How To Be A Proofreading Pro

Writing, in general, can be challenging enough when you are trying to create content for a newsletter, annual report, email campaign, social media, or anything in between. Running a spell check is an easy first step but what else can you do to identify errors? Practice. Practice. Practice.
Typos can undermine your message, causing your well-thought-out piece to get passed over and forgotten. We can miss these annoying little details when editing because when you write, you are thinking about more than just the words. You consider the meaning of the message and the outcome for which you want to achieve. As with any task, the more you practice the better you will become. Train your eyes and brain to seek out typos and mistakes. No one is a perfect proofreader and even computer programs can miss things. When in doubt, we suggest getting a second pair of eyes to review your copy. Sometimes a fresh perspective, like what a donor would see, can make all the difference.
The Eagle Eye Has Lande…

Reporting Season Is Upon Us

It’s that time of year when fresh industry and benchmark reports are released. We are a bit geeky about results and reporting at RKD Alpha Dog which is why we have dedicated the entire issue of our April Embark newsletter to reporting, benchmarks, metrics and results. Our Favorites
We have a few reports that are our favorites: Blackbaud’s Annual Charitable Giving Report, M+R Benchmarks Study (available at the end of April), and AFP’s Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report. Blackbaud’s report is great to capture results and industry performance for the entire nonprofit sector for the past year. AFP’s report gives the reader an overview of the last 10 years or so which is helpful when looking for trends and changes in donor behavior. M+R Benchmarks Study offers insight into recent trends of the nation’s top nonprofit organizations and covers topics from direct mail to newsletters, to social media and the future of fundraising.
Benchmark Tease

M+R recently sent out a sneak peek of their 201…

How to Rock Your 2017 Social Media Strategy

Digital is a fast moving and ever-changing fundraising channel. There are updates and changes made on a regular basis that can completely change how you communicate with your donors. Check out this short list of changes and trends to take note of this year: Live Videos and 360-Degree Streaming

Live video content allows your followers to interact with your organization in real time, which up until now has been difficult to accomplish. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have some form of live video streaming capabilities while other platforms are expected to roll out their own versions. Live videos give you an opportunity to tell a story as it happens. Facebook also has a really cool feature that gives viewers a one-of-a-kind look at an event, facility, volunteer activity, and more. Read about how to set up your own 360-degree live stream here:
Emerging E-Commerce

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter all have capabilities that let users purchase product…

2017 Conferences, Newsletters, and More!

Happy New Year! We are so excited to see what 2017 will bring. One part of RKD Alpha Dog staying at the forefront of industry knowledge and trends is the conferences our team attends across the country each year. Check out the lineup for 2017 and mark your calendars: DMA Washington Nonprofit Conference February 22-24 Washington, DCNonprofit Technology Conference March 23-25 Washington, DCFeeding America Executive Director’s Summit April 26-28 San Diego, CAHSUS Animal Care Expo May 9-12 Ft. Lauderdale, FLSAWA Management Conference June 14-16 Long Beach, CABridge Conference August 2-4 Washington DCFeeding America Mobilizing the Public Conference August 21-23 Chicago, ILSAWA Annual Conference November 12-14 Miami, FL
We also have an excellent list of topics scheduled for our bi-monthly newsletter, Embark. Make sure you are subscribing to our newsletter to get fantastic content in 2017 including the ins-and-outs of donor segmentation, personalization, and localization; digital strateg…

Renewing Our Pledge To You

As 2016 comes to a close, we look forward to starting the new year with many of you. (OK, we admit we actually started the 2016 work quite a while ago!)

Seriously, we want to remind you about our commitment to you and your mission. You are the foundation of RKD Alpha Dog. Every day, we strive to give our best to show you that our partner relationship is highly valued and appreciated.

The following is our pledge to you:
Every day, our team of professionals will provide you service that exceeds your expectations. Every day, we will listen to your needs and respond to your requests.Every day, we will give your projects, packages, and programs the attention to quality they deserve.Every day, we are committed to your success, and will assure that all details are attended to without error or oversight.Every day, we will ensure that your activities are aligned with your organization's strategic vision. We will know your organization as a whole in order to support your mission. Every day, w…

So Very Thankful

It is again that special time of year when many of us give thanks for the people in our lives and the things we appreciate most. We want to thank you for allowing us to share our thoughts through this blog and for being fantastic partners all year long.

The following is a short list of what we are thankful for from each of us at RKD Alpha Dog:
We are thankful for our partners, who have chosen to associate with us in order to help fulfill their noble and necessary missions. We work with many organizations, and each and every one is important to us. We are thankful for the caring individuals who support all the many worthy causes that help sustain our communities. We are thankful for our expanded family of RobbinsKersten Direct and are excited for new strengths and fundraising strategies we can continue bring to you through this flourishing partnership. We are thankful for our colleagues and friends in the business and nonprofit communities. The encouragement and collaboration we receive f…

The Magic of Media

With so many holiday and year-end strategies, campaigns, and messages being sent, it can be difficult to keep track of the technical details. If you aren’t working with an agency or partner like RKD Alpha Dog, it can be even harder to sift through the information on different types of ads and how to successfully execute each one. #GivingTuesday is right around the corner, so we are going to take a few minutes to talk about earned media, owned media, managed media, and of course, paid media. Earned Media

Earned media, or inbound marketing, is exposure you did not pay for. For example, when a newspaper covers one of your events or when someone tweets about how awesome your services are, that’s earned media. Since it is unprompted and doesn’t come directly from your organization, earned media can be cost effective, build donor trust, lead to higher retention rates, and offer higher conversion rates. What’s the best way to get more earned media? Your organization should create content that…