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Here in the US, November marks the month of Thanksgiving and showing gratitude for our blessings. In keeping with the theme, for the past few years, our November Nonprofit Blog Carnival has celebrated with inspiring ways nonprofit organizations throughout the world are celebrating the donors who make their work possible.

SDS member Rachel Ramjatten of Catholic Charities of Miami says:  “Pam, Thursday was Give Miami Day and we called every donor we had a number for. And every donor received a superhero badge via email within an hour of their gift. One said that she had never ever received a thank you call from a nonprofit after donating. Another wept. He had given a memorial gift in honor of his dad because it was his dad’s birthday and he loved helping people. He was thrilled to share his dad’s story with us. Another wrote me a thank you for helping her feel like a hero and bringing out the hero in her. You’re so right… gratitude is the most important thing.”

Direct mail, social media, email  and video…you’re sure to find a wealth of ideas to inspire you in creating your organization’s ‘attitude of gratitude, now and throughout the year.  


Nonprofit marketing guru Kivi Leroux Miller shares a plethora of thank you videos guaranteed to inspire you.

On a budget?  Fundraising expert Amy Eisenstein with Holiday Donor Gifts that Keep on Giving – Without Costing a Thing

Are you coming from a ‘spirit of gratitude?’  Our friends at Veritus with tips on practicing gratitude on a daily basis.

Nonprofit Hub with Tips on Recognizing the Importance of Gratitude.

Holly Minch of LightBox Collaborative shares Donor Thank You’s with Mission Impact.

When you’re creating your donor thank you’s, don’t forget about your email thank you’s.  A receipt just doesn’t cut it.  Take a look at the best email thank you I’ve received to date in What’s in my Inbox.  

And, when it comes to thank you’s, don’t forget the very personal power of hand-written.  See what a child sponsorship organization and a yoga nonprofit did.  

The born do-gooder and queen of gratitude, Shanon Doolittle gives us a fundraising lesson from Frozen.

Gratitude is better when everyone’s on board!  Wild Apricot with Should Your Organization Take The “Gratitude Challenge”? 

 The legendary Simone P. Joyaux shares what good stewardship is all about in I’m a donor…And I just had an extraordinary experience.

Cindi Phallen of Create Possibility gives us 4 Steps Toward an Attitude of Gratitude.

Fundraising Authority Joe Garecht with Are You Stewarding Your Donors?

The always donor-centered Claire Axelrad brings us Losing Too Many Donors? 5 No-Brainer Ways to Keep Them.

Nonprofit marketing wordsmith Erica Mills with Words of Gratitude – Use Often [#WordsThatWow] 

Our friend, the fabulous Gail Perry, weighs in with a reminder that it’s about more than thank you’s…How A Donor Communications Program Keeps Donors Giving and Giving

Are there things you SHOULDN’T do when thanking donors?  Mary Cahalane answers in Dear Fundraiser: Things I wish you wouldn’t do  

Think a ‘Gravy-Boat Stewardship Challenge’ might trump the ‘ice-bucket challenge?”  Erik Anderson’s got some fun ideas for social media stewardship.

Don’t forget those donors you’ve lost along the way…Donor Guru Lynne Wester with Welcoming Your Lapsed Donors Back.

When I saw Agents of Good’s latest ‘Gratitude Report,’ I couldn’t wait to share it with you.  Here’s what your next ‘annual report’ should be:  Ana’s Story.

Ann Green reminds that we should Be Thankful for our Donors throughout the year. 

A very special ‘knock your socks off’ thank you arrived in my mailbox by way of one of my Simple Development Systems’ members.  Take a look.

How can you thank your grant funders 365 days a year?  From Diane Leonard.

Being ‘good at gratitude’ is a gift, yes, but it can also be learned.  Beth Ann Locke shows us how

Agent John Lepp and fundraiser extraordinaire Rory Green teamed up to bring you a Star Wars themed direct mail thanks.   

How do you wow a fundraiser with a thank you?   See how a very small nonprofit used video.   From Agents of Good.


Keep the ball moving.  December’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival is hosted by Fundraising Authority Joe Garecht.  Joe’s challenging us all to go big in 2015!

