A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas | Book Review

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas | Book Review

“How do we grow our individual giving? “How can we get our alumni to give back annually?” “How can we raise enough money to continue with the work that we’re doing?” “How do we create a first time donor plan — one that keeps them giving?” “Why won’t our board members ask their...
Making Money with Donor Newsletters: The How-To Guide to Extraordinary Results

Making Money with Donor Newsletters: The How-To Guide to Extraordinary Results

Can you imagine raising millions of dollars a year for your nonprofit…through your print newsletter alone?  That’s the kind of money Michelle Brinson generated in 2013 with Nashville Rescue Mission’s newsletter by following the simple techniques championed by master copywriter Tom Ahern. ...
Nonprofit email fundraising:  Are you overlooking the role consistency plays?

Nonprofit email fundraising: Are you overlooking the role consistency plays?

As a die-hard fan of SOFII, the International Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration, I eagerly read every new article and exhibit.  However, as a student of email marketing, the article Nine tips for effective emails  made me pause. Oh, yes, I agreed with the author, Nick Allen, on most...
The Mercifully Brief, Real World Guide to Raising Thousands of Dollars With Email [Review]

The Mercifully Brief, Real World Guide to Raising Thousands of Dollars With Email [Review]

Is your organization using email to raise money? I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe email marketing can level the playing field for small nonprofit organizations. All of the major studies point to a continued rise in online giving. Convio’s Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark report...
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade…reflections

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade…reflections

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I was reminded of a post that I wrote a few years back. Several weeks ago I received a number of angry emails in response to an enewsletter that referenced the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Following is my response: Thank you...
A short lesson in email asks for your nonprofit year-end appeal
“I’ve written the perfect appeal. But my boss won’t let me use it.”

“I’ve written the perfect appeal. But my boss won’t let me use it.”

In yesterday’s Grow Report I asked my readers to share their greatest challenges in creating their organization’s annual appeal. Whoa…did I hit a nerve! One CEO wrote: “I write an appeal which is then taken to 2 committees and then the board.  Each group edits the letter, adding things...
When it comes to your organization’s year-end appeal, who’s your *tarquet?*

When it comes to your organization’s year-end appeal, who’s your *tarquet?*

You’ve spent weeks finding that perfect story to share in your latest appeal, interviewed five different mail houses, worked hard to arrive at  the *perfect* ask amounts and created your response device… What are you missing? Have you given any thought to the person who will be reading that...
Fundraising in the Trenches | Surveying

Fundraising in the Trenches | Surveying

Today’s guest post comes by way of Mary Cahalane. Mary is Development Manager/Individual Giving for Riverfront Recapture, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “leading the effort to reconnect metropolitan Hartford with the Connecticut River and provide community access to the waterfront through...
3 questions your donors are asking

3 questions your donors are asking

Community Foundations are a great barometer for what donors are looking for when deciding which nonprofits to give to.  In today’s Movie Monday’s video, Mark Hurtubise of the Inland NW Community Foundation talks about the shift from need to outcomes. Do you have a strategic plan? Do you...
At Last, 100% Board Giving!

At Last, 100% Board Giving!

Does 100% of your organization’s board contribute financially? They should. In my 2012 Small Shop Fundraising Survey, an astonishing 55% of organizations are reporting that they do not have 100% board giving. How can you reasonably expect others to contribute financially to your organization if members...
Is your organization living hand-to-mouth?

Is your organization living hand-to-mouth?

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
 Many years ago, I met with with a senior citizen organization.  Early on in our meeting, I asked the executive director, Adele Wilkins, a delightful sexagenarian, how much money...
Generosity Day:  Did you take the pledge?

Generosity Day: Did you take the pledge?

Surprise a stressed-out waitress with a humongous tip…cook a meal for your neighbor who’s just home from the hospital…send a “care” package to your best friend, who’s dealing with a homebound parent with dementia. Valentine’s Day has been officially rebooted as Generosity Day: ...
101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide

101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide

It goes without saying that before dipping a toe into the social media waters, nonprofit organizations need to come up with some sort of strategy. Where are your donors? How much time do you have to devote to social media? What will you be sharing on social media – and listening to? How will you...
The 10 essentials of an ideal thank you letter

The 10 essentials of an ideal thank you letter

Are you creating partnerships with your donors?  A sense of loyalty and commitment? Blackbaud’s recent Growing Philanthropy in the United States report revealed that nonprofits have made little headway into reducing donor attrition rates.  According to recent data collected by the Association of...
Seven quintessential nonprofit resolutions for 2012…and beyond

Seven quintessential nonprofit resolutions for 2012…and beyond

Create a solid plan.  In the words of Yogi Berra:  If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.  How much do you want to raise from grants?  How much do you want to raise from individual donations – from direct mail, online, from your monthly giving program? ...
Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in

Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in

Welcome to 2012! What resolutions will you be making to advance your organization in 2012?  I asked a few of my friends and colleagues to share their best resolutions for 2012. Nonprofit database expert Robert Weiner said “like many people, my resolutions are often the same year after year. ...
I had my Board Chair call to personally thank a $20 donor. Am I crazy?

I had my Board Chair call to personally thank a $20 donor. Am I crazy?

Today’s guest post from Rene Bouchard, Director of Development at Cinema Arts Centre in New York is not really an article, but rather a LinkedIn discussion that I thought deserved broader coverage, particularly in light of this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival.  Rene is one very savvy fundraiser,...
Program and Development staff: Together at Last

Program and Development staff: Together at Last

Today’s guest post comes from Marti Fischer of Marti Fischer Grant Services, LLC Are you a member of a development office that is fully integrated into your organization, and part of programming and long range planning meetings? If so, congratulations and read no further, this article is not meant...
November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival | How are you giving Thanks?

November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival | How are you giving Thanks?

I’m hosting November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and what better topic, as Thanksgiving approaches, than giving thanks? According to the author of Donor-Centered Fundraising, Penelope Burk, “90% of donors who start contributing to a particular cause stop giving by the fifth renewal request.” And...

« Previous Entries