Upselling and Happier Patients: Why Your FQHC Should Use Its Own In-Clinic Digital Network

Is your FQHC still relying on bulletin boards to inform in-clinic patients of various programs, services or events? It’s time to come in from the cold and go digital. Here’s why:

  1. Maintaining bulletin boards is not cost-effective. To keep them updated requires precious staff time and they never are as up to date as they should be. Not really.
  2. Unless you have a bulletin board on every single wall in the line of sight of patients, most won’t see your important update.
  3. If you serve patients who prefer to speak languages other than English, you need to add those to the walls space. This adds more paper clutter to your walls and at the same time reduces efficacy of messaging because visually you are competing with yourself against your other flyers/posters. And they still may not be seen by your patients due to point #2.
  4. All those flyers on the wall? They are not truly “seen” by most patients except as an unpleasant distraction in the waiting room (where patients don’t want to be in the first place). Even pretty flyers on a wall, when surrounded by other random not-so-pretty flyers, will detract from the patient experience when you could have something aesthetic for people to enjoy while waiting to see a care provider. Again, per rule #2, unless you have plastered your flyers everywhere, they just won’t be seen in detail on a consistent basis other than being “wall clutter” of their own.
  5. Meanwhile, if you are showing anything other than your own soothing programming (with your services info on the side) you are missing the best way to enhance the patient experience in your clinic while upselling services, which leads us to point #6.
  6. Prospective customers are nice and all, but guess who your most important customer is? The ones you have in your clinic. You have already succeeded in attracting them and for a fraction of the cost of other advertising, you can inform these very real patients of additional services at your clinic while they are being entertained at one or your locations. A busy mom with kids seeing their pediatrician may not be aware her FQHC has added optometry and the ease of scheduling a visit until she learns about it in-clinic.

With that in mind, I recently reviewed three different in-clinic digital networks to replace current programming for an FQHC that somehow got stuck years ago with a service which provides stale information with content that does not even reflect the patients that we serve. The services I looked at were Everwell, UpShow and ItsRelevant. All of them work with a small, dedicated USB type box that connects to your clinic televisions (like a Roku). They were all delightful in their own way, but there was one clear winner from an FQHC point of view.

All three providers allow for integrating with your social media or other graphics to allow for messages and QR codes that can be scanned by patients with smartphones, leading them to surveys or programs. So, your patients can enjoy programming you put together with side messages promoting services of choice. Additionally, all three options reviewed here provide for a way for your FQHC to generate revenue to offset costs if desired by selling ad space to your own vendors or partners if you so choose. In theory, you could make your in-clinic network its own source of income. At the end of this post, I will let you know which digital network provider stole my heart. For now, here is an overview of these three digital infotainment providers.

Everwell has an impressive look and a huge library of content to program from, which is no surprise once you learn it is/was connected to AccentHealth. Now it is a brand of MediVista Media. If you like polished health-themed content, this might be the ticket for you. I personally am not a big fan of “health videos” in-clinics (for cultural and language reasons), but one of Everwell’s plusses is its access to soothing webcams across the world. Nature and animal video channels are a brilliant way to entertain diverse patients who may all speak different languages. Meanwhile, with rotating multilingual messages on the side of the universal webcam, you can reach all your patients in the language of their choice in a very subtle way. Everwell also offers other exciting programs, but when it comes to medical type videos, they have a deep library. To find out their costs, you will need to do a demo with their sales representative.

UpShow is a service I checked out three years ago when it was a fledgling company offering a way to bring social media posts to screens in clinics. I liked it then…and I must confess I have totally fallen in love with it now that it is all grown up with added entertainment. Even better, it interacts with your Canva accounts to seamlessly deliver your unique content. Like its counterparts, UpShow has different professional entertainment options you can pick and choose from based on the tier system you buy into. What sets it apart is the ability to niche program from TV screen to TV screen. Any FQHC which has a general waiting room, a pediatric waiting room, a women’s health waiting room, a dental waiting room, an EITP waiting room and so on – well, you can see why you can use in-clinic programming with different screens for different patients being served. Another bonus? You can scale up if you decide to go digital signage in all your exam rooms. And why wouldn’t you? If flyers in your waiting room are a waste of time, space, and patient experience, guess what? They are also missed opportunities in the exam rooms. To check out pricing, visit this link. But really you will have to schedule a demo to get the actual price for what you truly need if you are an FQHC with social media.

