What’s in My Mailbox | How are you letting your direct mail donors know about employee matching?

September 30, 2020

You need to understand how your best donors give. Do they typically mail in a check? Or do they prefer to make a gift online? The method they use to give matters. This slip from a recent PETA mailing served as a good reminder of this fact. While corporate employee matching is usually well established […]

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Power of Storytelling | Her “Shecanic” story

September 30, 2020

Imagine getting a manicure while your car is being serviced! It’s always inspiring to see cases where women have gone forth to carve out their own niches within traditionally male-dominated spaces. Patrice Banks, the founder of Girls Auto Clinic, is a remarkable lady and “shecanic” trailblazer who saw a need for female mechanics and created […]

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Power of Storytelling | Tanquerey, HONY, and $1 million raised in four days!

September 23, 2020

Do you doubt the power of storytelling for your fundraising success? Introducing Stephanie! You’re probably already familiar with Humans of New York (HONY), the storytelling project by photographer Brandon Stanton. I’ve highlighted HONY in this space and they’ve made national headlines multiple times. But you may not know about Stephanie, a 76-year-old New Yorker with […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | Check out how this tiny newsletter delights in big ways!

September 23, 2020

We’re all feeling it right now. It’s hard to ignore this great sense of impending doom that hangs over the world. Over our country in particular. But when it comes to your donors, this is where “inspire and delight” hits harder than ever. Think about it. How can you lighten your donors’ load right now? […]

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What’s In My Inbox | Mitzvah Circle knows now is the time to talk to donors

September 17, 2020

Mitzvah Circle is a nonprofit organization located in Norristown, PA that works to help individuals and families experiencing poverty, homelessness, and illness. This nonprofit works to provide items not covered by government assistance. Through a handful of programs geared toward providing necessities, Mitzvah Circle has been able to help more and more families each year. […]

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Power of Storytelling | Covenant House shows fundraisers why repurposing is the answer

September 9, 2020

Sometimes fundraisers have the tendency to look long and hard for the “best” solutions, forgetting the arsenal of resources they already have at their disposal. Especially now. Times are hectic, chaotic, and stressful. Many of us are experiencing panic and uncertainty in our day-to-day lives. That can cause us to search even harder for what, […]

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What’s In My Mailbox | A terrific B&M alum newsletter example during COVID

September 9, 2020

Michelle Moshier, Executive Director at Clara Barton Hospital Foundation in Kansas, is a Basics & More ticketholder. Earlier this year, she tackled our Nonprofit Newsletters class. It teaches how to create your profitable donor newsletter system for both print and online newsletters.  The hospital’s last newsletter was sent in 2017. She recently sent her organization’s […]

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What’s in My Mailbox | Beating the drum of monthly giving

September 3, 2020

Starting and growing your organization’s monthly giving program plays a key role in the Simple Development Systems‘ “Lifetime Donor Attraction” model. Donors appreciate the ease and convenience of monthly support. Nonprofits appreciate the reliable monthly revenue. And monthly giving donor retention rates, your best indicator of your fundraising success, hover at 90% and up. Now, […]

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Lessons from MotivateMonday | Creating your organization’s year-end fundraising campaign

August 27, 2020

Do you have a plan for year-end fundraising? In this special episode of MotivateMonday from Pamela and John Lepp from Agents of Good you’ll discover how to run your best campaign, even in the midst of a global pandemic, civil unrest, and now the possible dismantling of the US Post Office. Watch to learn… What […]

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A monthly giving how to: Should you ask for monthly gifts at year end?

August 26, 2020

A good friend asked me this question and as good friends tend to do, I wanted to address this question right away, before you get into your busy season. While I would love to say, yes go all out, and ask for monthly gifts, but the answer has really should be: “It depends!” Let me […]

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Think Twice Before You Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater | Donor-Centered vs Community-Centered

August 24, 2020

“Did they do their research at all? Do they have any idea who we are?” Those words came from the vice president of programming at the family foundation where I worked. And she was expressing her frustration with the grant proposal in front of her. The daughter of the original founders, Ms. R had enjoyed […]

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Are you creating “bulletproof” stories for your nonprofit?

August 20, 2020

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 with butter. “I felt a mental clarity come on,” […]

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“What grade level do you write to?” A lesson in a Gratitude Report

August 12, 2020

During this week’s MotivateMonday Q&A session featuring John Lepp, Partner at Agents of Good, Ann asked, “What grade level do you write to?” It’s a great question and one we’ve been asked time and time again. As John noted, we typically aim to keep the grade reading level for donor communications between grades 4 and […]

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Lessons from MotivateMonday | Developing your organization’s donor communication’s voice while working remotely

August 5, 2020

How do donor-centered fundraising communications form the core of your fundraising program? And how do you do it all with a small team? This past Monday, we were fortunate to have two members of the Center for Election Science team on board for a MotivateMonday power half hour. We were joined by Caitlyn Alley Peña, […]

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The US Postal Service Slowdown: Is Your Fundraising in Danger?

August 3, 2020

As we enter into the month of August, I’ve been hearing increasing stories of US postal mail slowdown. In my region of the suburbs of Philadelphia, some towns are reporting no mail delivery for up to five days. And when I asked friends on Facebook whether they were seeing signs of a slowdown in mail […]

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Fundraising Friday | July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

Donor Love, Donor Communications How can you tell your stories on Instagram if they don’t lend themselves to photos? Black Mainline Speaks is one account that is using this very visual medium in a compelling way. This week’s Power of Storytelling.  A Gratitude Report is a key communications piece of the Simple Development Systems puzzle. In this Lessons from MotivateMonday, […]

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Lessons From Motivate Monday | What’s REALLY Working During COVID-19?

July 30, 2020

When it comes to fundraising, what’s really working during COVID-19? This past Monday, Steven Shattuck (repeat MotivateMonday guest and Chief Engagement Officer for Bloomerang) returned, and he helped to answer this very question. Also worth mentioning: Steven is the author of our upcoming August Book Drawing pick, Robots Make Bad Fundraisers: How Fundraisers Can Maintain the Heart […]

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The Power of Storytelling | “The Look” explores being Black in America and you won’t forget it

July 30, 2020

Procter & Gamble released a short film called “The Look,” last year, but I’ve seen the video on multiple social media accounts more recently, and considering some of the crucial conversations that have been taking place within the past few months, it makes sense. Clocking in at just under two minutes, this clip reveals one […]

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Lessons From Motivate Monday | Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits

July 22, 2020

In a small shop, the Executive Director or Development Director is often wearing many hats — grantwriter, event planner, individual giving manager, communications manager, volunteer coordinator, and more. How do you manage to fit something else on your plate? For even the smallest nonprofit, creating an effective PR strategy is important. This past Monday, we […]

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What’s in My Mailbox | What to Look for in a Donor-Friendly Reply Device

July 22, 2020

In Simple Development Systems, your guide to growing your fundraising, monthly giving plays a vital role. We recommend two to five dedicated monthly giving asks in the course of a year, using a mix of direct mail and email. Now, in the midst of a pandemic and global uprisings, monthly giving is more important than […]

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