How are you bringing your donors into your mission? This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling features a brilliant example from Oxfam.

Are you remembering to include a dose of fun in your email communications, especially over the summer months? I loved this quiz from Best Friends. I got Pouncy — what cat did you get?

Has nonprofit life got you burnt to a crisp? Words of wisdom from Beth Kanter to save your sanity!

Are you making these nonprofit email newsletter mistakes? New from John Haydon. Plan to join John on live Facebook every Wednesday for the Hump Day Coffee Break.

We’ve got a serious racial leadership gap in the nonprofit community. Find out what you can do.

Absolutely ESSENTIAL reading this week from our friends over at The Agitator: The Board Meeting Swipe File: Fundraising Costs and Investment. Are you a paid subscriber? Well worth the investment.

Our dear friend from Bloomerang, Steven Shattuck, with 3 Bad Reasons to Schedule an Email from Your Nonprofit.

In our work with smaller nonprofits, we have found these 12 Not So Great Realities About Nonprofits and Social Media to be oh so true. Focus, grasshopper!

Mary Cahalane’s work always resonates with me and this week’s post is no exception. 6 Big Mistakes Small Organizations Make With Nonprofit Fundraising.


Are you all over the place? Take a cue from Trader Joe’s and focus in on doing one or two key things really, really well. Pick up some Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Chocolate Almonds for the read :).

Learning Opportunities for Smart Fundraisers

What’s the real secret to fundraising success? It’s all about your story. How are you creating the stories that resonate with your donors? Do you know that you could be raising more money with more effective storytelling, but you don’t know where to find your organization’s best stories? Are you looking for ways to get your board members, staff, and volunteers involved in the storytelling process? Class begins July 3rd. Early Bird pricing ends today for Nonprofit Storytelling | Basics & More™. Register now.

How much time do you spend — or waste — encouraging your board to help with fundraising? Join me and your favorite trainer, Andy Robinson for our next Motivate Monday as he offers a dozen tips and tools to help your board members hold each other accountable – so you can stop nagging (or avoiding) your board. Bonus exercise download! June 26 at 1:00 pm EST. Save your seat here.


Has nonprofit life got you burnt to a crisp? Here’s how to save your sanity!

June 21, 2017

Burnout. If you’ve been in the field of nonprofit work for any length of time, you no doubt know the feeling of being burnt to a crisp…with nothing left to give. Should you quit? Can you recover? Are there steps that you can take to not only relieve your burnout but lead your entire team […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Best Friends Animal Society remembers to include fun!

June 20, 2017

Here in the fundraising world, we treat often treat our donor communications with the utmost seriousness and respect. Don’t veer too far off into that territory, though, or you’ll be in danger of becoming stuffy and as dry as parched grass. Welcome humor, creativity, uniqueness, and all that good stuff into the messages you send to your […]

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The Power of Storytelling | Oxfam’s Hunger Banquet experience

June 19, 2017

Oxfam America is a global movement that has been actively engaged in the fight against poverty for over 70 years. By targeting the key issues of inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources (food, water, and land), Oxfam seeks to rectify the injustice of poverty and realize their vision of an equal, just world. To […]

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Fundraising Friday | June 16, 2017

June 16, 2017

How many donors are lurking in your donor base – donors you don’t believe have the means to leave a bequest, donors who are quietly giving $50 a year (and receiving little love in return)? In Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Never underestimate the power of a schoolteacher, you’ll discover the inspiring story of Elizabeth […]

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Fundraising Friday | June 9, 2017

June 9, 2017

How does a small shop rock their integrated campaign? Learn how with this case study from Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection. For an enewsletter that’s simple, focused, and free of clutter, check out this week’s What’s In My Inbox. But make print your first priority. What do you think about board member term limits? I […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | A Basics & More alum rocks their small shop integrated campaign

June 7, 2017

Small shops can rock direct mail fundraising! Case in point, meet Kathleen Kennedy, Associate Director of Tucson-based Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection. Kathleen is a Basics & More alum who is going above and beyond. Soon after her recent direct mail campaign hit my mailbox, I reached out to Kathleen and asked if I could […]

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What’s In My Inbox | A Basics & More alum rocks their enewsletter

June 6, 2017

Our Savior’s Community Services is a South Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization doing very important work through two vital programs. First, they provide housing to homeless single adults through the Our Savior’s Housing initiative, which brings shelter to over 600 people annually. Second, through their English Learning Center, OSCS provides English language classes to immigrants and refugees. […]

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Fundraising Friday | June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017

For an example of urgency in an email appeal, check out this week’s What’s in my Inbox where I share another prime example from Preemptive Love. Great fundraising is focused on the long-term— taking that donor from first-time gift… to lifetime. And it’s built around the science of human behavior and what actually works. We […]

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What’s In My Inbox | How to focus on the very real need to fight hunger *right now*

May 30, 2017

I’ve supported Preemptive Love Coalition for awhile now. This organization is a global effort and movement that engages “the world’s most polarizing conflicts by confronting fear with acts of love.” Preemptive Love’s activity is donor and supporter-driven, and when their email communications convey this, they do so directly. Like the most recent Preemptive Love email to […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017

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 […]

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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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