During last week’s installment of Motivate Monday, the one and only Vanessa Chase Lockshin, queen of The Storytelling Non-profit, talked all about creating connections between your organization’s stories and the news cycle. Figuring out how to do this the right way elevates your non-profit’s narratives through real-world relevancy and, in turn, elevates the wonderful work that your organization does.

If you missed out on Vanessa’s MoMon, you really should plop down in a comfy chair with your beverage of choice and give it a good listen (August 14, 2017).

The coming of the eclipse recently crossed our newsworthy radars. And on Monday, the long-awaited event finally happened, and billions of eyes watched. It’s been called a lot of things. Epic. Eerie. Amazing.

It probably has yet to be called “cats,” and yet, this video, straight from Sioux Falls Humane Society’s Facebook page, has injected the eclipse, a bona fide once-in-a-lifetime event, with a dose of sass, humor, and, well…cats! The proof is in the pudding. We already know that cats are everywhere, largely because they’re awesome, and also because the internet loves them. Here, they’re more than simply adorable. The ultimate goal for SFHS is support in the form of volunteering, animal adoption, and donating — all crucial elements of their wonderful work. Simply adorable, yet totally effective. Hashtags #eclipse #eclipse2017 #totaleclipseofthemeow #onceuponatimewewerefallinginlove

Take a look!


Fundraising Friday | August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

I happened to see the story of Miss Butterworth’s social media weight loss journey (courtesy of the Asheville Humane Society) and couldn’t wait to share it with you. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling.  It will be that time of the year again before you know it! Lots and lots of year-end emails. What can […]

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Nonprofit Donor Surveying: Fundraising’s *Magic Bullet?*

August 17, 2017

Have you ever had to dig yourself out of a hole (one not of your own making)? That’s exactly the situation I found myself in my first fundraising job. The year was 2000, and I had just resigned from my job with one of the region’s largest grant-making foundations, to take on a development position […]

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The Power of Storytelling | Miss Butterworth’s story is touching *and* relateable!

August 15, 2017

Who hasn’t struggled with weight loss at one time or another? Believe it or not, pets are no exception. Case in point: Miss Butterworth arrived at the Asheville Humane Society as a morbidly obese pup. Weighing 20 pounds with her small frame, it was clear that her weight was holding her back from living her […]

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Fundraising Friday | August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017

For three days and two nights Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams left the comfort of his home to live life out on the streets. Read this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling to learn why. *Donate.* *Give Now.* Could getting more creative and bringing your donor into the picture result in greater donations? This week’s […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Email “call to action” buttons go creative

August 8, 2017

The “donate button” has become ubiquitous in nonprofit email communications, and as interactive as it is, it’s grown a little bit stale. Whether it’s the single d-word or the word “now” coming after, perhaps inspiring a hint of urgency, your donors don’t just need to know they’re making a difference — they need to know how. The how is […]

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The Power of Storytelling | A mayor goes undercover…as a homeless person!

August 7, 2017

There are times when our lived experiences contain all of the necessary ingredients to create an amazing story. In the case of Ben McAdams, mayor of Salt Lake County in Utah, he made a decision to dive headfirst into the kind of experience that many are afraid to talk about: homelessness. In the process, he […]

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Fundraising Friday | August 4, 2017

August 4, 2017

How will you be ensuring that your year-end campaign is the best it can be? One way to ramp up your year-end fundraising results is by getting your board members involved in the process of the actual campaign. Use a Fundraising Menu to Order Up Your Successful Year-End Campaign! Free download included. In Do you […]

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Use a Fundraising Menu to Order Up Your Successful Year-End Campaign!

July 31, 2017

Why is year-end fundraising such a big deal for non-profit organizations? The numbers don’t lie. Almost a third of all American individual giving happens in December. And a surprising 12% of all giving occurs in the final three days of the year. Some non-profit organizations raise up to 70% of their entire budget in the […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 28, 2017

July 28, 2017

See why Mary Cahalane calls this week’s What’s in My Mailbox “a smart ask – not limited to monthly, but the way you’d do monthly.” We’ve got a trio of feral kittens we’ve been caring for (they’re on medication and as soon as they’ve gotten a clean bill of health, they’ll be adopted), and winning […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | A smart, effective, and considerate ask from Dana-Farber

July 26, 2017

I hate to say it, but lately, I’m struggling to find compelling mailbox examples to feature for WIMM installments, and so I’ve not been featuring them. Good mail, like a good man, is often hard to find. To solve this ongoing conundrum of plenty of mail but scarce *amazing mail,* I’ve been putting out feelers […]

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Fundraising in a Climate of Political Uncertainty

July 26, 2017

Originally published in 2008, “Fundraising in a Recession – 7 Tips,” became one of the most read and downloaded articles on my original website, Pamela’s Grantwriting Blog. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), time has only reaffirmed the principles originally cited in this piece, which I wrote to help fundraisers through a time of economic crisis. Can […]

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Sure, cats are cute, but the power lies in the story…especially a story by video!

July 24, 2017

A short video, less than three minutes in length, has achieved the elusive status of virality, sitting at nearly 2.5 million views. It was created by a B.C.-based organization dedicated to locally rescuing cats, TinyKittens Society. The video, which chronicles the experience of one of their rescue cats, is called Ancient battle-scarred cat meets tiny […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017

The time to begin mapping out a plan for year-end fundraising is now. Don’t let it creep up on YOU | How to rock your year-end fundraising Does Your Nonprofit Suffer from Fire Drill Culture? An important read from Beth Kanter. Looking for some terrific free tools you can use right now? Mary Cahalane has you […]

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Don’t let it creep up on YOU | How to rock your year-end fundraising

July 20, 2017

Have you started planning how to rock your year-end fundraising? Say what??? I can hear you now. “Pam, it’s summer and I’m going on vacation next week! Stop already.” But hey, the stats don’t lie. Almost a third of all annual giving occurs of December. Twelve percent of all giving happens in the very last […]

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When is an opportunity NOT an opportunity?

July 12, 2017

It’s crazy, isn’t it? Your days are filled with the insanity of snail mail only grant applications with extensive attachments (the guidelines demand eight copies) for grants averaging $5,000. Your development chair is excitedly emailing everyone on her contact list about the latest voting contest where the organization with the most votes stands to “win” […]

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What Does It Take To Keep Your Nonprofit Development Director?

July 11, 2017

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. Albert Einstein Trust. It’s one of the most important components of your relationship with the donors who make your very work possible. Trust isn’t easy to gain. And it can be destroyed in an instant. Yet every time a nonprofit […]

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The ultimate storytelling roadmap to ignite your fundraising in 2017 — and beyond!

July 10, 2017

Whether you’re a seasoned storyteller or you’re just beginning to test the waters, Julia Campbell’s newest book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, is a necessary guide, and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. She delves into the timeless concept of storytelling, an already-invaluable tool for nonprofits from all walks […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017

Do your board members say they’ll do anything but fundraise? Relax. Andy Robinson has you covered. From our last Motivate Monday session. What is the future of nonprofit fundraising success? In addition to a heightened understanding of our donors, I believe it lies in storytelling and transparency. Are you starting to think about your year-end […]

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Do your board members say they’ll do anything but fundraise? Relax!

July 5, 2017

Do you have board members who say they’ll do anything but fundraise? Do you still have board members who don’t contribute financially? Do your board members (or some of them) think fundraising is “Ledo’s Pizza Night” rather than major donors? Relax. As Motivate Monday guest Andy Robinson reminds us, “No one is born knowing how […]

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