In the late 1980s, United Jewish Communities/The Jewish Federations of North America had more than 800,000 donors. By 2009, that number had dwindled to fewer than 500,000. A steady, 20-year decline in donor numbers is a sure indication that something is wrong — something much deeper and long-term than the down economy that has been decimating donor bases across the nonprofit sector since last year.
It's important in any economic conditions for nonprofits to effectively promote their missions, programs and fundraising campaigns — in other words, to properly establish and maintain their brands. And it's especially essential for them to get the branding right before jumping into new arenas like social networks.
Fundraisers spend time and resources creating messages for cases, proposals and campaigns. But how many of them actually stick?
In his session "Sticky Ideas: How to Make Your Fundraising Messages Powerful and Persuasive" at the 2009 Bridge Conference held last week near Washington, D.C., consultant Bernard Ross defined what makes ideas stick, why sticky ideas work and why they're essential to fundraising, and how they can be applied by fundraisers in their work with donors, board members and others.
We all know the power of a tagline when it comes to branding an organization's name and mission. However, a 2008 survey by GettingAttention.org showed that 72 percent of nonprofit organizations don't have a tagline or rate theirs as performing poorly. Now through July 31, organizations can enter the recently launched 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Awards and be a part of the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report.
In his Easier Said Than Done column in April, Jeff Brooks recalled his experience working with a leprosy charity that didn’t want to talk about leprosy. He pointedly said, “How many people have leprosy right now because we couldn’t bring ourselves to say ‘leprosy’?”
BOSTON, June 24, 2009 — The YMCA of the USA’s brand is worth almost $6.4 billion, making it the nation’s most valuable nonprofit brand, according to The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100. This first-of-its-kind research explores the unique relationship between nonprofit brand image and financial performance and revealed some organizations may be leaving millions of dollars in potential unearned revenue on the table.
"I must say that I have seen Americans make great and real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend faithful support to one another."
— Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"
Set aside a few seconds to try to imagine what the United States of America would be like without a healthy, vibrant nonprofit sector.
Latinos tend to think with the right side of their brain — the section that focuses on emotion, intuition, creativity and vision — and fundraisers need to keep that in mind when they’re trying to get donations from the Hispanic community, said Michael Saray, president of New York-based Michael Saray Hispanic Marketing during the session “How Do You Listen to Different Ethnic Communities? Fundraising in the Hispanic Market” at the 2008 New York Nonprofit Conference last week. “It is important to understand that, in general, Latinos are culturally hard wired differently,” Saray said. He explained that fundraisers need to adjust the basic factors