Your Top Ten Nonprofit Blog Posts of 2014

December 30, 2014

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It’s that time of year again …

The time of year when we wind down one year in anticipation of the next by taking a look back at the best of the best content published on Monthly giving, donor retention, email fundraising, direct mail communications, board members who say “I’ll do anything but fundraise,” the ‘next big trend’ in nonprofit fundraising, and more.

Here are the best posts published in 2014, as chosen by you (based on your visits and shares).

  1. Raise More With Your Year-End Fundraising Appeal Letter | Downloadable Template. How can you ensure that your organization’s direct mail appeal gets results? Readers loved this free downloadable template loaded with proven techniques to rock your direct mail. Nonprofit consultant and trainer Jenny Mitchell of Chavender Consulting wrote: “Please find attached two excellent (and very different) appeal letters from two of the participants in my mastermind sessions. Your appeal letter template was instrumental in making these letters HAPPEN! On behalf of myself and the entire group, thank you again for sharing this resource with our group.” See her results here.
  2. Loving Lapsed Donors Back into the Fold. | Simple, brilliant and oh so swipe-able! How do you win lapsed donors back? What do you say? John Lepp and Agents for Good proved that we don’t need to be over-think things with this simple, elegant piece for Ontario Nature.
  3. Nonprofit donor retention | The cheapest way to fundraise. Want to save money on your fundraising costs? Taking steps to reduce your donor attrition is actually the least expensive strategy for increasing your fundraising income. This post shared six ways readers could improve their donor retention. And if you’re looking for a free downloadable thank you letter template, you’ll find one in the resources. s
  4. New Donor Welcome Kits- Your Next Gift Strategy. How are you handling brand new donors to your organization? Are they getting the standard thank you letter? Or should your strategy with new donors differ from your other communication strategies? The experts say “yes.” Keep Your Donors reports that, according to North American fundraising agency Merkle|Domain, “new donors who give a second gift relatively soon after their first gift will continue their support at a rate two or more times greater than those who do not give again right away.” This post shared several organization’s welcome kits (and keep an eye on What’s in My Mailbox every Wednesday for additional examples).
  5. Giving USA 2014 | Where are smart fundraisers putting their efforts? Giving USA 2014, The Annual Report on Philanthropy that shows us, year after year, where the “big money” in nonprofit fundraising really is, has just been released. Where should smart fundraisers be focusing their best efforts?
  6. When Board Members Say “I’ll Do Anything But Fundraise” | 8 Tips It’s easy to kvetch about our board members, isn’t it? What is it about boards and fundraising? And what can you do to create a culture of philanthropy and a board that is genuinely excited about fundraising? Here are four tips to get you started…
  7. A Missed Opportunity | Your Nonprofit’s Welcome Message  Being the head of a small shop development and marketing department with a staff of one (or less) means that you need to seize every possible opportunity for relationship-building. And your organization’s welcome message provides the prime opportunity to systematize – and humanize – the relationship-building process.
  8. The best thing your nonprofit can do to increase individual giving (but you need to start now!) What’s the best thing your nonprofit probably isn’t doing that it should be doing (or could be doing better) to grow donor loyalty and build sustainable funding? If your answer is…growing your Twitter followers, or redesigning your website, or starting up a Facebook page, you’d be wrong. One of the surefire ways to build lifetime donors – and build legacy funding – is through the creation of a monthly sustainer program.
  9. 5 Steps to Unlocking Hidden Fundraisers: A Practical Guide to Working Better With Program Staff and Raising More Money. When done right, every member of your staff could be a fundraiser. But it takes work. This post, from guest blogger Rory Green, showed you how (look for Rory and me to team up in 2015 to offer you Fundraising With Program Staff | The Basics & More™).
  10. The Next Big Trend in Nonprofit Fundraising.  This recent LinkedIn post was actually repurposed from 2013. I think I’m going to repurpose it every year :). You’ll love the vomiting unicorn graphic!

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