Kechi, a young plane crash survivor who suffered horrific burns on over 60% of her body, is a former Shriners Hospital patient. She’s also an America’s Got Talent contestant. See a video of her emotional story in this week’s Power of Nonprofit Storytelling.

Did you miss Monday’s Motivate Monday session? Steven Shattuck revealed the results of Bloomerang’s latest survey. Don’t miss this week’s Lessons from Motivate Monday.

The next time your board member rants about Facebook show them the proof: email is still king of digital. New from The Agitator.

The Art Institute of Chicago has already raised $108 million for FY 2018 (not counting memberships) and has a history of amazing fundraising. How do they do it? Through a mix of art, science and alchemy. Behind the scenes at a fundraising powerhouse. This week’s must read.

Are your annual reports and letters and emails all about how great you are? Richard Perry from the Veritus Group with Tell Me How Great You Are, So I Can Stop Giving. He highlights some pretty great impact and annual reports, but our experience shows that Gratitude Reports outperform every other model.

How to Plan for Your Year-End Appeal. A terrific roadmap from Ann Green.


Does your organization’s website feature a *share-your-story* page? Engage your supporters and never be at a loss for stories again. Share-Your-Story Page | an addition tothe fundraiser’s arsenal of tools

Learning Opportunities

Have you hit your fundraising goals for 2018? You’re guaranteed to crush them with Your Best Year-End Fundraising: THE SYSTEM. In this all-new live webinar series, beginning on August 28, and continuing throughout the month of September, you’ll be guided, step-by-step, in the creation of a foolproof plan for your multi-channel campaign. Guest presenters include Lisa Sargent, Tim Kachuriak of NextAfter, Mary Cahalane, Robin Cabral, CFRE, Vanessa Chase, Zach Shefska, Sarah Ali, and more to be announced! Learn more and register now.


Motivate Monday | The cold, hard truth about how nonprofits treat bequest giving, courtesy of Steven Shattuck

August 15, 2018

In this Motivate Monday session repeat guest Steven Shattuck took some time out of his day to bestow his wisdom upon us once again. This time, he came prepared with a presentation on the current state of nonprofit bequest marketing, and it will open your eyes to dangerous trends among US nonprofits in regards to […]

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Power of Storytelling | Shriners does good through the power of love — from their donors!

August 13, 2018

I began receiving communications from Shriners Hospitals for Children after making an in memoriam gift for my webmaster’s father, who passed away a few years ago. Shriners is a globally renowned nonprofit consisting of 22 care centers across North America, and their current motto is “Love to the rescue.” Headquartered in Tampa, their network of […]

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Fundraising Friday | August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018

How are you sharing your donors’ stories? This week’s Power of Storytelling with an example from an unlikely source. How will you use it? Writing for online eyes is…different. You need to capture attention quickly, and say it succinctly (the Hemingwayapp is a boon for the digital storyteller). Check out how Nashville Rescue Mission shares a complex […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Nashville Rescue Mission shows us who they are through Sonia

August 9, 2018

I’ve showcased communications from Nashville Rescue Mission before. They’re a Basics & More Alum and their print newsletter regularly brings in $2 million a year on the strength of Michelle Brinson Sanders’ strong storytelling. They’re also a nonprofit that knows how to tell a story. In my most recent email from NRM, they spotlighted a […]

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Power of Storytelling | Further teachings from Warby Parker for nonprofits everywhere

August 7, 2018

As we’ve pointed out just recently, Warby Parker realizes what a powerful tool storytelling can be. In the case of their identity and their brand, which has disrupted an industry worth billions, Warby Parker has used storytelling to communicate who they are, what they do, and who they help. Like nonprofits who value their donor […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Donor gratitude is timeless and effective…and NECESSARY!

