FundraisingFriday


Fundraisers are storytellers, but we’re also tasked with being data scientists.” The always brilliant Jonathon Grapsas with M​usings of a direct response fundraiser no. 2: finding the ‘sweet spot’.  This one’s important and you’re busy. Bookmark it to come back to after the new year.

Direct mail won’t be dying anytime soon.  From NPR: Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs.

What’s in my Mailbox | “It’s Christmas and I got nobody” Pull out the tissues. This Covenant House appeal could soften Old Man Potter’s cold heart.

I do believe I’ve learned more about online fundraising from two years of being a donor than anything else.  This week’s What’s in my Inbox | Lessons from being a donor.

Last minute fundraising

Year-End Fundraising…and the Giving is Easy | 9 simple tips to to rock yours

How Many Year-End Fundraising Emails Should You Send?

Subject Lines for Your Last-Minute Email Appeals (knock them off)

Improve Your Email Campaigns

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What’s in my Mailbox | “It’s Christmas and I got nobody”

December 17, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. Classic Christmas storytelling from Covenant House in this tale of the homeless teenager Jeremiah. To learn what makes this appeal special, read Mary Cahalane’s post, How to move hearts with a great story. Click the […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Lessons from being a donor

December 16, 2014

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the biggest lessons in fundraising arise from the act of giving. For the past two years I’ve increased my charitable giving, even starting a ‘mystery shopping’ experiment back in March that continues to this day. Today’s seamless, donor-focused lesson came via St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The entire transaction took approximately […]

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Fundraising Friday | December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

  One of the recent respondents to my Welcome survey wrote that the one thing she wanted to accomplish in the next six months was to “Move at least 50% of my current donors to the next giving level.” When asked what was standing between her and this goal, she responded, “Donors personal limitations.” Remember […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Smart business makes smart fundraising

December 10, 2014

 What can you do when you’re just starting out, without a large donor base and no funding for acquisition? That was the situation I found myself in my first nonprofit fundraising job, working for an agency with a dying donor base.  The organization had spent (a lot) on acquisition for the preceding five years, with […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Holiday appeals and light boxes

December 9, 2014

  Holiday appeals are landing in my in-box at this time of year.  In addition to the email campaigns, many savvy nonprofits are featuring what’s known variously as a ‘home page takeover,’ light box, or popup on their home pages.  For more on the thinking behind light boxes, listen in on my interview with Steven […]

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Fundraising Friday | December 5, 2014

December 5, 2014

The heat is on.  Year-end fundraising season is here. How will you be maximizing giving, across all channels?  Use these nine simple tips to rock your year-end fundraising.   When you’re creating your plan for 2015, don’t forget your website!    Smart Cause Digital is featuring a free downloadable 2015 Nonprofit Website Planner.  And remember to […]

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Year-End Fundraising…and the Giving is Easy | 9 simple tips to to rock yours

December 4, 2014

The heat is on.  Year-end fundraising season is here.  How will you be maximizing giving, across all channels?  Use these nine simple tips to rock your year-end fundraising. Your website: 1.  Supercharge your Home page In this Simple Development Systems podcast, Steven Screen of UberDirect tells us that people aren’t going to your website on […]

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Turning #GivingTuesday upside down | Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

December 4, 2014

Ever since its introduction a few years ago, I’ve struggled with the concept of #GivingTuesday, the national movement founded to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season  (and counteract Black Friday and Cyber Monday). On the one hand, the thinking behind the created holiday is lovely. On the other hand, […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Making #givingtuesday and year-end personal

December 2, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of email to love their donors? Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox.   Ontario Nature wins with this stunning, simple email featuring a very personal greeting: “Hi Pamela,  I’ve just put a season’s greetings card in the mail to you.  I hope you’ll open […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Thanksgiving thanks

November 26, 2014

  Thanksgiving provides the ideal opportunity for nonprofits to simply reach out to their supporters with a message of thanks, no ask.  Here are a few that landed in my in-box: UNICEF’s ‘What I am thankful for this year’ email implores readers to send a message of thanks and support to UNICEF workers on the front […]

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November Nonprofit Blog Carnival | An Attitude of Gratitude

November 24, 2014

Here in the US, November marks the month of Thanksgiving and showing gratitude for our blessings. In keeping with the theme, for the past few years, our November Nonprofit Blog Carnival has celebrated with inspiring ways nonprofit organizations throughout the world are celebrating the donors who make their work possible. SDS member Rachel Ramjatten of […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

  Is #GivingTuesday worth the hoopla? I’m hearing it from readers and clients alike:  what should we be doing for #GivingTuesday?  Tuesday, December 2 marks the third annual #GivingTuesday, a manufactured holiday created to inspire action around charitable giving. I’ll be real with you: I’m not advising clients (or you) to spend a lot of […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Email welcome message

November 19, 2014

  When a prospect lands on your organization’s website and signs up for your newsletter, what kind of message do they receive?  Is it the standard yawn-inducing Welcome to XYZ org. We are happy to have you as a member of our community. Your email address and interest preferences have been recorded in our database. […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

What can you learn from the leading fundraising guru’s AHA moments?  I asked some of the leading fundraisers to share their biggest AHA moment with you.  Tom Ahern.  Amy Eisenstein.  Joe Garecht.  Gail Perry.  Sandy Rees.   What they had to share may surprise you.  You’ll definitely have an AHA moment or two yourself. How […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Direct mail follow up…

November 12, 2014

How are nonprofit organizations using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox.   This week’s What’s in my Inbox and What’s in my Mailbox are flip-flopped, to show you a great example of integrating email into your direct mail campaign.  If you didn’t see yesterday’s […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Bringing the realities of war home

November 11, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. This extraordinary letter from WarChild comes by way of Rory Green, Fundraiser Grrl, and extraordinary fundraiser.  Rory writes:  “The envelope got my attention right away. And once I opened it the story hooked me. […]

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What Can You Learn From Leading Fundraisers’ Biggest AHA Moments?

November 10, 2014

We’ve all had them. What I refer to as AHA moments, those instances when a lightbulb is suddenly turned on — one that causes you to rethink your way of doing things. Early on in my career, when I was working for a grant making foundation, I remember the time a thank you letter came […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014

  In this week’s What’s in my Mailbox, you’ll find two examples of nonprofit direct mail fundraising letters written using the Basic Appeal Letter Template. This week’s What’s in my Inbox comes from Mary Calahane, with a reminder that gratitude is always good.  New from The Agitator:  Re-engaging Lapsed Customers/Donors, along with my favorite inspiration […]

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Mercy Corps monthly giving program | Interview with Evan Johnson

November 6, 2014

After featuring Mercy Corps’ monthly giving email appeal recently, I was curious about what role monthly giving played in the organization’s overall individual giving strategy and how the program evolved.  Evan Johnson, the Manager of Direct Response Marketing at Mercy Corps, graciously agreed to an interview. How long has your monthly giving program been active? […]

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