ItsRelevant says it combines the best aspects of TV, digital signage, and social media: “We keep the TV on your TV, letting you attract the attention of your visitors with programming they’ll enjoy, and gently deliver your messages to them.” Indeed, Its Relevant TV is uniquely able to filter out inappropriate content with both general and super specific keywords that can be defined by your medical practice. Its infotainment/news focus is to be lively without being divisive. Like the other channels, you can display social media automatically. They do provide a lot of family-friendly entertainment, as they license over half a million TV programs, and they continue to add to that. You can check out their pricing at this link.

Bottom line: The winner in my book? UpShow, hands down.  Its interface with Canva for programming combined with the ability to scale up to deliver digital signage to all your exam rooms – each with its own programming – makes this an easy choice. Bonus: it was the least expensive option up front for multiple locations and waiting rooms. For these reasons, the rose goes to UpShow.

Messaging Checklist 2021

It has been awhile since I shared an updated version of the messaging checklist that I use as a guide to develop integrated marketing campaigns that involve multiple channels. Gone are the days I fuss so much about the particular sizes of images (thanks to Canva, Adobe Spark and Promo) or characters in a tweet. Now I focus on creating coordinated images and stories to be delivered along a combination of different channels depending on what the goal of the campaign is and who I am trying reach.

The mort important thing is to think with fresh eyes about who your customer is and how to get your program or event in front of them. Use out-of-the-box avenues where feasible — Next Door, Eventbrite, Google Business posts, for instance. Nonprofit doesn’t mean noncompetitive. It’s up to you to get your story across in a place your audience will find it.

Messaging Checklist

  • Website
    1. Banner
    2. Page with additional information
  • Flyer(s)
  • ECW bilingual messages
    1. Email
    2. Patient Portal
    3. Text
    4. Robocall message/voice mail
  • Social Media
    1. Facebook/Instagram Post(s)
    2. Twitter
    3. YouTube
    4. TikTok
  • Additional channels:
    1. Newsletter
    2. Google
    3. Bing
    4. NextDoor
    5. Yelp – special offer?
    6. Community Partners or Leaders
    7. Eventbrite
    8. Direct Mail
    9. Press Release
    10. Other:______________________________

Social Media for CEOs Who Hate Social Media

scary social media

This post is written especially for CEOs and Executive Directors of all the nonprofits out there. You know who you are. You don’t like social media. Not really. It’s not how you grew up because you are a Baby Boomer. You were happy just to have a website for your nonprofit which you grudgingly update once a decade. And then everyone came along and said you had to do social media, too. Bummer. Because, busy you, you don’t have time to understand what all the fuss is.

As a CEO, you are in good company. Most senior executives I work with aren’t even on Facebook, let alone Instagram or Twitter. You may not even be on LinkedIn because, again, you don’t see the point of it. Where is the ROI, you wonder? But if you have paid good money for a CRM system and aren’t using your social media team to use that to identify and cement donors to your cause, then you are just leaving money on the table. Lots of money.

Why? Because your nonprofit social media isn’t just a marketing vehicle for your cause– it is an amazing donor development tool.  Here are five specific ways for you to make it work for you:

Notebook with Toolls and Notes about CRM,concept

Use your CRM system to identify social media profiles of your donors and prospects. Now, if you decided to save a few dollars on your CRM module when you set it up, and skipped getting the social media profiles, it’s time to revisit your plan and upgrade. CRMs know who’s who on social media channels, and that’s where your gold is.

ICÔNE OISEAU DORÉ tracé de détourage inclus

On Twitter, have your team follow every single donor and prospect from your CRM. Separate them into lists so you know who is who. You should make the lists “private” to your own account (don’t let competitors know where your nonprofit treasure is), but keep in mind that people will see when they are added to a list what that list is called. So, make the names of your lists complimentary, like “VIPS, Influencers, Community Leaders, Thought Leaders, Experts.” Mark top prospects and donors so your team gets an alert when they tweet. The goal here is simple: these individuals are to be treated as your New Best Friends. Your social media team should follow them with utter devotion, liking every tweet. Whenever they mention anything at all that might possibly intersect with your mission, retweet that. Connect, connect, connect.


instagramLikewise, with Instagram, follow and like prospects and donors. When they post about anything that intersects with your mission, your nonprofit should comment. Again, connect, connect, connect.

