Donors for Life: A practitioner’s guide to relationship fundraising

October 26, 2017

A conversation heard ‘round the fundraising world happened within the last few months. A fundraising leader ignited the talk by publishing an article on his blog. His post focused on the idea that donor-centricity is problematic, and that fundraisers ought to instead look toward community-based fundraising solutions. Almost immediately, I noticed a huge problem: the […]

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Does your fundraising culture SUCK? Help is on the way!

October 25, 2017

When it comes to lousy nonprofit culture, sometimes I think I’ve seen it all. Have you ever… Been hired to raise major gifts, but been restricted from attending board meetings? Been hired to grow individual giving — and yet been admonished repeatedly by leadership to “weed out the database” to maintain it’s *free* status of […]

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What’s In My Inbox | OXFAM’s 2017 donor survey is simple and effective

October 24, 2017

The importance of regularly surveying your donors is undeniable, yet often underestimated. I’ve talked about this a lot, and I’m likely to keep talking about it, because  What makes donor surveys so useful? They have the capacity to connect with your donors on a deeper level, can help frame your communications, potentially uncover major and planned […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 20, 2017

October 20, 2017

What steps can you (still) take to ensure that your year-end fundraising appeal gets delivered? You’ve Got (Undeliverable) Mail: Why Nonprofits Should Invest in Good Data. A timely guest post from our friends at Merkle RMG. Are you getting ready for Giving Tuesday? Sample emails (no option required). What’s in my Inbox. We all know […]

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You’ve Got (Undeliverable) Mail: Why Nonprofits Should Invest in Good Data

October 18, 2017

The Problem of Undeliverable Mail Undeliverable mail is a $20 billion annual industry-wide problem. Anywhere between 25 to 40 percent of address changes aren’t reported to the United States Postal Service (USPS), meaning that even when mail files are updated, there is still a portion of mail not reaching its intended donor. And for nonprofit […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017

A powerful example of digital communications, including the email header (“One act. Double the impact.”, the opening hook, the social media integration, and the compelling opportunity to not only give but give bigger. This week’s What’s in my Inbox. Will you be attending the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference? This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. When subscriber […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Green Mountain United Way anticipates their best fundraising fall — ever!

October 11, 2017

Carrie Stahl, Director of Funding & Program Development for Green Mountain United Way, recently wrote me to share this: Thanks to some great advice in your enews, and some samples on your website, I am personally having my best fundraising fall. We United Ways start early so as not to compete with our agency partners. […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Everytown galvanizes donors to give double for gun safety

October 10, 2017

I’ve covered communications from Everytown Gun Safety before. A merge between Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America shortly after Sandy Hook happened. The US Senate had been debating changes to federal gun laws, including a failed amendment that would’ve enforced background checks for gun sales occurring at gun shows […]

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Power of Storytelling | The Nonprofit Storytelling Conference is taking on America, one story at a time!

October 9, 2017

The Nonprofit Storytelling Conference is a conference unlike any other in the world. NSC’s goal is rooted in this idea: With better stories, you can raise more money. To that end, they invite fundraisers to partake in a potentially life-changing and fundraising-transforming experience. If you’re the least bit skeptical, check out their About page. And then check […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017

If you’re a fundraiser and you’re NOT following HONY on Facebook, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice, and you’re putting your donors at a disadvantage, too. How come? Because you’re missing out on some of the best storytelling on the internet. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. Do you remember when text to give was […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Text message donor communications, yay or nay? (Hint: it depends)

October 3, 2017

When it comes to nonprofit communications, should you communicate with your donors via text messaging, simply because you can? It depends. On your donors. On your mission. According to MobileCause, “Millennials prefer text reminders, GenXers prefer email reminders, and Boomers prefer call reminders.” Text messaging has the potential to mobilize engagement, especially when it comes […]

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Power of Storytelling | So what does a Dreamer look like? HONY has stories…

October 2, 2017

For this week’s storytelling installment, we’re once again casting the spotlight on Humans of New York (HONY) — and for good reason. Let me tell you something. If you’re a fundraiser and you’re NOT following HONY on Facebook, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice, and you’re putting your donors at a disadvantage, too. How come? Because […]

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Fundraising Friday | September 29, 2017

September 29, 2017

Social justice nonprofits face immense challenges under the current administration, but, as JFK said, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” Eyes on the Prize: Current Fundraising Opportunities & Challenges […]

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7 Highlights from The Copywriting Cure feedback session (of which there were many…)

September 28, 2017

What do you get when you bring three of the nonprofit sector’s best copywriters together? Participants in our Year-End Fundraising webinar series found out. Author of How to Turn Your Words into Money and The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications; Jeff Brooks, Super-heroine of Colludo; Sheena Greer, and Principal of Hands-On Fundraising; Mary Cahalane, all […]

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Keep your head held high and your eye on the prize — especially now (repost)

September 26, 2017

I, like so many of you, can’t help but notice how politics have impacted not only our lives, but nonprofit organizations all over the country. Some nonprofits, especially those with causes rooted in social justice, have responded directly to what’s been going on, galvanizing their supporters and viewing the ongoing unrest as a catalyst for change. […]

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Power of Storytelling | 20 years of video in less than 7 minutes

September 25, 2017

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization with a global reach, and they’re also an alumni of my Basics & More | Nonprofit Storytelling course. Engaging with communities around the world, Heifer works toward ending hunger and poverty by implementing sustainable, earth-friendly solutions. Celebrating their 20th anniversary of working in Nepal, the organization sought a way to […]

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Fundraising Friday | September 22, 2017

September 22, 2017

In this week’s Power of Storytelling, we learn that adopting a purple hippo has never been more compelling 😉 Think about fundraising from a business owner’s perspective for a minute. Imagine if you opened a neighborhood pizzeria and the neighbors poured in, one after another, for ‘za…and none of them returned for a second pie! […]

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Fighting Second Gift Syndrome head-on: What’s your process for securing that second gift?

September 20, 2017

When it comes to getting that second gift, not a lot of nonprofits have a process in place. Despite the fact that they really need one. Luckily, some of the most respected in the field are giving it — what I’ve come to call “Second Gift Syndrome” — the attention it deserves, lending some much-needed […]

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What’s In My Inbox | UNICEF USA brings hope and help during distress

September 19, 2017

How are nonprofits handling catastrophe right now? UNICEF USA illustrates a powerful example of how to deal with a disaster. Their most recent email to land in my inbox is to the point, urgent, and effective. It opens with harrowing imagery that conveys deep distress. The text superimposed over the photograph of a young boy […]

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Power of Storytelling | Adopting a purple hippo has never been more compelling ;-)

September 18, 2017

  Appleton, Wisconsin-based Fox Valley Humane Association is a nonprofit shelter engaged in doing wonderful work for animals. FVHA recently utilized instagram as a storytelling platform, and the narrative, which progressed over the course of a few posts (including short video clips), was decidedly goal-oriented, but also humorous. Showcased on a Rover.com blog called “Daily […]

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