How are you keeping it *human* in your email communications? This week’s What’s in my Inbox with a fun take.

This quote, from one of my favorite copywriters, Indra Sinha, hangs above my desk:

”Don’t start by writing. Start by feeling. Feel, and feel passionately, and the emotion you feel will come through the spaces in between the words.“

What’s in my Mailbox, courtesy of Tom Ahern, is a marvelous example of using emotion to engage.

You let donors know they’re more than just numbers…don’t you? The Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. 

Grateful patients continue to be the best source for health care organizations to acquire new donors. Truesense with 8 Tips to Acquire Grateful Patient Donors includes lessons for the rest of us as well.

What rules? Blog or enewsletters? An older post that I missed the first go-around from Wild Apricot. Remember to always keep your overriding goal front and center. And if your goal is to simultaneously steward donors AND raise money, print rules. In our tests, we have yet to see any email come close to getting the results of a print newsletter.

Nonprofits Decry Latest Proposed Postal-Rate Increases. New from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Are you feeling pessimistic about fundraising? It’s probably a good time to lay off your fundraising staff. JUST KIDDING. Michael Rosen with As Giving Lags, Alarm Bells Sound. Should You Worry?

What are some basic things you can do to improve donor retention? Roger Craver with 7 Easy Retention Wins.

Learning Opportunities

Are you raising less than 10% of your overall individual giving online? Do you see other organizations raising more with digital fundraising and wonder why you’re not? If your organization could use a guaranteed plan for raising more money online, Mastering Online Fundraising is the class for you. Covering everything from a donor-friendly donate page, to email acquisition, to google analytics and more, Mastering Online Fundraising will get your organization up to speed fast.  Learn more and register.

How can you save money on postage for your year-end direct mail campaign? Join us for our next Motivate Monday when Direct Mail Man, Blasé Ciabaton joins us to walk you through the postal regulations you need to know. Next Monday at 1 pm EST. Save your seat here.

{ 0 comments }

What’s In My Inbox | Keeping it lighthearted *and* keeping it human

October 17, 2018

Political emails. Every day I receive dozens. And they routinely, for lack of a better word, suck. All about meeting their fundraising goals (and I care why?) or fighting the opposition, and nothing about the kind of world I want for myself and my children. I recently received a GIF-laden email from Allison Walsh, Deputy […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018

What Happened Next Will Shock You. A story of donor dreams crushed. One that’s all too typical in the nonprofit world. Are you remembering to take a break? A gentle reminder from Nell Edgington. Bloomerang with a reminder: our job is not to brag about how cool we are. Our job is to show our […]

Read the full article →

What Happened Next Will Shock You

October 10, 2018

It was just another day at work in my home office when I stumbled across one of those heartwarming stories from Humans of New York (HONY). I’m sure you know HONY, the Facebook photoblog founded and lead by Brandon Stanton. HONY seeks to share the stories and innermost secrets of humans everywhere. A particular story caught […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | October 5, 2018

October 5, 2018

Looking for an example of a great enews? Look no further than this one, from Human Rights Watch. This week’s What’s in my Inbox. How did an already good thank you letter get transformed into a device of gratitude, beauty and joy? Check out this week’s What’s in My Mailbox for a thank you letter […]

Read the full article →

What’s In My Inbox | Human Rights Watch’s enews packs a punch

October 4, 2018

A good nonprofit newsletter is hard to find. Finding a well-done enews can be even harder. This recent enews from Human Rights Watch is a good one. HRW is an international nonprofit organization that aims to protect human rights around the world, and they carry out their mission through a focus on research and advocacy. […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Mailbox | Are you forgetting the most important piece of the puzzle? (Before & After Thank You Letter)

October 3, 2018

Your job, as a fundraising professional, is to secure the money to fully fund your mission. And the smartest way to do that is by building lifetime relationships. The kind of relationships that take your prospective supporter on a journey…from first time gift, to a repeat gift, to monthly and major gifts, to that final […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018

Are you paying attention to the stories that resonate the most with your donors? Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. This week’s Power of Storytelling. When you’re looking to grow your email list, pay attention to your most opened email – the welcome email. A *before* and *after* example in this week’s What’s in my Inbox. Mary Cahalane wonders: Why is it so damned hard […]

Read the full article →

What’s in my Inbox | A *before* and *after* welcome email

September 26, 2018

Imagine a prospective donor has learned about your organization, visited your website, and been intrigued enough to sign up for your organization’s emails. What happens next? Most email service providers offer a standard welcome email template. A little something like this: Welcome to XYZ org. We are happy to have you as a member of […]

Read the full article →

Power of Storytelling | The same old song ain’t ever gonna do you wrong (if it’s the right tune!)

