In this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling I present a very special share from the brilliant John Lepp of Agents of Good: their latest gratitude report for The Redwood in Ontario. You won’t want to miss it.

How are nonprofit organizations thanking their donors via email? Some of my favorites in this week’s What’s in my Inbox.

Fundraiser Grrl Rory Green has generously shared this week’s What’s in my Mailbox, a stellar holiday appeal from BC SPCA.

Look Who Just Moved Into the Neighborhood: How Not to Approach Fundraising. New from NonprofitPRO.

No Time For a Full Campaign? My 3 Must-Do Tactics for Your Year-End Online Fundraiser. Terrific advice from Kerri Karvetski.

What does it mean to be donor-centered? Truly? This brilliant post from Rachel Ramjattan might make you rethink everything you know about donor-centered fundraising.

MUST READ from the Veritus Group. Make 2016 the Year of the Donor Database.


Looking for novel ways to thank your donors? Check out last year’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival.

Learning Opportunities

We’re keeping registration for our Basics & More™ All Access Ticket open through this coming Monday. Featuring 20 classes in board fundraising, creating your development plan, monthly giving, bequest giving, direct mail and online fundraising, stewardship, and more, the All Access Ticket is simply the best value I offer (if you purchased each course separately, even at Early Bird pricing, this package would run in excess of $1200). Take a look and see if it’s right for your organization.


What’s in my Mailbox | BC SPCA Holiday Mailing

November 25, 2015

Rory Green, friend and Fundraiser Grrl extraordinaire, graciously sends along select direct mail pieces that have captured her attention. She’s been passionate about fundraising ever since she was a wee one, and the mailings she sends my way are consistently the best of the best. The really good stuff includes this recent BC SPCA holiday […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Thanksgiving thanks 2015

November 24, 2015

  During the US holiday week of Thanksgiving, many nonprofit organizations are taking the opportunity to thank the donors who make their work possible. Human Rights Campaign offers up gratitude for your support throughout their journey. Best Friends Animal Society comes through with a marvelous thank you video sure to charm. Thirteen reminds us that […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | The Redwood gratitude report

November 23, 2015

Just this last week, I was reminded of how powerful simple can be as I read through nonprofit communicator Jan Gallagher’s recent enews, Simple is Better – and Cheaper. You can read it here. While you’re visiting her page, definitely take a moment to subscribe for regular tips on how you can communicate simpler (and, […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 20, 2015

November 20, 2015

I first became aware of the power of serialization years ago when I was reviewing grant proposals. One organization returned year after year, with proposals so compelling that the entire staff couldn’t wait to read them. How did they do it? This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling with another lesson from HONY. How will your […]

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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Book Review)

November 19, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her memoir turned motion picture, Eat, Pray, Love, has most recently ventured into self-help territory with her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Without Fear, released just this past summer. From start to finish, Elizabeth is approachable, candid, and engaging, and that makes her all the more compelling. She communicates with […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | What does a new donor welcome pack look like?

November 18, 2015

Some of my most often asked questions center around welcome packs. What should they include? When do I send it? Should it include a new ask? Creating your internal processes to welcome new donors into your organization’s family is a major component of our online course, Power of Thank You | Basics & More™. The […]

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What’s in my Inbox | #GivingTuesday email examples

November 17, 2015

How is your organization factoring Giving Tuesday into your year-end fundraising? Today’s What’s in my Inbox highlights three different email takes from 2014. I loved this email from FINCA, an organization with a mission to “alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living.” Their Giving […]

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Nonprofit Storytelling | What Happens Next: The Power of Serialization

November 16, 2015

For almost as long as storytelling has been around, so has serialization, the process of converting a narrative into easily digestible installments. Both radio and television have often relied on a continuing plot that unfolded, episode by episode. Think of the “Who Shot J. R.?” storyline featured on the TV show, Dallas, and how viewers […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 13, 2015

November 13, 2015

Did you get a chance to read the wonderful fundraising appeal letter from Big Bend Hospice featured last week? You’ll definitely want to see how Big Bend is sharing the same story with video. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. How do you fill your communications calendar? Thank you is always nice. This week’s What’s […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Oxfam Canada

November 11, 2015

OXFAM Canada, a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing the basic rights of human beings afflicted with poverty, with a strong focus on women, has launched an ingenious campaign named Threads of Change. From the mailing envelope, to the letter from start to finish, the whole thing is just undeniably powerful. What makes their fundraising campaign […]

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What’s in my Inbox | All you need is love

November 10, 2015

Clare Boothe Luce once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” How I wish more fundraisers grasped the concept of simple. This stuff isn’t rocket science: love your donors, let them know what their gifts are accomplishing, and thank them profusely. Longtime readers know that I recommend a bare minimum of 12 touch points a year, […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Taking your story multichannel

November 9, 2015

Never forget the importance of not only telling your organization’s stories as best you can, but disseminating them across all available channels of communication. Doing so enables you to maximize its effectiveness. It allows you to reach audiences of prospective donors, far and wide. Plus, depending on which channels that you opt to utilize, whether […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

The Fundraising Stupidity of ‘Free’ and Cheap. New, from The Agitator. Are you guilty? The story of the teacher who helps the student become better is practically as old as the tale of time. But as I read the story of Madeline and Xin Xin, I still couldn’t help but sigh, shed a tear, and […]

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How is your organization creating a culture of philanthropy?

November 5, 2015

Hey there, small shop folks, neck sore from wearing too many hats?  Take a load off by working with your colleagues to build a strong culture of philanthropy within your organization. Fundraising is a funny business.  Within social purpose organizations especially, fundraisers are often charged with the task of persuading individuals who do not benefit […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Dare you not to cry

November 4, 2015

When it comes down to it, what do you think is most important in your appeal letter? Is it the ask and all of its little particulars, like the timing, how many times, and structure? The use of “you” versus we? It’s almost too easy to get bogged down in the do’s and don’t’s of […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Potomac Conservancy’s Trump Stumps campaign

November 3, 2015

What has made Potomac Conservancy’s petition to protect the river banks from disaster their most successful one? Well, for one thing, the disaster in question involved removing trees to clear the shoreline in order to build a golf course. For another thing, the man behind the plans was none other than Donald J. Trump. […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | The transforming power of love

November 2, 2015

The story of the teacher who helps the student become better is practically as old as the tale of time. But as I read the story of Madeline and Xin Xin, I still couldn’t help but sigh, shed a tear, and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And that’s because despite the prevalence of these […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015

2014 Nonprofit Storytelling | Basics & More™ graduate Heifer International knows the power of transformational storytelling. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. Instead of asking How often should I be asking?, ask yourself this. This week’s What’s in my Inbox. One of the best examples I’ve seen of Consistency, continuity and premiums in direct mail. […]

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November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival Call for Submissions: What are you Doing to Adopt an Abundance Mindset?

October 29, 2015

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continually. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson For those of us who have spent any amount of time navigating the nonprofit sector, […]

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