Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: The Red-Haired Stepchild Rebels
March 1, 2017 at 9:58 am

The first time I attended an Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting, I searched for the peer-to-peer fundraising sessions. There weren’t any. Each year I would go look, and there were never any sessions. Recently, a few are showing up, but they typically only involve peer-to-peer fundraising peripherally...

On the Run: Get a Head Start in the Race for Better Run/Walk/Ride Events
February 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

Experts say not to fret. Run/walk/ride events aren’t going away. They’re just evolving. And there are more of them, with newer events—built on refined P2P concepts and years of research and data—popping up often. Two events for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund illustrate this phenomenon. The organization hosts both a walk event and a ride event. One is the Time to Fly walk, an annual run/walk in Minneapolis founded 14 years ago. The other event is the Great Cycle Challenge, a virtual, month-long biking event that took place for the second time this past June.

Computer Genius Hacks Amazon Dash Button to Donate $5 to ACLU
February 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

We all know the Amazon Dash button to be a one-step ticket to replenishing household supplies—laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels—and your day-to-day necessities—Doritos, GoldFish, Pop-Tarts—for those of us who prefer convenience over human interaction. But did you know you could use the Dash button to support the American Civil Liberties Union and really “stick it to the man”?...

Could You Write a Swimming Pool? Resources for Copywriters
January 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

Persuasive copywriting is just one skill in the fundraiser’s toolbox, but I’d argue that it’s critically important. After all, everything from your newsletters, to your fundraising appeals, to your grant proposals, to your online campaign, to your website, stems from the written word. It’s a skill-set that you should be honing on a regular basis. How? Here are a handful of my most-relied upon resources...

How to Plan Your Stories for 2017
January 9, 2017 at 8:00 am

Deciding on your big picture goals and creating at least some loose project plans can give you structure for the year. But how can you plan for storytelling? That’s what I want to talk about in today’s blog. These tips will help you with editorial and content planning and more. Think about your themes. While…

The Best and Worst Word in Fundraising
December 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

There's a single word that can be one of the worst or one of the best words to use in fundraising. The word? We. Here's how to make it the worst: When we means "those of us in the organization" or "the committee that wrote this message." When used that way, it's exclusionary. It sets…

What 'Where’s Waldo?' Teaches Us About Designing Better Pages
December 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

What can “Where’s Waldo?”, the lovable children’s book series of the '90s, teach us about designing better page layouts? A lot, it turns out. In UX, we use different page layouts to help organize information and guide the user's eye path. The “F” pattern, for instance, is commonly used for article-heavy sites to guide the…

5 Ways to Keep Donors Active and Engaged
November 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

You all know how much I love insight and data from studies. Recently, someone pointed me to the 2016 Donor Loyalty Study from Abila. There’s a lot in this document, and to really understand it you need to download the whole report. But here are some interesting elements about how donors view the content they receive from nonprofits...

Why Your Fundraising Needs Kryptonite
November 14, 2016 at 10:43 am

Superman is boring. Or, he was at first. Think about it. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound. X-ray vision. Invulnerable. He should never lose any conflict with anyone. Yawn. Who could sustain interest in a hero who automatically wins every time? That's…

How to Get Agency Results From Your In-House Creative Team
November 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

If your organization is in need of advertising agency-level work, there are two ways to go: lead the search for an outside agency or establish your creative team as the go-to in-house agency. If working with an outside agency is not feasible, consider positioning your in-house team as the in-house agency of record for the project. Here's how...