We’re seeing monthly giving programs with retention rates of 90% (and up!). But managing the back-end systems of your monthly giving program can be tricky. That’s why you’ll want to budget 30 minutes to watch this Motivate Monday session, featuring Erica Waasdorp, author of Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, and monthly giving guru extraordinaire.

“Is a thank you letter every month necessary?” That’s one of the most frequently-asked questions we receive in our nonprofit monthly giving classes. Your monthly donors give twelve times a year. What’s the best way to show impact and steward your monthlies? This week’s What’s in my Inbox features a terrific example from the Global Autism Project.

As Lisa Sargent notes: “This is heartfelt work that you do.” How are you sharing the joy with your donors? This week’s What’s in my Mailbox features a thank you letter — from a cat! You’re going to love it.

When you approach your fundraising — always — purely from the donor’s perspective, you can never go wrong. “Do I Have To?” No One Really Likes Your Donor Cultivation Events. New from GoalBusters.

Why, for nearly six decades, has American philanthropy failed to grow beyond a 2% share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? New from The Agitator.

Why is an annual giving program so scary? New from Mary Cahalane.

Archives

How can you fundraise SMARTER — not harder? We’re just full of paradoxes, aren’t we? Every day you’re out there, dealing with society’s most complex problems, and yet many of us are given next to no resources. We’re expected to tackle serious issues as homelessness and human trafficking…while having our hands tied by funding restrictions. This post, from 2014, outlines exactly what you need to move into true sustainability.

Learning Opportunities

Could your organization use an influx of new donors? Silly question, right? Yes, even with the best donor retention practices, you need systems in place to be bringing new donors into the pipeline. From one of the creators of the landmark program 100 Donors in 90 Days comes Donor Acquisition 101 | Basics & More™. Click here to learn more and register.

Whether you’re convincing your partner to do something, meeting with a donor, or planning an event, they all have one thing in common. There are questions that will smooth the way and make it easier for everyone to be on board. Join us for our next Motivate Monday session when Susan Detwiller will be on hand to share the questions that matter. Monday at 1 pm EST. Save your seat here.

And our Basics & More™ and Simple Development Systems students will want to join us next month when LigiaPeña, who manages Planned Giving for Greenpeace International joins us for a comprehensive Planned Giving training.

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What’s In My Mailbox | Popeye the rescued cat has a message for HSNEGA’s donors…

April 18, 2018

Just a couple of months ago, I cast my spotlight on Julie Edwards, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, and Basics & More Alum.  Julia navigates fundraising, major gifts, and planned giving over at HSNEGA. You might remember my post about her amazing Facebook Live session, where she gave supporters a heavy […]

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What’s In My Inbox | How to reach out to your monthlies with gratitude — on the regular!

April 18, 2018

“Is a thank you letter every month necessary?” That’s one of the most frequently-asked questions we receive in our nonprofit monthly giving classes. Your monthly donors give twelve times a year. You don’t have to limit yourself by sending one thank you letter out per month. Besides, that would be both redundant and tiring — […]

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Motivate Monday | Bolster your back-end for monthly giving success!

April 16, 2018

What’s the one thing that your organization can do to truly connect with your donors on a deeper level, lead to greater planned giving, and grow your sustainable income — all at the same time? If you guessed monthly giving, you’re right! Retention rates stand at a bleak 45%. It’s undeniable: retention is one of […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

Is your nonprofit email marketing consistent…and fun? This week’s What’s in my Inbox. Do you ever feel like an impostor? Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing, or computer error? Do you believe “If I can do it, anybody can?” Do you agonize over the smallest flaws in your work? Do you worry […]

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Motivate Monday | Beating the Impostor Syndrome beast in fundraising life — and beyond!