September 24, 2018

In a post from last year, the The Agitator delivered simple, sound advice in their characteristically blunt fashion. So what’s the advice about? Donor communications. Specifically, communicating with continuity and consistency. The Agitator showcases a phenomenal example that’s going 20+ years strong — because it works. Check out the post. Bluntness is what this sector […]

Read the full article →

Ready for year-end fundraising? Start here…

September 20, 2018

Are you ready to totally ROCK your year-end fundraising campaign? It’s been a whirlwind few weeks over at Basics & More™ in our third annual Your Best Year-End Fundraising: The System program. So far, we’ve walked through the dos and don’ts of data segmentation, learned how to create your best story and theme, explored how […]

Read the full article →

Create *bulletproof* stories for your nonprofit

September 19, 2018

Ever notice how the big ideas begin with stories? He was trekking on a remote mountainside in Tibet on a Buddhist journey. That’s when, exhausted and feeling “really, really crappy,” Dave Asprey came upon a one-bedroom hut. It was there that a Tibetan woman served him a regional drink… …a cup of hot tea blended […]

Read the full article →

Engagement Fundraising is here!

September 18, 2018

Whether you’re an executive director, development director, staff member, volunteer, or, yes, even a donor, Greg Warner’s newest book that he “never intended to write” is what you need right now. And that’s because Greg has a sharp and comprehensive understanding of not only how the fundraising climate looks in 2018 (and beyond), but how […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | September 14, 2018

September 14, 2018

Do you shy away from controversial messaging in your storytelling? Power of Storytelling with When is the risk of controversy worth it? Hint: think of the “e-word.” It’s time to plan your year-end fundraising campaign – and write your appeal letter. Download these free resources and you’ll be well on your way.  Is fundraising critical […]

Read the full article →

*Free resources* for writing your best fundraising appeal letter!

September 12, 2018

Year-end fundraising season is back! Sure, it’s only September, but smart fundraisers are planning out a campaign to maximize the most generous giving time of the year. Once you’ve set a goal, dived into your data, and sketched out this year’s theme, it’s time to start working on your fundraising appeal letter(s). Going solely digital […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018

Just when I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to nonprofit storytelling, I stumble across this. The Power of Hearing Stories. This week’s Power of Storytelling. And be sure to check out how the Point Foundation is employing an online engagement tool. “Happy birthday,” I say to you. “Thanks,” you say, “but it’s […]

Read the full article →

Power of Storytelling | The Power of Hearing Stories

September 3, 2018

The Point Foundation is a national organization empowering promising LBGTQ students to realize their full potential. They carry out their mission through providing scholarship funding for LBGTQ students, along with academic, service, mentorship, and leadership-focused programs to help them achieve their goals. TPF is doing wonderful, life-changing work, and they are doing it at a […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

See how Emily Fink, a member of Sanford Health Foundation‘s Communications Team, shares their stories in this week’s Power of Storytelling. How are you “warming up” your donors for your year-end ask? Year-end fundraising will be upon us before you know it. How are you *warming up* your donors? What’s in my Inbox. More on […]

Read the full article →

Power of Storytelling | Emily has shared her org’s best story…have you?

August 27, 2018

I’ve invited nonprofits everywhere to share their best stories with me, and so far, I’ve been delighted by the responses I’ve found in my inbox. Here’s one sent by Emily Fink, who is a member of Sanford Health Foundation‘s Communications Team. As Senior Communications Specialist, most of her work involves writing and sharing the foundation’s […]

Read the full article →

Fundraising Friday | August 24, 2018

August 24, 2018

How can understanding and leveraging response data give your nonprofit a strategic advantage? In this week’s guest post, Amy Bobrick of Merkle RMG shows you exactly what to look for. What’s your organization’s million dollar story? Find yours with these five tips. This week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling. Three years ago, when I ran a […]

Read the full article →