FundraisingFriday


The scathingly brilliant Rory Green is back with Who Would You Rather Ask for a Gift: A Woman or a Man?  Lots to think about.  I’m joining forces with Rory in 2015 for an all new course on working with program staff (if you haven’t read her guest post, it’s one of my favorites).

Why is emotional storytelling so important?  In this week’s What’s in my Mailbox I feature a masterful example of nonprofit storytelling.  Don’t miss it.  And now...imagine for a moment if this letter had instead shared their statistics of numbers served?

it seems like everyone is busy rewriting their thank you email…after reading this week’s edition of What’s in my Inbox, featuring an email thank you that positively oozes donor love.  Don’t miss it.  (A special thank you to Lisa Sargent and Denisa Casement for sharing this week’s examples.)

Why fundraisers shouldn’t waste their money on “awareness” campaigns.  New from Jeff Brooks.

The Dos and Don’ts of Donor Thank You Calls.  New from yours truly.

Retention Fundraising | A Review.

Our friends over at The Agitator have a fabulous new free tool, the Donor Commitment Feedback Widget for Nonprofits.  You’ll want to pay particular attention to Kevin’s comments: “everyone is in the donor service” business.  It’s not only a cop out to say you don’t have time to listen to your donors, it’s stupid.  Because — trust me on this — when you develop a donor-focused organization, your fundraising will achieve a state of nirvana.

Must read post from Sean Triner:  Brand awareness is King!  Or is it?

Micro Documentaries presents How to attract new supporters to your year-end campaign: The “Meet Chuna” case study.  Look for an all new Basics & More course next year on how even the most tech-challenged nonprofit can create video.

In The Downtrodden Strike Back: Fundraisers Rate and Expose Lousy CEOs and Boards, The Agitator is urging us to expose the ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ nonprofit CEOs.  What do you think?

What’s my favorite writing book?  I’ve got quite a few, but the one I reread almost every year is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. If you’re a fan too, you’ll love this interview with King where he shares how he teaches writing.  And if you’re not a fan, remember: we’re not writing for great literature, we’re writing to engage.

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Retention Fundraising | A Review

September 18, 2014

Flashback to 2000.  I was working in my first nonprofit development job for a small regional nonprofit — an organization with the typical fundraising complaints – magnified three times.  In a matter of days I realized that fundraising and systems were both a mess.   What to focus on first?  Our most highly regarded volunteer told […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Extraordinary storytelling

September 17, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. Storytelling is the single most powerful way to connect people to your mission. Whether yours is a human services agency, an arts organization, an educational organization, an advocacy organization, or an […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Best email thank you

September 16, 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. While the thank you letters that cross my desk have improved considerably, email thank you’s are lagging far behind.  This email thank you from Merchants Quay Ireland, though, is a rare exception…and […]

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The Dos and Don’ts of Donor ‘Thank You’ Calls

September 15, 2014

One of my Grow Report subscribers recently asked, “If a donor doesn’t give you their phone number, is it creepy to look it up in the White Pages in order to make a thank-you call?” Kieran went on to add, “On a related note, should we require phone numbers on our online donation form?” I’ve […]

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Fundraising Friday | September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

The number of older online donors has doubled in only four years.  Older Donors Catch Up in Online Giving.  New from Joanne Fritz. Retention Win #1.  Say Thank You.  New from The Agitator.  Pay particular attention to Lisa Sargent’s comment… Mystery Shopping for Fundraisers.  Also from The Agitator. 101 Fundraising offers up the specifics on […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | When systems fail

September 10, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. When a staff member leaves with loose ends undone…  When there’s a breakdown in systems and you’re just not sure your acknowledgement went out…  Rather than doing nothing, here’s how one […]

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What’s in my Inbox | A short lesson for fundraisers

September 9, 2014

I’ve been a fan of Mike Dooley since 2004 when his inspirational recorded program, Infinite Possibilities : The Art of Living Your Dreams, helped me move beyond a painful divorce. And I’ve been subscribed to his daily enews, Notes from the Universe, for years now. Founded in 1998 as an email sent out weekly to 38 […]

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Your Year-End Fundraising Appeal Letter | Downloadable Template

September 8, 2014

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  And I’m not talking about back to school season. Many charities receive 40 percent or more of their annual contributions during the final six weeks of the year. Your year-end fundraising simply can’t be underestimated, and the time to start is now. So how can you ensure that your […]

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Fundraising Friday | September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014

“You can spend millions of dollars trying to supply donors with “better” information. That’s what the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation tried to do. It didn’t work. They’ve given up. Or you can be a better fundraiser.”  New from Jeff Brooks.  Fundraising is unfair what you can do about it. 11 Donation form optimization stats […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | In-memoriam thank you

September 3, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. Like millions I was stunned by the passing of Robin Williams. When I saw a list of charities recommended by the Williams’ family for in-memoriam contributions, I impulsively made a small […]

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What’s in my Inbox | A whole lotta love

September 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. Appleseed Ministry, a member of the original Simple Development Systems Pilot Program, has developed solid, consistent email communications that let their friends and donors know how much their support matters. Their short […]

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Fundraising Friday | August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

What?  No Marketing Department?  New from The Agitator. How to Encourage Supporters to Donate Birthdays to Your Cause

. New from Jeff Brooks via Bloomerang.  Is your fundraising on the right track?  Yeah, it really IS that simple. What’s a nonprofit ‘Impact Report’ and how can it help you better communicate with your donors?  Two stellar […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Nonprofit Impact Updates

August 26, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. When I mention a minimum of 12 ‘touches’ per year to clients and Grow Report readers, I’m often met with slack-jawed dismay. “Twelve touches??? We can’t afford 12 newsletters a year!” […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

August 26, 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. Nearly two decades have passed since the release of the movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus. I love how Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation‘s  recent email reminded supporters of the timeless beauty of the film…and […]

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Keeping your fundraising real

August 25, 2014

In the midst of every other nonprofit organization trying to figure out how to create their own ice bucket challenge, Simple Development Systems member Rachel Stephenson Ramjattan shared with me this inspirational story of how Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill developed a life-changing relationship with a next-door millionaire and his wife (click to read the entire […]

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The only Ice Bucket Challenge video you really need to see

August 22, 2014
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Fundraising Friday | August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for the new weekly feature, What’s in my Mailbox.  This week’s focus:  thank you’s. “A well run organization doesn’t have a marketing department.”  New from Jeff Brooks, 6 signs of a well run nonprofit organization. When […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Nonprofit Thank You’s

August 20, 2014

How are small nonprofit organizations using the power of direct mail to love their donors? Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. Loved this thank you letter from the New York City Anti-Violence Project, featuring impact, a terrific close (“With gratitude for all you do,”) and a personal touch (click to read).   […]

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Fundraising Friday | August 15, 2015

August 15, 2014

Please don’t be the kind of leader who cares more about growth than retaining existing donors.  It’s tempting, I know.  But it’s the wrong way to fundraise.  New from Veritus, Familiarity Breeds Contempt. The Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision makes it harder and harder to know who’s on your side.  The landscape abounds with ‘not-for-profits’ […]

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