Surveying to engage

Surveying to engage

In the thank you economy you can’t thank your donors – or survey them – too frequently. Take a cue from The Other 98%, a nonprofit dedicated to “making our democracy, economy and media work for everyday Americans, not the special interests or the political fringe.” With...
Ignore at peril:  your donors live online

Ignore at peril: your donors live online

If you’re in the midst of finalizing your online appeal you’ll be thrilled to learn that 90% of fundraising revenue still comes from offline sources.  Yes, direct mail still rules. But, as this multichannel fundraising infographic from @franswaa of Blackbaud shows, your organization’s online presence...
Emily’s List says ‘thank you’

Emily’s List says ‘thank you’

How can you creatively steward your supporters online? Emily’s List, the political action committee devoted to electing pro-choice female candidates, recently used a novel online method to thank their supporters. Donors received this email, which read: Dear firstname, What an amazing EMILY’s...
8 Reasons development directors leave

8 Reasons development directors leave

“It seems that development positions continue to be an 18 month cycle? Is it organizations not giving them enough time to gain traction or development professionals not as strong as their resumes?” I’ve been following this particular AFP “On Fundraising” LinkedIn group topic  for the past...
The dreaded red pen

The dreaded red pen

Several years ago I was blissfully sailing through my first job in nonprofit development after leaving the cushy offices of a private family foundation. It was ideal in that I had autonomy as long as I got results…and I GOT RESULTS! In less than two short years I had increased foundation grant...
From interest to commitment | 7 key drivers

From interest to commitment | 7 key drivers

You know you need to thank your donors promptly.  You know that it costs more (as much as 10 times) to bring in new donors than to retain your current donors. But beyond thanking ‘em how do you create that special relationship with a donor?  How do you go from interest and mild liking to full-fledged...
Are you looking for a commitment on a first date?

Are you looking for a commitment on a first date?

My first fiance asked me to marry him on our first date. That’s just weird! It’s amazing that I even went out with him again. What’s this got to do with fundraising? A first donation is like a first date. An indication of interest and mutual attraction. It’s in no way, shape or form...
12 simple steps to mastering nonprofit email marketing

12 simple steps to mastering nonprofit email marketing

Why email marketing? Heather Mansfield writes in “Five Things Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About Web 2.0 Donors” “I believe, despite much talk lately of e-mail “dying”, that in fact the opposite is true. Your nonprofit needs to focus more on your e-mail newsletter than ever before because e-mail...
Four ways to ramp up your annual appeal

Four ways to ramp up your annual appeal

Crisis alert. Picture this. You’ve been on your new Development Director job for all of two days when the Executive Director informs you that the organization’s annual appeal should have gone out two weeks ago and urges you to “just doctor up last year’s appeal.” Last year’s appeal sucks. What...
One leaflet, 2 volunteers – 285,000 people reached!
It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s FREE!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s FREE!

Can you really still get something for nothing? Thanks to my colleague, Sandy Rees, five of the best professional fundraisers have come together to offer up some fabulous resources just for you! Join me, Sandy, Sherry Truhlar, Lori Jacobwith and Marc Pittman over at the Nonprofit Goodies Giveaway and...
Applications not accepted:  Get on their radar!

Applications not accepted: Get on their radar!

Foundation Center President Brad Smith notes that “Nearly half of the grantmaker profiles in Foundation Directory Online state, “Applications not accepted”, i.e., these funders do not take unsolicited proposals.” How can you get on their radar?  Join us for a live chat at 1:00...
Are you playing it safe with your nonprofit communications?

Are you playing it safe with your nonprofit communications?

This week I had the highest unsubscribe rate in the year or so history of publishing my weekly enews. Was it due to the fact that I was more than a little wiped out from overwork and hadn’t produced a piece up to my own standards?  Or was it (more than likely) due to my noting that the NPR setup spearheaded...
Nonprofits:  The power in an ROI promise

Nonprofits: The power in an ROI promise

The best nonprofit copywriting, from appeals to web to email, hinge upon emotion. But what happens when you support that emotional pull with logic? The nonprofit that merges emotion with logic creates an irresistible appeal to give.  Here are two examples: Charity:Water:   $20 can give one person...
Good storytelling passes the test of time

Good storytelling passes the test of time

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. “ Hannah Arendt Are you like me?  Do you regularly scan your email with an eye to what’s important, check all “unread” messages and end up sending 137 emails to the trash? Is your inbox stuffed with junk like...
What would 60 cents a day buy for your organization?

What would 60 cents a day buy for your organization?

I came across this great monthly giving advertisement today for the ASPCA on amazon. Here’s a classic example of a well-executed call to action. Social Bookmarking
Monthly Giving for the Small Shop – Interview with Harvey McKinnon

Monthly Giving for the Small Shop – Interview with Harvey McKinnon

What’s the best thing your nonprofit isn’t doing that it should be doing to slow donor attrition and build sustainable funding? If you said growing your Twitter followers, or redesigning your website you’d be wrong.  One of the surefire ways to build lifetime donors – and build legacy funding...
A “Recipe” for Twitter Success

A “Recipe” for Twitter Success

Is there really a “recipe” for a successful Twitter account? In real life conversations with friends and colleagues I’m forever hearing “I don’t really ‘get’ Twitter.” “What IS Twitter anyway?  Is it a bunch of people talking about what they had for lunch?” If you’re not a Twitophile,...
Never end without a PS

Never end without a PS

One of the most well-known secrets of direct response copywriters is the simple PS.  And yet you’ll rarely find a PS in a nonprofit communication piece (unless it’s written by a professional copywriter). Why is the PS so important? Many people jump to the end.  The PS can spike their interest...
Face-to-face fundraising – could it work for your organization?

Face-to-face fundraising – could it work for your organization?

On a lunchtime visit to a local shopping center yesterday, I noticed a couple of young street fundraisers posted at prominent corners.  I’ve seen face-to-face fundraisers canvassing in Center City, Philadelphia — here in suburbia, it’s relatively uncommon.  Since this is one method of fundraising...

« Previous Entries Next Entries »