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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Fundraising Friday | December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016

You’ll love how (and why) this delightful Polish Grandpa learns English for Christmas. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. Agents of Good and Ontario Nature is back in this week’s What’s In My Inbox AND What’s in my Mailbox, providing a beautifully integrated campaign featuring lots of takeaways. Do. Not. Miss. Will Your Next Development […]

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What’s in My Mailbox | Just what I was looking for: a year-end holiday card done right

December 14, 2016

In yesterday’s installment of What’s In My Inbox, we shared with you Ontario Nature’s recent email communication that set the stage for a holiday card that was in-transit. The email created an expectation, giving me something to look forward to, and also communicated gratitude, which was initially reinforced in the email. The fact of the […]

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What’s in my Inbox | Relationships between email and direct mail? Ontario Nature shows you how.

December 13, 2016

For this week’s installment of What’s In My Inbox, I’m spotlighting Ontario Nature and their short yet savvy (and of course donor-centric) holiday-themed email communication. Ontario Nature is a nonprofit organization based in Toronto. ON maintains its own system of over twenty nature reserves, creates new reserves and parks, and provides public education about nature. […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Forget about going viral — it’s all about storytelling!

December 12, 2016

The mechanics of internet virality are still a mystery, despite the countless instances of internet posts, memes, and stories “going viral” within the internet’s stratosphere. Why do some advertising campaigns and memes “just stick,” while others fall by the wayside? How did the Ice Bucket Challenge gain so much traction in 2015, motivating content creators […]

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Fundraising Friday | December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016

In our year-end fundraising classes, we speak to *warming* up your donors prior to your year-end ask. But what does that look like? This week’s What’s in My Inbox features a super example from Mercy Corps. The Big Problem in Charity That Giving Tuesday Cannot Fix. New from Slate. Does your budget align with your […]

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What’s in my Inbox | How are you “warming up” your donors for your year-end ask?

December 6, 2016

In this week’s Motivate Monday – and in our year-end fundraising training materials (from the Your Best EVER Year-End Symposium to the tried-and-true Supercharge) – we speak often to the idea of “warming up” your donors prior to that crucial year-end ask. You want to ease into this territory gently, so that when your ask […]

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Fundraising Friday | December 3, 2016

December 2, 2016

San Francisco-based nonprofit Watsi has a funding model that is brilliant in its simplicity and transparency. And that extends to their annual report. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. It’s over with and I hope that yours was great. Sample emails from this year’s Giving Tuesday. Should you or shouldn’t you use an envelope teaser? This […]

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What’s in my Mailbox | Nonprofit Envelope Teasers: Yay or Nay?

November 30, 2016

One of my most frequently asked questions during our direct mail fundraising class concerns the envelope teaser. Which makes perfect sense, because it’s not just your average envelope. Done right, it can skillfully set the stage for something great. Direct marketing superguru Dan Kennedy notes that you only actually have two choices when it comes […]

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What’s in my Inbox | How will you stand out in the #GivingTuesday inbox?

November 29, 2016

Sigh. It’s that time of the year once again, slicing through my seasonal cheer in this post-Trump America. The special day that warrants your attention right now? It’s known as Giving Tuesday. In case you’re not in the know or you’re still coming out of your Thanksgiving food coma and have totally forgotten the what, […]

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The future of nonprofit success: Storytelling and Transparency

November 28, 2016

Watsi, a nonprofit located in San Francisco, has a bold mission: to provide healthcare for every person in the world. A nonprofit healthcare crowdsourcing platform, Watsi enables individual donors to directly fund medical care for individuals in developing countries without access to affordable medical care. From Wiki: Watsi’s medical partners included Nyaya Health, Dr. Rick […]

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What’s in my Inbox | T’is the season to be both thankful and creative in your donor communications!

November 22, 2016

You’re always thankful for your donors and their support, but now, with Thanksgiving just days away, you’ve got the ideal opportunity to communicate your gratitude not only abundantly, but creatively. Whether you want to closely tie the holiday into your message of thanks is totally up to you. But a piece that speaks directly to […]

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Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Embracing the unpleasant: SPLC uses horror stories as tools to motivate change

November 21, 2016

Now, more than ever, humanity needs stories. Stories frequently fill a void while letting the light in, especially when, at their most powerful, they can be so indicative of our personal truth, or of a truth we know well. Stories are a vital component of our history past and future possible. And you cannot hide […]

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