April 11, 2018

Do you ever feel like an impostor? Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing, or computer error? Do you believe “If I can do it, anybody can?” Do you agonize over the smallest flaws in your work? Do you worry that it’s a matter of time before you’re “found out?” You’re not alone. […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Friday is prime time to reach out to donors with some feel-good fun

April 10, 2018

Just like direct mail, email lives on! Yes, despite the influx of social media and texting, email is still the best online channel for developing a one-on-relationship with your donor. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle. And one of the primary things to consider as you build your organization’s email program is the role […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | An annual report on a postcard? N Street Village shows how

April 4, 2018

N Street Village is a D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering homeless and low-income women in the area through offering an array of opportunities geared toward helping them live their best lives. Available options include services, housing, and advocacy. N Street Village is aware that some of these women struggle with stigma and shame, which […]

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What’s In My Inbox | #GrownAssAdult dogs win with APAMO’s newest campaign

April 3, 2018

The Animal Protective Association of St. Louis has a message for all of you doggy lovers out there: Please adopt a grown-ass adult dog. Maybe you already know that raising a puppy is a serious chore that involves time and commitment on your part — kind of like the responsibility that comes with raising a […]

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Fundraising Friday | March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018

March for Our Lives sends their message loud and clear: Never again. If you missed Emma González’s gripping speech, you can watch it in this week’s Power of Storytelling. Do you take the time to create opportunities that welcome feedback from your donors? Lisa Sargent has shared a wonderful example on Twitter that shows how […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Handling expired or compromised credit card payments

March 29, 2018

When one of my credit cards was hacked – probably by an illegal gas pump skimmer – many of my automated payments, like insurance, faced the risk of cancellation. A hacked card. Expired or lost credit cards. What systems does your organization have in place for these everyday inconveniences? As a monthly donor to many […]

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The Power of Storytelling | March for Our Lives sends their message loud and clear: Never again

March 28, 2018

On March 24, 2018, March for Our Lives happened for the first time. Shortly after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, student organizers led the demonstration in D.C., teaming up with the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety to plan a march to protest gun violence. The turnout in Washington was nothing short […]

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What’s In My Inbox | NARAL opens my eyes wide with their latest email (and quiz!)

March 21, 2018

The most recent email from NARAL to hit my inbox contained a quiz, which I’d never seen from them before, and rarely see in nonprofit communications to begin with. Answering each question and having my results assessed after I was finished turned out to be an eye-opener. I’m someone who tries to stay consistently informed […]

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Power of Storytelling | Kayla keeps sick kids smiling — and she makes us smile, too!

March 20, 2018

Kayla Cares 4 Kids is the triumphant outcome of a young girl’s determination in the face of adversity and boredom. Four years ago, when Kayla Abramowitz was just 11 years old, she was making countless hospital trips due to her battle with autoimmune diseases, and so was her brother, Ethan. Kayla not only wanted to […]

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Fundraising Friday | March 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

We’ve all got our horror stories. Is your boss or ED holding you back from successful fundraising? Change is possible, but it doesn’t usually happen overnight. Here’s help. No one exemplifies the sheer power of storytelling quite like HONY’s Brandon Stanton. Now he’s done it again, raising $1,943,443 of $1.8M goal, raised by 37,330 people […]

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Is your ED or board holding you back from successful fundraising?

March 14, 2018

“I’ve written the perfect appeal. But my boss won’t let me use it!” -a subscriber “Does anyone really READ those letters? I hate them!” -a nonprofit founder and Executive Director In my work, I hear variations of the above refrains on a regular basis. So in a recent Grow Report I asked my students and […]

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What’s In My Inbox | A one second survey? Zingerman’s shows you how…

March 13, 2018

You already know that surveys are an invaluable tool for building donor relationships. When discussing surveys and how to carry them out, I’ve made it clear more than once that short and sweet is the way to go. “Short and sweet” ensures that your donors’ attention won’t stray, and that they’ll actually complete your survey […]

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Power of Storytelling | Brandon Stanton once again proves that love conquers all

March 12, 2018

You probably already know who Brandon Stanton is and what he does, either from countless posts within this space that have featured him or reading and hearing about him in the news. Brandon utilizes HONY, his long-running storytelling curation space, as an agent of change to fight against an ongoing catastrophe that has impacted thousands […]

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Fundraising Friday | March 9, 2018

March 9, 2018

Think about it: your email welcome represents a prime opportunity for engagement. Are you {{{horrors!}}} using the standard message that comes with your email service provider? Engage potential supporters right from the start. Here are three to inspire you. If you were on my Bloomerang webinar last week, What Are Simple Development Systems And How Can […]

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Simple Development Systems Every Fundraiser Can Use: Beyond the Hour

March 7, 2018

Our March 1st Bloomerang webinar, What Are Simple Development Systems And How Can They Help You?, included an overview of a handful of the systems an organization needs to have in place in order to grow an effective individual giving program. Due to time constraints, we were unable to get to all of the questions […]

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