After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings nearly six years ago, family members who’d lost loved ones in the horrific tragedy joined forces to found Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting gun violence at its roots. Since its inception, SHP has grown into a national movement that has brought parents, schools, and community-based organizations together, united in their commitment to make our schools — and children’s lives — safer. SHP carries out their mission through a focus on education, community involvement, developing and implementing mental health programs, and advocating at the federal and state level.

They also create some seriously compelling content, like this PSA that’s been featured in today’s news. This PSA video, titled “Point of View,” seeks to educate people about the warning signs that can lead to a school shooting, and it does this through telling a story. The narrative is jarring. Suspense builds in increments until the end, when everything implodes. It’s not easy to watch, and it’s not supposed to be.

SHP took a risk in creating “Point of View,” but the payoff is undeniable. So is the impact. I call it a “colossal emotional punch.” I’ve used the term before, but not often.

The clip, just shy of two minutes, compels viewers to think. It raises awareness and educates through generating impact. Through exploring an unfamiliar perspective and giving us a clear picture of what that angle looks like. Some may spot shock value first. Some may even see shock value, and nothing else. Others will see a call to action, and they’ll share this video. I won’t forget it anytime soon.

Check out the video. What are your first impressions? How does it make you feel? How are you ensuring that your organization’s stories generate impact in their own unique way?

 

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Lessons From Motivate Monday | How are you thanking your #GivingTuesday donors?

December 3, 2018

The 92nd Street Y and United Nations Foundation launched #GivingTuesday, a day of international charitable giving, on November 27, 2012. The idea was in response to the rampant consumerism and commercialism of the holiday season. Since its inception, #GivingTuesday has expanded into a movement-driven effort, a rallying cry against the worst kind of capitalism. #GivingTuesday […]

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What’s In My Inbox | National Toilet Day…a time for celebration, and matching gifts!

November 28, 2018

We’ve talked about this before: there are some strange “holidays” out there. We’re not talking about the nationally (or even globally) recognized and celebrated standards, like Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Those less-known designated calendar days that are quirky, silly, and sometimes even yummy can a lot of fun, too. Did you know today is National […]

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It’s #Giving Tuesday. How are you standing out?

November 27, 2018

It’s only 11 am on Tuesday morning, November 27, 2018. #GivingTuesday. And already I’m feeling like I’m being bombarded. Or, as The Whiny Donor so eloquently notes: This is a mere sampling of what’s already landed in my inbox: Tracy Malloy Curtis noted “One day can’t make up for a failure to engage, cultivate, and […]

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Four Ways to Improve Your Thank You Redirect Page to Retain More Online Donors

November 27, 2018

On Twitter recently, I was asking around for some examples of stellar donor thank you redirect pages. The thank you redirect page, also called the confirmation page, is the page on your website where a donor is sent immediately after making an online donation. Since it’s #GivingTuesday and year-end giving season, nonprofits are looking to […]

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Nine Books (Old and New) For the Fundraiser or Nonprofit Professional on Your Holiday Gift List!

November 25, 2018

Looking for a book for the nonprofit professional on your list? You can’t go wrong with any one of these… 1. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. By Chip and Dan Heath. One reviewer urged everyone to “buy this for “YOUR FAVORITE CHARITIES. If I could wave a magic wand, I’d […]

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The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact | A Review

November 19, 2018

I always used to joke that I was a military brat — without the military. You see, when I was a kid, we moved around. A lot. When I entered fourth grade, it was the fifth school I had attended. And, as a painstakingly shy kid, I learned how to make friends fast. In the fourth grade, […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | End-of-Year Fundraising Case Study

November 14, 2018

This time last year, I spotlighted an appeal letter provided to me by Cindy Timmerman, Development Director of Community Link, in a Mailbox installment. Community Link is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with disabilities. To that end, they provide assistance and resources so that enable these individuals to function in and contribute to […]

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Power of Storytelling | This Is Us Makes Us Cry…Yet We Keep Coming Back

November 14, 2018

This Is Us first hit NBC, and millions of viewers, in fall of 2016, and it instantly resonated with audiences in a very powerful way. I was late to the party, but luckily, the show is still going strong. High viewership and conversations across social media can attest to that. Just last month, I began […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Embrace Gratitude…Even When You Lose

November 14, 2018

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. Live every day with an attitude of gratitude. -Tony Robbins There is power, real power, in gratitude. Embracing gratitude, recognizing all that is good, is the gateway to real fundraising. Solid fundraising. The kind of fundraising that takes your donor on a journey from first-time donor to […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 9, 2018

November 9, 2018

Fundraising is an art form. It’s also a science. And there’s power – real power – in the art of the thank you. A recent study, Learning to Say Thank You: The Role of Donor Acknowledgements, authored by Jen Shang, Adrian Sargeant, Kathryn Carpenter, and Harriet Day, shows just how much your acknowledgement program means […]

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Latest Report Reinforces: Your Thank You Matters

November 6, 2018

Fundraising is an art form. It’s also a science. And there’s power – real power – in the art of the thank you. A recent study called Learning to Say Thank You: The Role of Donor Acknowledgements, authored by Jen Shang, Adrian Sargeant, Kathryn Carpenter, and Harriet Day, is rooted in science and backed by […]

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Fundraising Friday | November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018

Your nonprofit’s thank you letter represents an enormous opportunity to grow a relationship. Are you taking advantage of it? This week’s What’s in my Mailbox features a stunning *before* and *after* thank you letter from the queen of thank you’s, none other than the founder of the SOFII Thank You Letter Clinic, Lisa Sargent. Every […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Opportunities to connect with donors are endless, and Halloween is one!

October 31, 2018

Time and time again, we’ve mentioned that when it comes to reaching out to your donors, there are an abundance of opportunities throughout the year. That means endless possibilities for talking to your supporters and strengthening relationships. For making sure you don’t forget about them and that they don’t forget about you. Holidays are extra […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | See Lisa Sargent’s transformative thank you letter magic in action

October 31, 2018

Lisa Sargent, fundraising copywriter extraordinaire and thank you letter master over at SOFII (and beyond), recently delivered an excellent thank you letter rewrite as a bonus to participants of our year-end fundraising webinar series, so I’m sharing it with all of you. Many thanks to Lisa for sending this one over. It’s from Friends of […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 26, 2018

October 26, 2018

Do you hesitate to share stories that might be controversial or too painful? The Power of Nonprofit Storytelling with why you shouldn’t. Monterey Bay Aquarium with the most irresistible subject line I’ve seen in quite awhile. This week’s What’s In My Inbox. Learn how the Human Society of Northeast Georgia broke their fundraising goal by a […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Donor-centricity at its finest: HSNEGA breaks goal by 40%

October 24, 2018

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia’s recent twice yearly newsletter just hit my mailbox. Executive Director, Julie Edwards, said: Earlier this year, our team decided to “overhaul” our bi-annual newsletter, making it more donor-centric and visually appealing (more photos, color, etc.) following a “newsletter audit” by Agents of Good. The results have been incredible… we […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Monterey Bay Aquarium makes a splash with tasteful nudibranchs

October 24, 2018

A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. How do you get yours opened? This email, from Monterey Bay Aquarium, read simply: Open for tasteful nudibranchs. Who on earth could resist opening an email that curiosity inducing? With my interest piqued, I read on and found some breathtaking photography inside. Visually stunning photographs accompanied […]

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Fundraising Friday | October 19, 2018

October 19, 2018

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.“ […]

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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 […]

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