What if one simple strategy could increase donations by 35%?

What if one simple strategy could increase donations by 35%?

You’ll love this recent video, courtesy of Movie Mondays for Nonprofits.  Fundraising author and researcher Penelope Burk shared one simple strategy that your organization’s board members can use to increase donations by as much as 35%.  How could you take this further?  Do what many of...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Let’s Get Engaged, Honey

Let’s Get Engaged, Honey

Let’s just say it: engagement is a buzzword. I spent a few years in the educational publishing business, and it was a word I saw trotted out again and again, to describe every latest and every greatest. Engaging resources. Engage your students with this product. It’s all about engagement. After...
11 Books for the Fundraiser on Your Gift List

11 Books for the Fundraiser on Your Gift List

When it comes to nonprofit development, you’ll find that many authors have a tendency to make simple things enormously complex. Quite the contrary, strong development involves learning basic marketing techniques, the value of truly understanding your donor, and, lastly, how to develop simple, consistent...
Fundraising Fun?  You Betcha!

Fundraising Fun? You Betcha!

Nonprofit blogger and Twitterer, Marc Pitman, recently twitted that “many see fundraising as an evil, a necessary evil but evil nonetheless.” I couldn’t agree more and, frankly, I just don’t get it! Fundraising is challenging, it’s people-centered, it’s constantly...
October 19, 2009 – Simple Tip of the Day

October 19, 2009 – Simple Tip of the Day

Recently one of my client’s board members celebrated her birthday in style – in lieu of gifts, she requested that donations be made to her favorite charity. We publicly thanked her – on Twitter, Facebook and in our quarterly newsletter. If you’ve received a unique gift from one...
Nonprofits and Employee Attrition – The Truth Hurts

Nonprofits and Employee Attrition – The Truth Hurts

This unedited ad recently appeared, seeking a “Development Associate” for a local nonprofit organization. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: 1) Development Office assistance • manage donor/gift records including processing gifts and reconciling with business office, receipting gifts and producing acknowledgments...
It’s just emotion that’s taken me over … Tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul

It’s just emotion that’s taken me over … Tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul

(With apologies to the Bee Gees …) For six years I worked for a regional private family foundation. It was an amazing learning experience on so many levels, including teaching me how donors respond. In a recent post on Kivi’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Kivi notes that people’s hearts tend to...
Nonprofit Newsletters – Are You Making These Mistakes?

Nonprofit Newsletters – Are You Making These Mistakes?

If you are familiar with Penelope Burk’s Donor-Centered Fundraising, you know that communication plays a key role in retaining donors. Aside from your appeals and your thank you letters, how you connect with your donors throughout the year will reinforce their bond with your organization. The ubiquitous...

Fundraising in a Recession – 7 Tips

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Unfortunately, the world of nonprofit development can be notoriously fickle and unfocused. Clearly we are in a major recession with no end in sight. The trick is not to...