Blogs

Do Your Nonprofit Stories ‘Knock Their Socks Off’?

Unfortunately, in the nonprofit sector, sympathy is one of the most common feelings caused by sharing a story. We rush to share some facts and leave little room to connect with the person and their conflict. We simply end up feeling sorry for the person. That is not the kind of storytelling that causes listeners and readers to take action...

Why Don’t You Start Asking Monthly Donors for Bequests?

Never think that monthly donors are too small to ask about bequest gifts. The fact that they give for multiple years and give multiple gifts is a much better indicator than anything else. So, if you need to decide whom to include in your next bequest mailing and your email message, go ahead and include your small monthly donors...

Out-of-Control Major Gift Events Program

Tell me what you think is wrong with this picture: There is a major gift officer (MGO) who has a caseload, and he is also charged with doing events for the organization. He has three staff members who work with him on this agenda...

Other Staff Bloggers
Development

Unfortunately, in the nonprofit sector, sympathy is one of the most common feelings caused by sharing a story. We rush to share some facts and leave little room to connect with the person and their conflict. We simply end up feeling sorry for the person. That is not the kind of storytelling that causes listeners and readers to take action...

Never think that monthly donors are too small to ask about bequest gifts. The fact that they give for multiple years and give multiple gifts is a much better indicator than anything else. So, if you need to decide whom to include in your next bequest mailing and your email message, go ahead and include your small monthly donors...

In the past 30 years, the way that economists understand people’s behavior has undergone a revolution. While classical economics is based on the notion that people act with rational self-interest, many of their decisions seem far from rational. Behavioral economics was born out of the necessity to explain these seemingly irrational choices...

Leadership Management

Tell me what you think is wrong with this picture: There is a major gift officer (MGO) who has a caseload, and he is also charged with doing events for the organization. He has three staff members who work with him on this agenda...

In my experience, if you hire correctly, and orient and train employees the right way, you will have a happier staff. You need to work each day at providing a positive attitude toward each employee. Lead by example and encourage others to lead. Be a servant leader and understand leading begins with good following...

Many fundraisers can point to specific successes that are a result of doing research and applying the findings to create a new program or refine an existing strategy. While surveys are still used for many research efforts, I had an opportunity to probe 21st century research for nonprofits with Dave Goetz, president of CZ Strategy, a marketing firm that helps organizations make sense of their data and then implement messaging and communication changes based on the findings...

Direct Marketing

Who is Travis Bickel? Heard of Nelson Brittles? How about Blanche DuBois? Well, these are all fictional characters from movies, TV as well as stage and screen. They represent my short list of seed names that I use in all my direct-mail marketing campaigns for my nonprofit mailings...

#GivingTuesday is right around the corner and presents a unique opportunity for nonprofits nationwide to drive in new donors (both financial and time-based). If you are not familiar with #GivingTuesday, it is a national campaign that begins the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28, 2017) and kicks off end-of-year giving for many people around the world...

This question comes up regularly, but especially now, as nonprofits are starting to prepare their fall and year-end appeals. Should you or should you not ask your monthly donors for money? The answer is a resounding yes...

E-Philanthropy

Contact forms are one of the most important features of any website, being the main way most website users interact with an organization to ask questions or request information. If users have a poor experience using a website’s contact form, bad things happen...

Let me share this story with you. When I worked at a big animal welfare organization with a huge donor base, we had several wonderful people in our “systems support/technology/IT” department. As manager of monthly giving, I had to have regular meetings with these great “techies...

In this challenging economy, more and more nonprofits, magazines and even brick-and-mortar stores are cutting back on their marketing efforts to better focus on email marketing. Developing or continuing a relationship via email is a good way to further the mission of your organization with the inclusion of more tools in your toolbox...

Data Management

Once you recruit powerful volunteers to serve in leadership positions of your capital campaign, you have an obligation to make sure they succeed. Period! The leaders and philanthropists of your community put their reputations on the line when they agree to serve on your campaign committees or in leadership positions. To let them down and embarrass them by letting a campaign fail will have serious negative consequences for years to come. So, don’t make failure an option...

Sectors

Former NFL Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a lone nut. He was the guy who famously took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before games to protest discrimination and brutality against minorities by police. The events of the past week transformed him from a lone nut into the leader of a movement...

Given the recent string of catastrophic events, amplified by nonstop media coverage, you certainly can’t fault people for beginning to feel compassion fatigue. After making personal or workplace donations to charities helping out in Texas, the Caribbean, Florida and elsewhere, it’s understandable that donors might begin to feel worn out...

Because I work for a disaster relief agency that also provides a variety of other important daily services, I am always interested in studying why certain donors only give for disaster relief. On a small sample, I noticed that more than 4,000 of our donors gave for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005, but did not give in subsequent years...