Why Does Your Work Matter? Tell the Story

  By Dennis Fischman “I never really understood what our not for profit did until I heard what we did for my friend.” That was a Board member speaking. The not for profit the Board member (let’s call him Paul) served was trying to end poverty in the local community. Preventing evictions, and keeping people in their […]

Can Your Organisation Tell a Story to Save Itself?

By Dennis Fischman Have you heard the tale of Scheherazade? She was a noble lady who married the king of Arabia.  Her new husband had a grim habit: marrying and killing off a wife every night. Scheherazade’s  beauty couldn’t save her, but her stories did. Night after night, she told him one fascinating story after […]

Listening Beneath the Surface

By Dennis Fischman So many readers enjoyed my post “Are You Listening, Nonprofits?“, I thought you might like a little more advice about social listening. Craig Jamieson is a submarine fan, and he tells us that social listening is like sonar.  Use it to find: Conversations that show something about the people who support you […]


By Dennis Fischman I’ve noticed that many communications pros pay a great amount of attention to tactics: what medium to use, what words to say, how often to reach out to your audience. I tend to pay attention to strategy: whom are you trying to reach, for what purpose?  What will they do if you […]

All Hands on Board for Social Media

  By Dennis Fischman Let’s say you’ve made the decision: you want your employees on social media. It took some courage to arrive at that decision.  You’ve heard the horror stories  about what can happen when things go wrong.  But you know that people will talk about you online, no matter what.  It’s better for […]

Targeting Audiences is Out. Engage Your Community.

By Dennis Fischman If you read the Communicate! blog regularly, you know that I have learned a lot from Kivi Leroux Miller.  That’s why when I opened her new book, Content Marketing for Nonprofits, I was stunned to see that the first section of the first chapter is entitled “The End of the Target Audience.” […]

Goldilocks and the Three Not For Profits

By Dennis Fischman Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She liked to give away money. One day Goldilocks went exploring the forest of letters, email, and online posts she received.  She found herself in the house of three not for profits.  She sat down at their table and sampled what […]

Not For Profits Can Do Better With Content Marketing

By Dennis Fischman Give people information that matters to them and you will draw them closer to your cause. This is the basic principle of content marketing.  It’s a natural approach for not for profits to take.  Many of us know a lot about the issues we work on and the communities we serve.  We have […]

Marathon: 4 Lessons Boston 2013 Taught Me About Communication

By Dennis Fischman “Oh my God,” I said, “I have friends in that race!”I can’t remember exactly how I first heard about the Boston Marathon bombing last year, but I know that was the first thing I said.And I know the first things I did: turn on the radio, and get onto social media. I […]

What a Toddler Taught Me about Communicating

By Dennis Fischman My nineteen-month-old niece was crying as if her heart would break. Her heart was fine, actually.  It was her grandfather’s heart that was cracked open for a triple bypass, in a hospital an hour away.  So her mother had gone to the hospital, and I was spending the day taking care of […]