August 1, 2018

When it comes to your donors, is it possible to thank them too often? Probably not. Especially when, as Roger Craver notes in a recent blog post on The Agitator, so many nonprofits fail at saying thank you to their supporters. This failure is a top cause of attrition. Neglecting to say thank you to […]

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Power of Storytelling | See how stories can document works-in-progress

July 31, 2018

You know how powerful compelling nonprofit storytelling can be. You know that it’s an invaluable tool that not only impacts your nonprofit’s fundraising results, but is inextricably tied to who you are and what you do, as well as the relationships you share with your donors. Storytelling is part of our everyday lives and interactions, […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

How are you sharing your founder’s story? Warby Parker shares their story in a unique way. This week’s Power of Storytelling.  What could an *upsell* lightbox on your donate page do for your monthly giving program? Discover how to convert more monthly donors online in this Motivate Monday training. Are you tracking when donors arrive […]

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Lessons from Motivate Monday | What could an *upsell* lightbox on your donate page do for your monthly giving program?

July 25, 2018

Lightboxes can be annoying, but they’re also valuable fundraising tools. You may not know them by that name, but if you’ve engaged with the internet, and especially if you’ve completed transactions across the web, chances are, you’ve encountered them. What are they? A lightbox, also known as a shadowbox, is a pop-up box that appears […]

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Power of Storytelling | Warby Parker knows that storytelling is vital to their identity

July 24, 2018

Warby Parker is a New York-based online retailer of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, with retail locations located across the country. The company’s founding trio met not far from where I live, at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, as students in Wharton’s Venture Initiation Program. Shortly after Warby Parker’s 2010 inception, which was […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 20, 2018

July 20, 2018

When it comes to your digital communications, are you keeping it simple and direct? This week’s What’s In My Inbox. Can you believe it?? Year-end fundraising is right around the corner. How are you warming up your donors? This week’s What’s In My Mailbox. How do you get more people excited to attend your events without being pushy? And how […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | How are you *warming up* your donors?

July 18, 2018

The communications classes on the Basics & More roster consistently recommend that you *touch* your donors a minimum of 12 times throughout the year. It might sound like a lot, but it isn’t. In fact, most who’ve gone forth and begun communicating more regularly with their donors have reported back that it’s actually pretty easy […]

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What’s In My Inbox | National Audubon Society does simple and direct

July 18, 2018

I love birds. I enjoy watching them, especially in the tin birdhouse that hangs just over the deck outside of my kitchen. I marvel at how many wrens can fit into that tiny house, and at the music their chirping creates. Sometimes, it sounds like they’re having a party. On the opposite side of my […]

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Fundraising Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

What, exactly, IS a *gratitude report?* It’s like an annual report, but not quite. For the past several years, we’ve been teaching the principles of gratitude reports at Basics & More™. And I’d have to say that this week’s Power of Storytelling is the most moving example of a gratitude report I’ve seen yet. Courtesy of John Lepp and Agents […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Multichannel campaign mastery, courtesy of Ontario Nature

July 11, 2018

Research has shown that multichannel fundraising campaigns perform the best. If your organization is relying solely on digital for your campaign, chances are, you’ll wind up lost in the shuffle as more and more nonprofits embrace #GivingTuesday. Many smaller nonprofits turn to #GivingTuesday for their first foray into digital campaigns, but they often neglect to […]

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What’s In My Inbox | How are you providing value?

July 10, 2018

Pediatric nurse practitioner Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner after she became concerned over the many babies in her practice who were beginning life without access to basic needs. While on the job, she witnessed a lack of adequate food, clothing, beds, and safety equipment. EBC began with a wonderful idea and Karen gathering a […]

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Power of Storytelling | The most moving gratitude report I’ve ever seen

July 9, 2018

Let’s be honest. The term “annual report,” on its face, can sound technical and stodgy, because reports so often evoke images of data in the form of numbers and charts. Even your oh-so clever infographic or postcard can’t save it. But what happens when you flip it — and give your donors the credit? Then […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

What do you do when you’re a woman running for congress on a pretty small budget? Go online of course! This week’s Power of Storytelling will make you cheer. You’ve got a mission statement, but do you have a values statement? Another great read from Mary Cahalane. Richard Turner is one fundraiser I’m proud to […]

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Power of Storytelling | MJ Hegar is a door-busting, wall-breaking warrior…on a budget!

July 2, 2018

In the face of the ongoing political horror show that is our Congress, MJ Hegar is currently on the frontlines of our democracy, fighting to create change despite having many doors slammed in her face by many men. A certified badass with her own incomparable brand of moxie and can-do, MJ announced her congressional candidacy as […]

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