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...
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...
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...
5 Tips to Maintain Your Enthusiasm as a Fundraiser

5 Tips to Maintain Your Enthusiasm as a Fundraiser

Several weeks ago I was chatting with a board president of an educational organization over lunch.  I’d been brought in for an hour long fundraising training scheduled during the organization’s retreat. “Well,” he remarked with more than a touch of resignation in his voice, “we really don’t...
The “Un-magical” Guide to Turning Prospects into Donors

The “Un-magical” Guide to Turning Prospects into Donors

Do you ever wish you had a magic wand?  In the development office of a small nonprofit, it sometimes seems magic is the only way you’ll ever get everything done.  You know your success depends on building relationships and touching prospects multiple times in multiple ways–“dripping”...
For Social Media Success – Be a First Rate Version of Yourself

For Social Media Success – Be a First Rate Version of Yourself

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland A little background … For slightly over a year now I’ve been publishing a free weekly e-newsletter geared to providing the one-person nonprofit development shop with the techniques they...
10 Blogs I Always Read

10 Blogs I Always Read

If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time to spare.  Every day my workload grows.  Finding the time to get to my own projects is presenting more and more of a challenge.  And every day a new blog pops up in the Internet stratosphere – new opinions, new cutsie names and logos and people...
Nonprofits Need to Lose the “Free” Mindset.  Now.  Please.

Nonprofits Need to Lose the “Free” Mindset. Now. Please.

There’s an old adage (cliche’?) that “you get what you pay for.” Try telling that to nonprofit organizations. Several years back I worked with a small nonprofit agency with an annual budget of approximately half a million dollars.  Early on in my role as development director – and throughout...
… And What Does Cesar Millan Have to Do With Online Giving?

… And What Does Cesar Millan Have to Do With Online Giving?

If Paula Dean provides an example of how a larger than life personality and killer branding can overcome mediocre email marketing, Cesar Millan is a classic example of how an equally big personality gets email marketing right. If you’re not familiar with Cesar, star of the National Geographic show,...
To Engage With Younger Donors … Connect With Them Where They Live

To Engage With Younger Donors … Connect With Them Where They Live

A recent joint study by Convio, Edge Research and Sea Change Strategies, “Early Signals on Mobile Philanthropy:  Is Haiti the Tipping Point?”pointed to some striking statistics on text giving.  Prior to January 12, 2010, “little more than $1 million had been raised via mobile text.” ...
Does Your Organization’s Thank You Letter Suck?

Does Your Organization’s Thank You Letter Suck?

Recently I made a donation to a local arts organization. I’m pleased to say that, yes, contrary to the statistics, I did receive a thank you letter. Granted it arrived approximately four weeks after the fact. But I did receive one. Sadly it was the standard thank you letter. You know. The kind...
KISS – Keep it Simple Sweetheart … with Swipe Files!

KISS – Keep it Simple Sweetheart … with Swipe Files!

“Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” -Coco Chanel Regular readers of my newsletter, The Grow Report, know that I am a huge fan of the online fundraising resource SOFII. SOFII showcases exhibits from the best fundraisers in the businesses – people like Mal Warwick, Ken Burnett, Tom...
Keep Christmas in Your Heart All Year Long

Keep Christmas in Your Heart All Year Long

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.” Charles Dickens Many years ago I was working for the Philadelphia Bar Association at their offices on South Market (near the famous Reading Terminal Market … about the only positive about working for the Philadelphia Bar Association...
Two Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Giving

Two Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Giving

Several weeks ago I decided to feature a local nonprofit organization I worked with years ago for Twitter’s #CharityTuesday, thinking that I might be able to drive a few extra dollars their way. So I paid a visit to their website to make a donation and copy the url. I searched and searched for...
5 Down & Dirty Tips to Ramp up Your End-of-Year Appeal

5 Down & Dirty Tips to Ramp up Your End-of-Year Appeal

It’s already November, and, if you’re working for an understaffed agency with too much to do and not enough time or resources, think twice before you regurgitate last year’s annual appeal letter and call it a day. First off, ask yourself a few questions: Will you be mailing out your letters in-house...
6 Benefits of Using Twitter for Nonprofit

6 Benefits of Using Twitter for Nonprofit

“Why should we?” “Twitter is just a bunch of noise about people eating lunch.” “Our customers aren’t online.” “We already have a website.” Sound familiar?  There are plenty of reasons to avoid social media, it seems.  It is true that there are a zillion time-wasting testimonials out...
6 Tips for Collecting Great Nonprofit Stories

6 Tips for Collecting Great Nonprofit Stories

If you’ve been in this field for any length of time, you’ve heard all about how important it is to capture your organization’s story. Most nonprofit marketing bloggers, however, tend to focus solely on one aspect of your organization’s story when, in fact, having an entire cache of stories...

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