When it comes to your Facebook Page, the real opportunity is targeted paid promotions to “Look Alike” audiences. What is that? This is where you build out a list of your top supporters who actually give to your cause because they believe in it. So, don’t include, say, a donor who gives to your nonprofit because they are personally related to you. Focus on those altruistic donors who give because they believe in your mission. Compile a list of those top 10-20 profiles from your CRM system. Feed this information into a Facebook promotion which will save this information. Using this information, you can create a “Look Alike” audience through Facebook, which will create a similar audience of Facebook users who like what your control group likes. These facebook.pngpeople are the people who will be most receptive to your message and may better connect with your mission. Also, you should know you can feed email addresses on Facebook to create targeted ads just for your specific audience.  To learn more about Facebook Look Alike audiences, visit the source, Facebook, at It’s an awesome feature.

linkedin.pngLinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers. It’s a great place to connect with donors, prospects, and influencers. You can even connect with corporate partners and win grants by connecting with someone who knows someone on LinkedIn. So, make sure your nonprofit has an official LinkedIn Page and update it regularly with important announcements or news. And then make sure everyone on your Board and senior team is on LinkedIn. Then, use it in the same way. Like, comment and share anything you can about any prospect, donor or influencer in your community.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  Your social media team should be an integral part of your fundraising operations. More than PR, social media is supposed to be social and interactive. Your CRM + social media = ROI you’ve been looking for. Have at it.


Using Facebook to Grow Your Chapter (or Non-Profit)

social media icons

In case you missed it, here is a link to my webinar for the Grant Professionals Association on how to employ social media (mostly Facebook) to grow your local organization. This is for intermediate users, referencing the basics of Facebook Page creation but jumping in more deeply into HOW you then use your Page to get your Event info in front of prospective consumers. That information — plus tips on extra programs — make this a power-packed hour full of tools you can really use.

GPA Social Media

My Love Affair with Canva

If you work for a nonprofit that has a big budget for graphic design and glitzy images that you can order on a weekly whim, good for you! Meanwhile, back here on Planet Earth, pulling graphics together to power up your social media messages and related fliers on a timely basis can be an overwhelming challenge for nonprofits.

Exciting images that support your brand have to be created, quickly and on a shoestring budget.  So what if I told you there is this amazing free tool available to you online that can unleash your inner graphic artist?  There is. It’s called Canva and a little dabbling goes along way.

Canva provides pre-sized templates for you to build from (or set your own custom sizes), using images or layouts you can use to create just the thing you need. Load your own photos, drop in your logo, and download your creation in handy shareable formats (JPEG, PNG, or PDFs).

And, best part — it’s FREE and doesn’t require quite the same level of icon knowledge that some programs use.  Not that I am naming any names, but you know who I am talking about.

My one caveat: Canva is addictive. I have been on a rampage of photo collages because they are fun and effective at conveying the warmth and excitement of different events. They make great “Thank You” inserts, letting donors see what their contributions made possible.

Of course, Canva does not replace the need for a proper graphic designer to design the look of some elements of your messaging. It does make it easier to benefit from professionally designed graphics as a template and blend those elements into your everyday messaging, using basic layout rules that hopefully you’ve learned along the way (you don’t want people looking “off” the page, proper use of white space, balance, etc.).

Here below are some examples of Canva created projects used for social media as well as fliers and event collages.

Social Media for Grant Professionals


When America got soaked in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which rained in $115 million in donations, the power of social media as a tool for nonprofits was raised to a whole new level. If you’ve been hesitant to self-promote or don’t know how to connect your nonprofit’s social media to volunteer or donor development, here are a few links and resources to get you started.

10 Things to Do When Getting Started on Twitter

For most things you want to carry out in life, getting started is often the hardest part of the process. The same is true for social media. Whether it’s the anxiety of not knowing what to do, or the fear of possibly looking dumb—it’s easy to put off signing up for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram until tomorrow … or next week … or next month…So, to help you stop procrastinating and start achieving your social media goals, check out this list of the first 10 things you should do to get started on Twitter.

