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Three in every $4 are donated by individuals, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014. Given this statistic, it’s imperative that, as fundraisers, we master the principles of people-based marketing. The principles are based on the evolution of a single idea: By understanding the unique characteristics of a donor, we can build highly customized experiences that will drive increased giving, improved retention and enhanced donor satisfaction...

Do you recognize this donor? She’s been on your house file for three-and-a-half years now. You know exactly how old she is, where she lives and the channel she was recruited on. And, of course, you know how she gives and how much. But do you know why she gives?...

People are far more distracted than they were a decade ago, which means that even the most experienced fundraiser must continually evolve—something the industry has found difficult at times—and leverage new outlets to increase donations. Is it possible that our inability to adapt or unwillingness to change is a primary reason for our industry’s declining performance?...

You’re sauntering down the street on a warm Saturday afternoon when you turn a corner and see a long line of people in front of a French bakery. Your first thought is, "What’s going on here?" You glance at all the people. You glance in the window. You think, "The pastry chef must be brilliant." Next thing you know, you’re standing in line too, eager to order a baguette, a brioche and a couple of chocolate croissants...

In most cases, the question of who benefits from your nonprofit is directed at the end-user: What are your program’s outcomes? How does your nonprofit benefit society? But that question is not often directed toward the for-profit businesses that also benefit from your positive outcomes. By digging deep into this question, you will be able to find new funders for your nonprofit...

As a promotion at recent fundraising conferences, my team had the idea to give away pedometers to the more than 4,000 fundraisers in attendance. If they walked 33,000 steps at the conference, and sent a picture confirming their totals, we’d make a $25 donation to their nonprofits. I thought this would become the Ice Bucket Challenge of fundraising conferences. It did not...

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