Top 10 Readers’ Favorites Non Profit Fundraising & Communications | 2015

December 30, 2015

In the spirit of ushering in a brand new year, I decided to create a compilation of particularly noteworthy blog posts that I’ve written over the course of 2015. How did I come to the determination

that these posts were worth mentioning? They highlight some of the crucial key issues I’ve been stressing on a regular basis and in terms of readership, these posts were at the very top!

1. November Nonprofit Blog Carnival: A Call to Abundance.

Our work is about so much more than stellar ‘work smarter, not harder’ fundraising — it’s about creating meaningful change in the world. Pretty powerful stuff, yes? And that’s a lot harder to do if you’re focused on the donors you don’t have, if you’re not investing in training, if you always think the grass is greener on the other side. November’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Call to Abundance, shared 30 ways to lose your lack mindset and transition into a more positive place: an abundance mindset. What is this “abundance mindset,” exactly? It means so many things to so many different people, but a couple of things are for certain: it’s steeped in positivity and a real culture-shifter!

2. Why we love Taylor Swift (and why fundraisers should too!)

Pop star and music world dominator Taylor Swift has an important lesson (or a few) for all of you fundraisers out there. She’s had to contend with the current music business, in which amazing opening week record sales are scarce, and you have to contend with rising challenges in the fundraising world, as well as the idea that dollars are scarce. Think she’s un-relatable? Well, think again…

3. 2015 Fundraising and Marketing Calendar

Our 2015 Fundraising and Marketing Calendar focused on donor love, and readers responded in droves. Stay tuned for our all new 2016 Attitude of Gratitude Fundraising Calendar, because it’s going to knock your socks off and make your 2016 a year you won’t forget!

4. Ushering in the Age of Donor Realism: Six Ways My Donor-Centric Copy is Shifting

Where is donor-centered communication headed? Guest columnist Lisa Sargent weighed in and discussed some important changes in donor-focused copy, bringing the voices and ideas of Vu Le and Nancy Schwartz into the mix. Interesting stuff here, beginning with the idea that the taboo word, “we,” can totally be redefined as something much more donor-friendly than institutional. Especially when it has a specific, “we’re-all-in-this-together” kind of connotation.

5. Nonprofit Newsletters Done Right | Examples to Inspire You

Are your donor newsletters actually raising money? Don’t be fooled by the idea that newsletters are a dying breed. Even in this current age of technological convenience, direct mail still matters so much. Your well-written newsletter is another revenue source. Take a gander at these noteworthy examples, several from our Nonprofit Newsletters | Basics & More™ course. Tell me they aren’t awesome. I dare you!

6. 16 (yes, 16!) Easy Ways to Lead Your Organization’s Culture Shift

This one almost sounds too good to be true, but I can assure you that it isn’t. Yes, the phrase “culture shift” sounds a bit dramatic, connoting big, grand, important changes, but the way to achieve big, grand important changes is through adopting many little changes, and sticking to them. Perseverance is key: patience, consistency, and commitment. So each one of these tips is pretty useful on its own, but together? Their collective positivity will help usher in that cultural shift your organization so very much needs.

7. The five stages of transformational nonprofit storytelling — Rose’s story

The power inherent in great storytelling is undeniable, because the reality is, we’re entrenched in storytelling culture, even when it’s not immediately obvious to us. This holds true in cases of both day-to-day life, and the transformational work that we do. How do we convey that our work is transformational? Telling inspiring narratives that pack a colossal emotional punch is one of the very best ways, and Rose’s story is one of the most perfect examples I’ve seen in recent memory.

8. What’s in my inbox | #GivingTuesday email examples

This particular installment of WIMI answers the important question of, “How is your organization factoring Giving Tuesday into your year-end fundraising?” through three email examples. Plus, you can download ‘em and add them to your swipe file. Cool!

9. What’s in my inbox | Supporter surveying KISS

The KISS way (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the best way, seriously. And the sooner you realize this, especially in terms of your surveying practices, the better off you’ll be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled across overly detailed survey questions that make me cringe. Apply the KISS rule to your surveys to make them quick, easy, and fun, and you’ll be on the right track to gaining some true insight on how your supporters feel about different ideas, as well as getting to know them better. This post is a terrific start in making it all happen!

10. Donor Retention 101: How well do you REALLY know your donors? (5 tips)

How can you be donor-centered if you don’t know your donors? Knowing the valued individuals who make your work possible enables you to communicate in an effective way. But how do you strengthen your donor relationships and truly get to know them without coming off as a creeper? It’s not as challenging as you think and is guided by intuition, instinct, and genuine desire, among other things. And I’ve heard these five tips are quite helpful…

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind year, but I hope these posts help you during the next twelve months to come, and beyond. Did you have a favorite post, or a bunch of favorites? Reach out and tell me which ones. As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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