When a brand new subscriber signs up for your organization’s updates, how do you welcome them AND find out what makes them tick? I loved this new subscriber welcome email and survey from ONE Campaign and you will too. This week’s What’s in my Inbox.

How did Cindy rock her first fundraising appeal letter – and her entire year-end campaign? What’s in my Mailbox | “That’s why your donation is so important.”
Look for an all new hands-on year-end campaign series this summer.

If there’s one thing that I’ve observed in my practice that drives me absolutely crazy, it’s the tendency – no, let’s call it what it is: the dogged determination – of nonprofits to engage in the never-ending treadmill of never-getting-anywhere ‘busy work.’  Is your nonprofit ready to get off the hamster wheel?

A Culture of Wellbeing as a New Nonprofit Strength: Building Capacity During a Time of Disruption. New from Beth Kanter.

What is a culture of philanthropy? And how can you make it work for your organization? This week’s must-read from Mary Cahalane.

The day of reckoning is coming for nonprofits all across the world. Will your organization be ready? Learn what is coming and how to be ready. New from Greg Warner and Market Smart. We made this mandatory listening in our Planned Giving Intensive class.

“The more opportunities a donor has to give, the higher the chances are they will give, which directly impacts retention rates.” Appeal Volume and the Impact on Online Donor Retention 

What should you do when someone on staff is holding you back from the relationship you’re trying to create with a donor? Jeff Schreifels with a simple (our sector just looooves to overcomplicate everything, don’t we?) solution. Talk To Each Other.  And, if you haven’t started your major gift program, stay tuned for our Getting Started With Major Gift Fundraising | Basics & More™, tailored for small shops, and including contributions from Jeff.

Learning Opportunities

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Motivate Monday is on hiatus until June 4. Plan to join us then when Zach Shefska of Fundraising Report Card returns to chat about data driven fundraising, specifically how an organization can identify key performance metrics (the numbers they’ll need and want to measure consistently to help make strategic decision). Save your seat here.

If your organizational culture doesn’t support fundraising, your results will suffer. If you could use a step-by-step plan to transform your program staff, board, and volunteers into joyful fundraisers, join us for Raise More Money with a Donor-Centered Culture, the newest class in our Basics & More roster. Learn more and register here.


What’s In My Inbox | A relationship-building Welcome email from ONE Campaign

May 22, 2018

ONE Campaign is an international nonprofit advocacy organization of over nine million that works to fight poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. They carry out their mission through raising public awareness and compelling political leaders to support policies and programs that improve — and save — lives. I recently received a Welcome email from […]

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Power of Storytelling | Two artists explain why “The War On Drugs” fails, in words and pictures

May 21, 2018

Awhile ago, Jay-Z and Molly Crabapple teamed up to present the gripping historical narrative that is “The War On Drugs,” bringing it to vivid, colorful life through words and pictures on the New York Times’ website. Wildly successful in their respective fields, both of these individuals wear multiple hats. Brooklyn-born Jay-Z, also known as Sean […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018

A powerful example of narrative storytelling from Southern Poverty Law Center in this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling: “I’m just a normal guy like anyone else” How are you making your donors FEEL? Another terrific example from Heifer International in this week’s What’s in my Inbox. See how this Basics & More Alum raised $20k […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | $20,000 (and no ask!) with her first donor-centered newsletter

May 16, 2018

Mary Bryan is Cofounder and Director of Operations at Child Bridge, Inc., a Montana-based nonprofit ministry that works to find suitable foster and adoptive families and provide them with tools to care for children in need who live within the state. Child Bridge provides a support system for parents and children, and they’ve established partnerships […]

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What’s In My Inbox | It’s all about how you make your donors FEEL

May 15, 2018

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou Maya Angelou spoke many truths over her lifetime, and this was one of them. Her words captured a truth about people. Us. Humanity. Author and keynote speaker Carmine Gallo, writing for Forbes, deemed this quote […]

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Power of Storytelling | “I’m just a normal guy like anyone else”

May 14, 2018

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an Alabama-based nonprofit legal advocacy organization founded a few years after the civil rights movement swept across America. Specializing in civil rights and public interest law, SPLC has been targeting hate groups and extremists since 1971, and in our post-Trump world, their resolve has established their status as a […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

Is your organization living a hand-to-mouth existence? Tied up in *busy* work and nickel and dime fundraising? There’s hope! How are you sharing the stories of your donors’ legacy gifts? I love the planned giving page from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Planned Giving Donor Stories. In this simple planned giving […]

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Power of Storytelling | Is your organization living a hand-to-mouth existence?

May 7, 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride! The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. ~~~ Early in my consulting career, I met with a prospective client. Her nonprofit was an organization serving senior citizens, and it […]

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Fundraising Friday | May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

St. Jude’s uses storytelling as a planned giving tool, and so can you. This week’s What’s in my Inbox.  What are the top crowdfunding platforms for nonprofits? We’ve got the list! Online fundraising is growing faster than ever. And email revenue increased by 24% and accounted for 28% of all online giving.What you need to know from […]

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What’s In My Inbox | St. Jude’s uses storytelling as a planned giving tool, and so can you

May 2, 2018

In his book, Big Gifts for Small Groups: A Board Member’s 1-Hour Guide to Securing Gifts, Andy Robinson said of planned giving, “Dead people, through their estates, give away more money year after year than all US corporations combined.” Yep, it’s true. Planned giving counts for 8% of the charitable giving pie — more than […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018

SolarAid uses their enewsletter to share stories of what their donors’ gifts make possible AND invite donors into their mission with a terrific survey. This week’s What’s in my Inbox. When I learned that Molly Ola Pinney, CEO and Founder of the Global Autism Project, had brought in over 300 new monthly donors during #GivingTuesday in 2017, I had […]

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Top Crowdfunding Platforms for Nonprofits

April 27, 2018

It goes without saying that nonprofits are completely dependent on their fundraising efforts. But changes in software and social media have brought a new edge to fundraising for nonprofits: crowdfunding. Put simply, crowdfunding leverages the ubiquity of social media and the adaptability of software to raise money from a large group of people. Unlike relying […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Global Autism Project knows the power of multichannel

April 26, 2018

When I learned that Molly Ola Pinney, CEO and Founder of the Global Autism Project, had brought in over 300 new monthly donors during #GivingTuesday in 2017, I had to learn more. Headquartered in Brooklyn, GAP is a nonprofit organization on a mission to help children with autism learn. To that end, they train teachers and […]

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What’s In My Inbox | SolarAid’s enewsletter welcomes donors into their mission

April 24, 2018

SolarAid, a Basics & More Alum, is a London-based international charity. They combat poverty and climate change and provide access to solar lights in some of the most remote regions of Malawi, Uganda and Zambia SolarAid’s email recently hit my inbox with a donor-focused enewsletter and survey invitation. The newsletter highlights stories of what your […]

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Fundraising Friday | April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018

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 […]

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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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