With every new gift that arrives in your office, you have an opportunity. For connection. For communication. Will you view it as an opportunity — or as an obligation… a “have to?” Unraveling Donor-Centricity: Love is the Answer. My response to last week’s post, How donor-centrism perpetuates inequity, and why we must move toward community-centric fundraising.

When you think about fundraising, how often do you consider your mindset and its importance in the fundraising that you’re doing?

Surveying is a crucial component of donor-centered fundraising that will allow you to wholeheartedly embrace it. Check out Greenpeace’s brilliant infographic and blog post to their supporters.

Looking for more proof that this donor-centered stuff actually works? Download the brilliant case study lessons from Merchants Quay Ireland.

Is it true? No One Wants More Email. New from The Agitator. Great points from Greg Warner and Lisa Sargent.

5 rookie mistakes fundraisers sometimes make. New from Jeff Brooks.

Learning Opportunities

Major gifts are essential — even for small shops. But how do you find the time? How do you get your board and staff involved? How do you find those major donors lurking within your own database…and get up the courage to actually ask? Getting Started With Major Gift Fundraising | Basics & More™ to your rescue! Whether you’re just getting started in developing your major gift fundraising program, or you need a refresher, this class is for you. Loaded with written guides and worksheets, as well as recorded webinars from Amy Eisenstein, Gail Perry, Jeff Schreifels, and more, you’ll get the framework you need to start and grow your organization’s major gifts program, even with a small staff and limited resources!  Early Bird pricing ends today. Enroll now.

Fundraising and activism in the era of 45. What do we do differently? Plan to join us for Motivate Monday on June 5th at 1 pm EST when special guest, Harvey McKinnon will join us. Harvey is recognized as one of North America’s leading direct mail experts. He is the author of Hidden Gold, The Eleven Questions Every Donor Asks, Tiny Essentials of Monthly Committed Giving, and coauthor of The Power of Giving. Save your seat by clicking here.


Unraveling Donor-Centricity: Love is the Answer

May 24, 2017

If we’re so smart, how have we lost our way? I recently saw this comment on my friend, Mark Rovner’s Facebook wall: And the question is: do we really want to create a better world, a more just and equitable world, one that celebrates and acknowledges diversity, or do we want to be right? Mark’s […]

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Greenpeace UK knows that donor surveying is where it’s at

May 23, 2017

Do you know where your supporters stand on issues? Check out this blog post from Greenpeace UK, a renowned organization who recently published the results of their annual supporter survey. Nearly 70,000 supporters participated in it. Surveying is an invaluable avenue for donor communication. Actually, blogging can also be a wonderful tool for certain organizations. […]

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Mindset matters in fundraising? Are you sure?! Yes…I’m positive.

May 22, 2017

When you think about fundraising, how often do you consider mindset and its importance in the fundraising that you’re doing? Ah, mindset. It’s a word that’s been gaining traction in the fundraising community, and experts everywhere have weighed in on what it means, as well as what its role in fundraising looks like. Mindset has […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017

Who’s the winner of our Power of Thank You thank you letter contest? Find out! What does donor-centricity really look like? Is it about the fluffiest thank you or “coddling” your donors? No. It involves honesty, openness, transparency. This week’s What’s In My Inbox is one of the best examples I’ve seen. How donor-centrism perpetuates inequity, and […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Ontario Nature inspires in the face of resistance

May 16, 2017

In this week’s inbox installment, I’m casting my spotlight on Ontario Nature once again, and for good reason. Their most recent email to hit my inbox was candid and transparent from the subject header onward. “The Supreme Court refused to hear our case,” it begins. It’s not so much about failure as the need to […]

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Before and After Thank You Letter Contest! | And the winner is…

May 15, 2017

Ahhh, the post-donation thank you letter. Some say donors are lucky to receive one, but I say something different. Really, receiving a thank you letter is only half of the battle. Remember, I wear multiple hats, so I’m both a fundraiser and a donor. I’ve got 360 degree vision, which means I’ve seen it all. […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

Everyone’s not a data person. So could you update your board members in a livelier way? Check out At Your Next Board Meeting Wow Your Members With a Fundraising Results Infographic to learn how one Grow Report subscriber used a tactic we shared in a recent Motivate Monday. And do read the beautiful and heartfelt […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Do you think your donor newsletter can’t raise money? Think again!

May 10, 2017

“What is my gift accomplishing?” It’s the number one question at the back of every donor’s mind. So what is the best way to communicate the impact of your donor’s gift? When I asked donor retention expert and international copywriter, Lisa Sargent, what the three best methods of impact reporting are, she responded with: The […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Revisiting Ten Oaks Project in memory of someone very special

May 9, 2017

In this inbox installment, I’m revisiting Ten Oaks Project. I first cast my spotlight on this nonprofit back in early 2015. Their knack for stellar storytelling made me not only sit up and take notice. Through their use of transformational storytelling, Ten Oaks shared the story of a young girl’s journey, and they not only provided […]

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At Your Next Board Meeting Wow Your Members With a Fundraising Results Infographic

May 8, 2017

Members and subscribers alike know that I am forever on their case about having everyone – board members, staff, volunteers – together on the same page. Take this post from the summer of 2014, “When Board Members Say ‘I’ll Do Anything But Fundraise’ | 4 Tips”  for instance. In that post, I shared four ways […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 5, 2015

May 5, 2017

The latest numbers from the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey show that for every 100 donors nonprofits gain, they lose 99 through attrition. Could you combat that with a simple three-part auto responder thank you series? How are you keeping your giving days donors? Sometimes (most times) the simplest solution is the best. Witness this scathingly brilliant […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Brittany’s Hope’s annual report alternative is straight to the point

May 3, 2017

In this mailbox installment, I’m once again casting my spotlight on Brittany’s Hope, an organization that I support as a monthly sponsor. I’m emotionally tied to their work and mission, they consistently communicate with me to strengthen our bond, and they’re geographically close to me, located only a couple hours away. “Near and dear to […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Your online tip of the day!

May 2, 2017

I’ve got a question for you. When it comes to communicating with your supporters, do you communicate with them how *they* want to be communicated with, or do you communicate with them the way you think you should? You already know it’s not about you. It’s about them. Do you take the time to create opportunities […]

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A Three-Part Autoresponder Series to Raise Your Donor Retention Rate

May 1, 2017

If you’re overcome with a sinking feeling when you think about donor retention, you have good reason. Donor retention’s numbers are still abysmal. The reality is, right now in 2017, nonprofit organizations are continuing to struggle to keep their donors, and rates hover around 45%. The latest numbers from the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey show that […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017

Donors hate ‘em. Fundraising gurus say that “increase response by a third.” What to do? This week’s What’s in my Mailbox. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology knows how to surprise and delight. How could you emulate their creative new class? This week’s What’s in my Inbox. Warren Buffet’s Family Has Pledged $90 Million—And Devised An […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | A tried and true that needs to make like a dinosaur (hint: donors hate them)!

April 26, 2017

 For this week’s mailbox installment, I’m going *there* once again, venturing off into the land of “how not to.” I’m also going to vent a little bit, but it’ll be short, and it’ll actually be worthwhile for you to hear. I promise. I’m going to start off by pointing out something that’s not only true, but […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Cornell Lab Bird Academy’s ultra creative “early bird” special

April 26, 2017

I’ve never seen anything quite like this email communication, and that’s just one reason why I wanted to share it with you. So for this week’s inbox installment, I’m casting my spotlight on the most recent message from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which contains an early bird offer for enrolling in their self-paced ecourse, Be […]

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Power of Storytelling | What can you do with just 30 seconds of video?

April 17, 2017

  Birmingham-based Neverthirst is a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to providing clean water solutions to the poor, particularly those who live in North Africa and Southern Asia. Below their “Donate Now” button is a caption reading, “Where there is clean and living water, life flows.” It’s not so much a compelling catchphrase as a universal truth. […]

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Do you need a new attitude…or a new job?

April 17, 2017

Do you remember Stay or Leave? Pros and Cons of Changing Jobs? If you’ve been in the sector for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced the following… Locking down the ideal job, and then, as if out of the blue, having a micromanaging boss arrive on the scene. Or coping with a cut in […]

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