You’ll find me referring again and again to Mercy Corps email communications, and with good reason. So many lessons in this email reporting 30 days after the Nepal quake.

  • Donor love, check. (“thanks to dedicated supporters like you”)
  • Beautiful photo, check.
  • Clear, clean and simple (What, Where, How). Check.

The email redirects to your 30-day Nepal impact report.




Fundraising Friday | May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

You’ve got a direct mail swipe file, your grant swipe file…do you have an email swipe file? This week’s What’s in my Inbox. (Take a minute to comment and tell me which organizations are in your swipe file!) Which is worse: root canal or fundraising? Is your fundraising a pain in the ask? New from […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Political fundraising for your swipe file

May 19, 2015

How do you master fun, engaging, ‘donate-able’ email copy? Start by creating your own nonprofit email ‘swipe file’ to keep enewsletters, eappeals, and other communications. And you may want to begin by subscribing to Emily’s List, an American political action committee (PAC) that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office, and Al […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

I’ve been blogging for years on the importance of your organization’s welcome email. Check out this week’s What’s in my Inbox for a couple of exceptional examples. How can you combine your annual report with a soft ask? Solid example from Food for the Poor in this week’s What’s in my Mailbox. My friend Debra […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Mailbox | Miniature annual report celebrates donors

May 13, 2015

Food For The Poor shares their latest annual report via a personalized letter, a mini (5” X 7.5”) report that covers all the bases, and donor certificate of appreciation.

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Exceptional Welcome Email

May 12, 2015

I liked everything about these two Welcome emails from National Center for Lesbian Rights, starting with the subject line: “This is just the beginning…” NCLR issues a warm welcome, lets me know exactly what to expect in terms of emails, and features a beautiful close, “Together towards a new day.” The followup email, with the […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015

Fabulous post from Beth Kanter on Transforming Nonprofit Staff Into Champions on Social. How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? There’s still time: check out this week’s What’s in my Inbox for examples of how some organizations are sharing mama love. And the celebration continues. More Mother’s Day donor love in What’s in my Mailbox. Nancy […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Mailbox | Mother’s Day Love (continued)

May 6, 2015

The mission of Intervale Center, a nonprofit located in Burlington, Vermont, is to strengthen community food systems. So their Mother’s Day mailing, featuring a card urging supporters to ‘plant a tree in your mother’s name’ integrates beautifully with the holiday (click to view images). See What’s in my Inbox | Mother’s Day Love to see […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Mother’s Day Love

May 5, 2015

As Nancy Schwartz notes, “There’s no better way for your organization to get the attention of your supporters and prospects (and the media) than by piggybacking on what’s already top of mind.” And Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity for ‘right thing, right now’ marketing. Read on for just a few of the examples that […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

Does failure scare you? How smart nonprofits are using failures to become more successful new via Movie Mondays and Beth Kanter. My friend Amy Eisenstein has a novel way to make board retreats fun! Last week we talked about treating your donors like ‘insiders.’ But what does that look like? This week’s What’s in my […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | Covering a catastrophic event (& treating supporters like insiders)

April 28, 2015

Saturday’s catastrophic earthquake in Nepal has already left nearly 1,000 dead. Many more are feared trapped under rubble, officials say. Possible, a nonprofit healthcare company that delivers high-quality, low-cost healthcare to the poor, wins with this email sent shortly after the quake. Copywriter Lisa Sargent noted that the email appealed to her because “they very […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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.     […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →