What’s in My Inbox | Making your supporters feel like partners

October 21, 2020

Ottawa-based nonprofit Ten Oaks Project provides a safe space for youth from 2SLGBTQ+ identities, families. Thanks to TOP, these kids not only connect with each other but have the opportunity to engage with programs suited to their needs, too. TOP has been spotlighted on this blog before. I’m a donor and I love their donor […]

Read the full article →

No one sets out to write crap. A short lesson in nonprofit copywriting.

October 21, 2020

No one sets out to write crap. But when you’re in the middle of a pandemic and the craziest election in American history… Well, things fall off the plate. Now your organization’s year-end fundraising appeal is due tomorrow. What are ya gonna do? Instead of copying and pasting last year’s letter, you can create your […]

Read the full article →

Lessons from MotivateMonday | Planning Your Wildly Successful Virtual Event

October 15, 2020

A few weeks ago, I attended one of the more delightful virtual events I’ve been to. Student and killer fundraiser JodiJoy O’Keefe of Bethany Health Care was behind it. In this Lessons from MotivateMonday, she’ll be giving you the 411 on what it takes to create a successful virtual event. How do you sell sponsors […]

Read the full article →

What’s In My Inbox | See how giving your donors some fun can inspire them to give!

October 14, 2020

When this delightful email from Save the Children landed in my inbox, what could I do but head on over to their site and “fill a lunchbox” for a child? And just in time for World Food Day. It’s a great call-to-action that involves an enjoyable activity. After clicking “Fill My Lunchbox,” the reader is […]

Read the full article →

What’s in My Mailbox | Infusing your donor communications with gratitude

October 8, 2020

We talk a lot in the nonprofit sector about the ideal thank you email and thank you redirect page, and what to include in a thank you letter or phone call. But how are you infusing all of your donor communications – from your fundraising appeal letter, to your website, to your event invitations – […]

Read the full article →

What’s in My Inbox | The anatomy of a successful donate page

October 7, 2020

How easy are you making it for your donors to give online? Take a walk with me through my recent donation to the World Wildlife Fund to see just how easy it can be. 1.) The Donate button is highlighted in red and easily found on WWF’s home page.             […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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? […]

Read the full article →

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. […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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,” […]

Read the full article →

“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 […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →