Are your donors ‘insiders?’ Understanding this thing called donor-centricity is critical to your fundraising success.

Winter is coming, and the donor-centric fundraising model must evolve. New from Nonprofit With Balls.

Lisa Sargent shares Ushering in the Age of Donor Realism: Six Ways My Donor-Centric Copy Is Shifting.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. New from Nancy Schwartz.

Net neutrality is a critical issue for nonprofits.

The State of Relationship Fundraising – A Conversation, Part II covers the seven key drivers that increase donor satisfaction, increase commitment and loyalty, and increase lifetime value (you’ll find solid examples of all seven in our upcoming Power of Thank You). From Fundraising 101.

Remember Michelle Brinson, storyteller for Nashville Rescue Mission? They’re the organization that raises over $2 million a year from their print newsletter alone through the power of their strongly donor-focused storytelling. Now, in this week’s What’s in my Mailbox, Michelle shares NRM’s latest newsletter. Don’t miss it.

From The Agitator this week: What Is a Nonprofit Website Visitor Worth? and don’t miss the Raise More, Ask Less series (we’ll be incorporating these findings into our courses).

New from Mary Cahalane. Donors ARE heroes. So are you.

Is your nonprofit’s website mobile friendly? I’m not — yet (a whole site revamp is in the works this summer)! New from Beth Kanter.

We brought you the Hemingway app (great for ridding your copy of the extraneous), and the Headline Analyzer, a terrific tool to gauge the emotional impact of your email subject headers Now, via Michelle Brinson of Nashville Rescue Mission, comes the SHORTER thesaurus. Your donors’ attention spans are getting shorter — use shorter words to captivate.

What drives us donors crazy??? Sometimes you make it hard for us to love you. Nonprofit Fundraising Do’s and Don’ts (with pictures!) New from yours truly.

Why Nonprofit Fundraisers Should Give More Attention to Gen X Donors.


Are your donors ‘insiders?’ Understanding donor-centricity

April 24, 2015

Have you been feeling like you don’t quite ‘get’ this donor-centered stuff? Have you even (maybe?) thought that it’s all a load of crap? You’re not alone. For many fundraisers, “donor-centered fundraising” is just another jargon-y loaded catchphrase. And now there’s talk about a shift from donor-centered…to community-centered. To see what I mean, take some […]

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Mastery vs. Information Overload. How Are You Coping?

April 23, 2015

I remember my first fundraising job like it was yesterday. Whoa. Working for a grantmaking foundation vs. working for an all-volunteer nonprofit meant that I went from… Plush offices…to a desk in the hallway, shared with a volunteer Seamless technology…to printers that seized up whenever I tried to print more than 50 pages A generous […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Storytelling + Donor-Centered + Design = Big $$$

April 22, 2015

Remember Michelle Brinson, storyteller for Nashville Rescue Mission? They’re the organization that raises over $2 million a year from their print newsletter alone through the power of their strongly donor-focused storytelling. But what do you get when you complement superlative storytelling with evocative design? Michelle has shared Nashville Rescue Mission’s latest read for us. Michelle […]

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Ushering in the Age of Donor Realism: Six Ways My Donor-Centric Copy Is Shifting

April 21, 2015

Off record, Pam Grow and I chat often on the state of fundraising. We notice a lot of the same things and – to be blunt – it’s a relief to know you’re not the only one on the block thinking it. Lately it’s been that the 24/7 donor communications fiesta … is getting a […]

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Nonprofit Fundraising Do’s and Don’ts (with pictures!)

April 20, 2015

I’ve learned more from being a donor than any class I’ve ever taken. For many nonprofit organizations, though, you make loving tough. A few pet peeves: 1. Don’t tell me about your fund woes. I don’t give a rat’s a$$. Here’s an email subject header that makes me rush for my wallet. Not.     […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015

Ask, thank, report, thank some more (you can’t have too many thanks), ask again…rinse and repeat. Most importantly, figure out what works for YOUR donors. And don’t miss Roger Craver’s series, Raise More, Ask Less. Read ’em all. Answering the age-old question: What if two of our similar grant proposals get funded? Do you give […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Planned Giving Mailing Piece

April 15, 2015

Is nature close to your heart? In this simple planned giving mailing piece, The Nature Conservancy gives supporters the opportunity to ‘share your secret’ or request more information on including the organization in estate planning. Click to view the package*. If the term “planned giving” bring to mind endless legalese, decades before seeing results, and […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Nonprofit Email Marketing Secrets with National Audubon Society

April 14, 2015

Who doesn’t love hummingbirds? This simple, stunning email from the National Audubon Society lures readers to check out ‘tips for attracting hummingbirds to your yard, read a special report on hummingbirds and climate change, and find out how you can protect them at home.” Their corresponding website features lots of options for engagement, including how […]

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7 Fabulous Nonprofit Fundraising Lessons From Farming

April 13, 2015

Growing up in Jamaica I was surrounded by small farms. I loved seeing rows of crops popping out of the ground like soldiers in perfect formation. I marveled at their rapid growth. What magic! Crop growth may seem magical but farming is hard work. It requires preparation and nurturing to produce good harvests. Some plants […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015

Don’t take my word for it. “But while mobile and social may have captured the hearts and minds of consumers and marketers, email, phone, and direct mail continue to do a better job of capturing sales.” (Emphasis mine). Email and Phone Uber Alles. It’s all just organizing: How small organizations can punch above their weight […]

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16 (yes, 16!) Easy Ways to Lead Your Organization’s Culture Shift

April 9, 2015

We’ve all been there. Feeling unappreciated. Working for organizations with a revolving door of staff (especially development directors). Mired in dysfunction. It can all be a bit discouraging, no? But here’s my question to you: Are you following…or leading? When everyone is on board, right from the start, not only will your fundraising flow (you’ll […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Multichannel Appeal from the Heart

April 8, 2015

How do you start when you’re starting at zero? Today’s What’s in my Mailbox features a direct mail piece and e-appeal for Grace Café, “soon to be located in Danville, KY, is a nonprofit, pay-what-you-can community restaurant committed to serving delicious, fresh, locally-sourced, organic-when-possible, highly-nutritious food for everyone in our community.” Copywriter Mary Cahalane, who […]

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What’s in my Inbox | National Wildlife Federation Inspires and Delights

April 7, 2015

How are nonprofits using the power of email? Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox. National Wildlife Federation wins with this curiosity-inspiring email with the simple subject header: QUIZ: Which One’s the Monarch? An orange, black and white butterfly alights on a milkweed blooming in your garden. But is it a monarch butterfly? […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

The difference between passive listening (what we’re used to) and Active Listening. New from Seth Godin. My dear friend Lisa Sargent’s Loyalty Letter is always chock full of goodies. Don’t miss Art of the Ask: 7+ Tips on Fundraising Offers and Reply Slips. And, after you read it, go subscribe. From 101Fundraising: “Ah, Integration: If […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Legacy giving from the heart

April 1, 2015

Fundraiser Grrl Rory Green submitted today’s What’s in my Mailbox, a heartfelt legacy appeal. “Throughout human history, there have always been more people in need than people ready to help. There have always been more victims than good Samaritans. There seems to have always been more pain than love in this world.  My vision is […]

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What’s in my Inbox | A stellar enews

March 31, 2015

Today’s What’s in my Inbox was submitted by John Haydon. John writes: “Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s monthly newsletter is an excellent example of an email newsletter. First, they give subscribers the option of viewing the newsletter in a browser, which is important for people using mobile devices. Second, they lead with a powerful image […]

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Storytelling Can Change The World | Book Review

March 30, 2015

Storytelling is a crucial component of the human experience. From the time we’re very young, we begin learning through stories. We’re constantly communicating through stories. We share our experiences with others through our stories. And yet despite the profound importance of storytelling in our day-to-day lives, it’s so very easy for us to take it […]

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Fundraising Friday | March 27, 2015

March 27, 2015

New from Beth Kanter, Crowdfunding: Can Partnering With An Internet Celebrity Make Your Campaign An Overnight Success? We’ll be partnering later this year with one of our own SDS members, who has run a couple of scathingly successful crowd funding campaigns, to bring you an all new training. Hey, if you’re the kind of fundraiser […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Good donor focus gets lost on a ‘dear friend’ letter

March 25, 2015

This renewal letter from Glide, features plenty of donor-focused writing (lot’s of ‘yous,’ lots of references to what the donor is making possible), a strong story (and photograph) in Yolanda, and a really terrific two-page impact statement.  A few ways this piece could have been stronger (click pieces to read): an actual ask (too much […]

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