12 Ways to #LoveYourDonor on Valentine’s Day (and throughout the year)

February 7, 2017

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s a prime opportunity to share the love with the donors who make your work possible, grow relationships, and – coincidentally – raise money! Here are just a few ideas: 1.Show them that you know them. Set up Google alerts on your best donors. Forward them that […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | 5 Biggest Nonprofit Storytelling Mistakes to Avoid

February 6, 2017

Whether told face-to-face with a major donor, in a thank you video, or in your fundraising emails, stories are the most powerful tool in your fundraising and marketing arsenal. That’s because human beings are hardwired for nonprofit storytelling. We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind […]

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Fundraising Friday | February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017

Bloomerang, with New Study Shows Donor Retention Rates in Decline. What are your internal processes for taking your first-time donor…to lifetime? Smart fundraisers know that the gift isn’t the goal – it’s the long-time relationship that counts. Are you saying thank you like you mean it? You need Emotionraising: How to astonish, disturb, seduce and convince […]

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Are you saying thank you like you mean it? Taking your donor from first-time to lifetime.

February 2, 2017

You need more major donors, right? And lately it seems like mid-level and major gift fundraising is all the rage. The experts are hammering the point home that smaller nonprofits aren’t raising major gifts (duh). And there’s seemingly been an influx of major gifts fundraising classes, too. Of course, who wouldn’t want Oprah or Ellen […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | One of the best direct mail packages I’ve ever seen…thank you, Sheena!

February 1, 2017

There are many reasons I make a conscious choice to receive more snail mail than the average human being. For one thing, I’m interested in studying the impact of direct mail communications that are sent to donors, and I’m consistently putting my donor hat on and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For another thing, […]

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You need Emotionraising on your fundraising shelf. Read on to see why…

January 30, 2017

Okay, I’ll admit it: when I’ve got some time to myself, I love me some Netflix and chill. I recently took a chance on one of their comedy specials, which are often hit (hilariously funny and engaging) or miss (a complete dud that I turn off midway). This one, featuring burgeoning comedienne Cristela Alonzo, was […]

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Fundraising Friday | January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

Should you include a remittance envelope in a thank you letter? It depends. How are you empowering your donors to “bee” the change? I loved this mailing from Ontario Nature and our friends at Agents of Good. What’s in my Mailbox. It’s right around the corner! 14 Ways (With Examples) to Share the Love During […]

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An “ask” in a thank you? It depends…

January 22, 2017

An email recently landed in my inbox, and it was all about the “ask.” As I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t the first email I’ve ever received about it, and it surely won’t be the last. The “ask” is such a nuanced thing, and it lives in a gray area, which is often the […]

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Fundraising Friday | January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017

A year-end appeal can raise over 200% of its goal — see how in this week’s What’s in my Mailbox.  Just how irritating are you to funders? I can attest to seeing many of these first-hand. Use this checklist, courtesy of Vu over at Nonprofit With Balls, to make sure you’re not giving your funders […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | A year-end appeal can raise over 200% of its goal — see how!

January 18, 2017

In this installment of What’s In My Inbox, I’m focusing the spotlight on a truly stellar direct mail packet from The Hope Project, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization engaged in promoting awareness of sex trafficking, as well as helping its victims to heal. Currently, they’re in the process of opening a rehabilitative home for girls aged […]

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How to write a swimming pool. Essential Resources for Nonprofit Copywriters

January 11, 2017

”John and I literally used to sit down and say, ‘Now, let’s write a swimming pool.” ― Paul McCartney What if you knew that when your organization’s hot water heater died, you could sit down at your computer and write one? Your organization needs to serve 275 more kids in 2017? Not a problem. You […]

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Drawing donor parallels: Wake up, Annenberg, because purchasing your tickets was no picnic

January 10, 2017

A spinning wheel of doom churning on for an eternity and a half. A bizarrely ambiguous error message that did little to ease my worrying mind. Two blunt tweets that should have been answered in the name of good customer service, yet remain ignored as of now. It’s the kind of cryptic misfortune that belongs […]

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Fundraising Friday | January 6, 2017

January 6, 2017

It’s 2017 – and we’re entering into some uncharted territory. How will smart fundraisers survive – and thrive? Top 10 Things Smart Fundraisers Will be Doing in 2017. See how one smart nonprofit turned an infographic into a shareable email in this week’s What’s in my Inbox. Seth Godin writes: “Attitude is the most important […]

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Top 10 Things Smart Fundraisers Will be Doing in 2017 (and your bonus calendar download!)

January 4, 2017

I can’t believe 2017 is already here! Are you ready for it? Is your fundraising ready for it? Back in 2016, I wrote that smart fundraisers should zero in on their individual giving program with a laser-like intensity. And despite the current fundraising and political climate, it’s still sound advice. So make plans for: Developing your […]

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What’s in my Inbox | This is why 2016 wasn’t all bad: UltraViolet gets me ready with motivation and inspiration

January 3, 2017

In this installment of What’s In My Inbox, I’m spotlighting a piece that so speaks to me, it’s as if UltraViolet waited until I was asleep, climbed into my head, and dug around to see what was inside. This organization’s identity and mission are economic with words, making it all the more impactful: “a powerful […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | A holiday card that works as a year-end appeal? BAGLY shows you how.

December 28, 2016

In this week’s installment of What’s In My Mailbox, I’m excited to feature something that managed to grab my attention and hold it, despite the typical influx of communications this holiday season. I had mail coming at me from every direction, but did I back down from the challenge of sorting through it? Nope. Because […]

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Have you gotten “used to the squirrels” in your organization?

December 27, 2016

It was one of the scariest things I’d ever seen. My daughter (then just three years old) and I had traveled from Philadelphia to Michigan for the Christmas holidays. We were staying at my grandmother’s farmhouse and Gram had just finished baking a batch of her famous homemade crusty white bread. Aside: one of my […]

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More $$ this week! Do you have these three “musts” in place?

December 26, 2016

’Tis the season! My inbox is filling up with auto responder away messages, and by the looks of it many of you are closing your office doors during the festive week between Christmas and New Years. But here’s the thing… 12% OF ALL GIVING HAPPENS IN THE LAST THREE DAYS OF THE YEAR. Have you […]

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Are events a losing proposition for your nonprofit organization?

December 22, 2016

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker Say the word “fundraising” to anyone unfamiliar with the field and what’s the first thing to come to mind? You guessed it – events. Everyone seems to buy into that old Andy Hardy mantra of “let’s […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Lots and lots of year-end emails. What can you learn?

December 20, 2016

Nearly a third of all annual giving happens in December, and 12% happens in the last three days of December. How are you maximizing your year-end online campaign? If your plan has been to send out an email and cross your fingers, think again. Studies have shown a 40% increase in results when using multiple […]

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