’re adopting in the new space (sitting is the new smoking, right?). We’re excited to have the flexibility to work sitting or standing as our tasks and personal inclinations determine.

Location, Location, Location: Maintaining Our Accessibility

We are very proud of and deeply committed to maintaining our accessibility to the individuals and organizations we serve–in both pricing and geography. We made a conscious (and more expensive) choice to stay in the Westshore area precisely because it is very close to I-275 and other major thoroughfares and therefore accessible to our 5-county service area

It’s What We Do: Developing & Connecting (& Innovating)

The new GTE Financial Training Room will not only accommodate additional attendees but is also easier to configure for various types of meetings and events, and our new technology will enhance learning, participation, and innovation.

We’re also excited about the communal innovation/working area designed into our expanded kitchen (below, in its raw state; we cannot wait for you to see the colors, finishes, and furnishings in here!). Not only will Team NLC use this space for our own (internal and external) meetings, but we also envision our students, guests, and stakeholders gathering there to spark their own innovations and collaborations.

In short, our move to the new NLC HQ at 1408 N. West Shore Blvd., Ste. 140, might not be a big one geographically speaking, but it is a significant move in terms of making it possible for us to deliver more and better services to our nonprofit leaders and organizations and the for-profit professionals and brands who support the sector.

Keep an eye out for our Open House events; we’d love to give you the tour very soon!

The 2018 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker is….

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories


The wait is over! We have MAJOR news about the 2018 Leadership Conference to share!

Team NLC has been busily planning and locking in details of the 8th annual Leadership Conference since late 2017.

If you attend our classes and custom training events, you’ve already learned that the event is on May 17th and that we’re returning to the Tampa Convention Center.

But we can guarantee you did not know what’s coming next….

First, let’s talk about the theme of this year’s Conference.

What’s in a Name?

As NLC’s flagship event, the Leadership Conference has high expectations to meet. First, Leadership Conference has to be universal.

Each year we insist that this event speak not only to our nonprofit leaders and their organizational needs, but we also program this event to be resonate with anyone in the workforce–including the for-profit professionals who support the nonprofit sector as volunteers, board members, and donors.

From our six breakouts to our keynote, the topics presented must address the personal and professional development needs of ALL professionals, whether they work in the nonprofit sector or healthcare or education or finance.

Leadership Conference must also be transformational.

The speakers we invite, the content they present, the knowledge and skills they teach must bring about some fundamental change or growth in our guests. That’s why we work with each of our six breakout speakers to design Action Plans for attendees to work on at Leadership Conference and being applying as soon as the keynote concludes.

So with these two parameters in mind, we met with a speaker selection committee and a planning committee to brainstorm universal, transformational topics. As we narrowed the field, we tested options with trusted friends and NLC stakeholders.

We find this process of collaboration and testing to be invaluable and rely on it heavily. And it didn’t fail us; in fact it generated the very powerful and timely 2018 Leadership Conference theme:

AGILITY: Meta-skills for a Changing Workforce

(Stay tuned for the debut of a much snazzier treatment of the theme; we’re working with some creative folks to make it as eye-catching as it is fun to say.)

In addition to our theme, this year’s creative process generated a tagline that we think is also pretty nifty. It help describes what our attendees can expect to get out of the 2018 Leadership Conference: tomorrow’s skills for today.

This will be the touchstone we return to as we begin recruiting speakers for the six breakout sessions. Each will focus on one meta-skill, that is one super-skill that you can apply to many different situations in life–even those you’ve never faced before–to be successful.

So you might expect session on topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Life Balance, Self Care, Transparency, Inclusion, Accountability–to name just a few options. We have started programming these, but you’ll just have to wait for another blog post to learn more. We’re not telling. Yet.

Are you still reading? Yay! Thanks. Yes, this post is long, but #worthit!


Okay, so here comes the BIG REVEAL!

Because this is where you’ll learn the name, background, and topic of the 2018 Leadership Conference keynote speaker.

Drum roll, please. (Drum roll. Not eye roll.)

After culling suggested speaker’s lists and watching countless TED Talks, we took a short list (very short–just 2) candidates to our speaker selection committee. They were both strong candidates with compelling messages and something unique to offer, so there was debate.

In the end, however, our speaker selection committee recommended–and we were thrilled to accept–organizational psychologist, researcher, and best-selling author Dr. Tasha Eurich as the 2018 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker.

Tasha is a self-awareness expert; she has studied the link between knowing oneself and success. As she explained to use in a call we made before presenting her to the selection committee:


“Self-awareness is the meta-skill of the 21st century—people who
know who they are and how they’re seen are more successful, more confident, build better relationships, and are more respected and effective leaders than those who don’t.

There’s just one problem: most people don’t see themselves quite as clearly as they could.”



But the good news is that self-awareness is a surprisingly developable skill–and now the focus of the 2018 Leadership Conference Keynote, where our guests will discover the surprising myths, unseen roadblocks, and scientifically proven path to self-awareness.

Exciting, right? Universal? Youbetcha. Transformational? Surely!

We sincerely hope you will be among the very first to register when we start selling tickets; expect that to happen in the next week or so. If you just can’t wait that long, you can absolutely take advantage of our sponsorship options to secure seats–or a table before the general public. You can learn more by downloading our table and sponsorship info: 2018 LC Sponsorship Opportunites AND Form_1.22.18

We’ll be back soon with additional exciting details about Leadership Conference (Breakout topics! Breakout speakers! Networking Opportunities!), so stay tuned.

In the meantime, we would like to say THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:


Prepping for Give Day Tampa Bay

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications Stories


Give Day returns on May 1, 2018. Be sure to get your nonprofit registered on and remember that you save 50% by registering to participate before February 1.

As you begin planning your organization’s Give Day Tampa Bay (GDTB) campaign, here are some important dates to keep in mind:

February 6 is the Give Day Tampa Bay launch event at WEDU.
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has revised this event to focus on creative strategy and marketing, with a special keynote message and an interactive challenge unveiling!

February, March, and April will be all about learning how to succeed!
Huddles, training sessions, and coaching sessions will be scheduled to help your nonprofit make 2018 your bets Give Day yet.

Start collecting gifts that count toward GDTB on April 17. 
Be sure you have matching gifts secured before this date and turn your ambassadors loose to help you meet your goal!


And here are some great resources you can use to begin mapping out your GDTB strategy and gathering your teams!

Last-Minute #GiveDayTampaBay Social Media Inspiration from Nonprofits #DoingItRight
The Most Overlooked Tool in Your Give Day Tampa Bay Kit
Jump Start Your Volunteer Engagement Efforts with Give Day Tampa Bay 2016
5 Must-Have Social Media Tools for #GiveDayTampaBay
Creating Your Plan for Give Day Tampa Bay 2016
Here We Come to Save the (Give) Day (TampaBay)!
10 Ways Board Members Can Get Involved in Give Day Tampa Bay
We are Here…to Pump You Up (for Give Day Tampa Bay on May 5th)

Thanks to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay for making it possible for Tampa Bay nonprofits to participate in Give Day Tampa Bay! 

Give Day returns on May 1, 2018!

Jenn Dodd News

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay invites area nonprofits to participate in Give Day Tampa Bay! 


Give Day returns on May 1, 2018

Registration opens Thursday, January 25. Visit to sign up.

Register in January for only $25. (Registration goes up to $50 February-April)



As your organization starts planning your Give Day Tampa Bay strategy, keep these important dates in mind:

January 25
Registration opens at
Register in January to save 50% and receive an invitation to the official launch.
Must be registered by Feb. 2 to attend the launch event.
$25 registration fee in January, $50 February – April

February 6
Official Give Day Launch
**Must be registered for Give Day by Feb. 2 to receive an invitation**

You won’t want to miss it! CFTB has reimagined the launch to focus on creative strategy and marketing, so it won’t be like any launch event to date. With a special keynote message and an interactive challenge unveiled, the launch is sure to be a fun, inspiring and insightful experience to kick off the 2018 Give Day season.

Media partner WEDU will again offer the opportunity to film promos to a limited number of participants. Information on how to apply will be sent after your organization is registered for Give Day.

Ongoing in February, March, April
Huddles, training sessions, and coaching sessions to help you make the most of your Give Day strategy. Stay tuned for details.

April 17
Start collecting gifts that count toward Give Day 2018.

May 1

May 18
Receive funds via EFT