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...
Live it to write it

Live it to write it

Last week I had the opportunity to meet two sisters, trustees of a regional family foundation.  I had applied for a grant from the foundation on behalf of a local client and a site visit was scheduled.  It was an excellent visit, relaxed, friendly, plenty of great questions, and an unplanned –...
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...
911 | Musical salve

911 | Musical salve

Five For Fighting” is the musical alias of John Ondrasik..who came up with this one in 2000–almost a year before the towers fell in Manhattan. In the awful days just after….this became like musical salve in New York–most notably among the rescue workers…who heard their stories...
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...
T.R.A.P. Your Supporters

T.R.A.P. Your Supporters

There’s something about being in Development, Fundraising or Marketing in a small non-profit that is invigorating and enervating at the same time.  Sometimes you feel trapped – asking for money, asking for support, asking for sponsorships, asking for attention (for the cause, not yourself, of course!)…...
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...
Are your grantwriting ducks in a row?

Are your grantwriting ducks in a row?

It’s Monday morning when, in the course of your foundation prospect research, you discover a regional foundation that: accepts grant proposals, and whose mission aligns ideally with yours The problem?  Their deadline for accepting proposals is Wednesday. No problem, you’re “grant ready” with...
How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is “How do I build relationships with foundation grant funders?” It’s a good question because it shows that the asker understands that relationship-building is just as important when it comes to seeking grants as it is in building a sound individual...
One leaflet, 2 volunteers – 285,000 people reached!
When life gives you lemons make lemonade

When life gives you lemons make lemonade

One of the many benefits of the #smNPchat on Twitter is the opportunity to meet fellow fundraising professionals throughout the world.  During a recent chat on annual appeal writing tips I was delighted to meet Amy Stephan, a St. Louis fundraiser with an inspiring annual appeal story of her own.  I’m...
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...
When it comes to Facebook success, “trying” doesn’t cut it

When it comes to Facebook success, “trying” doesn’t cut it

Have you made a commitment to your organization’s fundraising?  Or are you relying on the “spray and pray” approach that’s all too common in the nonprofit world?  You know what I’m talking about.  “Spray and pray” involves taking a bunch of different ‘random’ actions –...
Fundraising Events:  a losing proposition for your nonprofit organization?

Fundraising Events: a losing proposition for your nonprofit organization?

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker Say the word “fundraising” to anyone unfamiliar with the field and what’s the first thing to come to mind? You guessed it – events. Everyone seems to buy into that old...
Most influential fundraisers:  who influences you?

Most influential fundraisers: who influences you?

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta Civil Society’s Fundraising magazine’s Most Influential poll recently opened and I was honored and humbled to receive...
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...

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