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Fundraising Friday | November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

  Is #GivingTuesday worth the hoopla? I’m hearing it from readers and clients alike:  what should we be doing for #GivingTuesday?  Tuesday, December 2 marks the third annual #GivingTuesday, a manufactured holiday created to inspire action around charitable giving. I’ll be real with you: I’m not advising clients (or you) to spend a lot of […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Email welcome message

November 19, 2014

  When a prospect lands on your organization’s website and signs up for your newsletter, what kind of message do they receive?  Is it the standard yawn-inducing Welcome to XYZ org. We are happy to have you as a member of our community. Your email address and interest preferences have been recorded in our database. […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

What can you learn from the leading fundraising guru’s AHA moments?  I asked some of the leading fundraisers to share their biggest AHA moment with you.  Tom Ahern.  Amy Eisenstein.  Joe Garecht.  Gail Perry.  Sandy Rees.   What they had to share may surprise you.  You’ll definitely have an AHA moment or two yourself. How […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Direct mail follow up…

November 12, 2014

How are nonprofit organizations using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox.   This week’s What’s in my Inbox and What’s in my Mailbox are flip-flopped, to show you a great example of integrating email into your direct mail campaign.  If you didn’t see yesterday’s […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Bringing the realities of war home

November 11, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. This extraordinary letter from WarChild comes by way of Rory Green, Fundraiser Grrl, and extraordinary fundraiser.  Rory writes:  “The envelope got my attention right away. And once I opened it the story hooked me. […]

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What Can You Learn From Leading Fundraisers’ Biggest AHA Moments?

November 10, 2014

We’ve all had them. What I refer to as AHA moments, those instances when a lightbulb is suddenly turned on — one that causes you to rethink your way of doing things. Early on in my career, when I was working for a grant making foundation, I remember the time a thank you letter came […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014

  In this week’s What’s in my Mailbox, you’ll find two examples of nonprofit direct mail fundraising letters written using the Basic Appeal Letter Template. This week’s What’s in my Inbox comes from Mary Calahane, with a reminder that gratitude is always good.  New from The Agitator:  Re-engaging Lapsed Customers/Donors, along with my favorite inspiration […]

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Mercy Corps monthly giving program | Interview with Evan Johnson

November 6, 2014

After featuring Mercy Corps’ monthly giving email appeal recently, I was curious about what role monthly giving played in the organization’s overall individual giving strategy and how the program evolved.  Evan Johnson, the Manager of Direct Response Marketing at Mercy Corps, graciously agreed to an interview. How long has your monthly giving program been active? […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Free template to help you raise more with direct mail

November 5, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. We all need a little help sometimes to get us started writing.  Several of my members and subscribers have used my Basic Appeal Letter Template to guide them in writing their direct mail fundraising […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Gratitude is always good

November 4, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox. Today’s email comes to us via fundraising consultant Mary Cahalane of Hands on Fundraising.  Mary writes:   “We all get a great deal of email. Much of it never rises above […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 31, 2014

November 2, 2014

  In the words of President John F. Kennedy: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. How can you stay on top of change?  The Agitator with Heading For A Brick Wall. “We’re so excited about our new website!” “XYZ Foundation announces the release of our 2014 Annual Report!”  Yawn.  […]

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November Nonprofit Blog Carnival | Gratitude and abundance (Call for submissions)

October 29, 2014

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart November is gratitude month.  And, for the past few years, our November Nonprofit Blog Carnival has celebrated with inspiring ways nonprofit organizations throughout the world are celebrating the donors who make their work possible.  (Click here and here for […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | The power of handwritten (OneJustice)

October 29, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. Simple Development Systems member, OneJustice, a nonprofit organization providing legal access for underserved Californians, understands the power of a handwritten note.  When I recently become a sustaining member to their new monthly giving program, […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Storytelling with pictures

October 28, 2014

How are nonprofits using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox. In this timely piece, the Environmental Defense Fund tells a frightening story in just a few well-chosen pictures.  Don’t forget to vote.

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What’s in my Inbox | Seamless IDK social media campaign featuring Ricky Gervais

October 28, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox. You may have seen the video in your Facebook stream.  English comedian Ricky Gervais, along with Dame Judi Dench and stars from Downton Abbey, highlight the ‘I didn’t know’ campaign to […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014

Information overload anyone?  Stay on top of what really matters with The Grow Report and Fundraising Friday. What’s a pre-header and how can it help get YOUR emails opened?  This was only one of dozens of great takeaways from our recent SDS email marketing webinar featuring Derrick Feldmann. Joe Waters with an awesome primer for […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Senior Services new donor welcome kit

October 22, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of direct mail?  Join us every Wednesday for What’s in my Mailbox. I recently donated online to Senior Services in Seattle, WA as part of my ‘Two Gifts a Week’ mystery shopping experiment, and received this direct mail welcome in response.  It includes: a thank you […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Celebrating milestones with supporters

October 21, 2014

How are small to mid-sized nonprofits using the power of email to love their donors?  Join us every Tuesday for What’s in my Inbox. Today’s What’s in my Inbox, via Kivi Leroux Miller, features a short, sweet email announcement from The Island Institute in Maine. They’ve come up with a clever way to announce their […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

You’re a Grow Report reader.  You already know better. Fundraising Fables You Shouldn’t Believe.  Mary Cahalane asks Does a well-written appeal really matter?  The Unsafety Net: How Social Media Turned Against Women.  Under the banner of free speech, companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been host to rape videos and revenge porn—which makes female […]

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