Grant Chat @Grant_Chat  

JOIN THE GRANTCHAT COMMUNITY: GrantChat is a diverse group Grant Development and Grants Management professionals. There are numerous ways to connect with the #grantchat community across the different social media platforms. Weekly chats on Twitter happen on Tuesdays 9am PST. Follow the link to learn more.

10 Facebook Page for Best Practices for Nonprofits

With more than 1 billion active users, Facebook is the largest social network in the world. More than two-thirds of its users log in every day and three-fourths do so on a mobile device. Without a doubt your nonprofit’s supporters use Facebook on a regular basis. Therefore, Facebook Pages should be your first priority and entry into social networking. but to stand out from the other 50 million pages regularly active and all vying for likes, comments, and shares, you must excel at Facebook in order to stand out from the clutter and the 10 best practices from thus article will ensure your nonprofit is on the right path.

Facebook Go

Facebook Go helps advertisers learn how to get the most from their advertising spend on Facebook. Businesses that invest $25 or more per day on their ads for 30 days will be able to work with a dedicated Ads Specialist to grow their business. During this time, the Ads Specialist will help:

•    Develop a customized strategy for advertising on Facebook

•    Provide guidance on creating targeted ads

•    Measure and optimize campaign performance

Interested? Fill out the form at this link or call them at 1-800-601-0077.  They’ll give you a $50 ad coupon at the end of the program.

Facebook Advanced Tools

Custom Audiences: Sometimes the most valuable audience is one you already have a connection with. You can use Custom Audiences to connect with your existing contacts on Facebook. Or remarket to people based on the actions they take in your mobile app or on your website. Securely upload this information and create engaging ads designed for these groups of people. When you upload a customer list, this data is kept secure. All of the information is hashed, which means that no one can read it or un-encrypt it, including Facebook. You can create a Custom Audience in the ads create tool or in Power Editor.

Lookalike Audiences: Connect with people on Facebook who share traits—like location, age, gender and interests—with your best customers, so your ads reach more people who’ll care about your services and products. Facebook can help you build a lookalike audience based on:

•    The people who like your Facebook Page

•    Customer contact info, like emails or phone numbers

•    People who visit your website

Go to Ads Manager, then click Audiences. Click the Create Audience button, then select Lookalike Audience.

Google Grants

What is Google Ad Grants? Google Ad Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers nonprofit organizations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages.

Is your nonprofit eligible for Google Ad Grants?

To be eligible for the Google Ad Grants program, organizations must:

•    Hold current and valid charity status, as determined by your country; please see your country’s charity status definition below.

•    Acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.

•    Have a functioning website with substantial content

Please note that the following organizations are not eligible for Google Ad Grants:

•    Governmental entities and organizations

•    Hospitals and medical groups

•    Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible). To learn more about Google’s programs for educational institutions, visit Google for Education.

YouTube for Nonprofits

To help you activate your cause, tell a compelling story, and launch an effective campaign on YouTube, we now have a couple of resources for nonprofits. Learn how your nonprofit can use these benefits and make the most out of YouTube by downloading the Playbook for Good and the Top 10 Fundamentals For Nonprofits PDF.

Benefits of joining

•    Donate button: Viewers can use your channel’s Donate button to contribute to your cause online right from your YouTube videos. Available only in the US and UK at this time.

•    Live streaming: Stream video footage live onto your YouTube channel; great for events, conferences, and reporting.

•    Call-to-action overlays: Place a Call to Action on your videos, which viewers can click to visit your website, donate, or learn more.

•    Video annotations: Use annotations on your videos to encourage users to subscribe to your channel or click to visit your website.

•    Production resources: Get production access to shoot or edit your videos at YouTube’s creator studio in Los Angeles, Space LA.

11 Nonprofits that Excel at Social Media

Your nonprofit can learn a lot from the 11 (mostly large) nonprofits listed in this article by simply following, liking, and subscribing to their e-newsletter, blog, Facebook Page, Twitter, YouTube Channel, etc. and then studying and duplicating their methods. Besides the ones listed here, we are  big fans of Charity Water and Girls on the Run L.A. among others. Keep an eye out for winning messages and see what you can adapt for your own development efforts.

Social Media for Nonprofits 

Social Media for Nonprofits is the world’s only conference series dedicated to social media for social good. Instead of abstract concepts and theory, their focus is on sharing practical tips and tools for fundraising, marketing, and advocacy with nonprofit decision-makers.


Original post date: January 2015