9 Best Practices for Successful Fundraising Communications
February 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm

I don’t write copy for clients. It’s just not the most strategic use of my time. If you’re the CEO or chief development officer at a nonprofit, chances are this is true for you, too. I have yet to work with a CEO or chief development officer who is fulfilling his or her potential or responsibility in fundraising by re-writing (vs. brief edits) a document...

Why Sad Faces Equal Happier Fundraising
February 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm

We’ve all heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Nonprofits routinely use pictures to communicate their messages to their constituents. Usually, the photos are selected to represent the people who will be helped by supporting the mission of the nonprofit...

Be Brief and Compelling
February 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Today’s Associated Press Style, used by most journalists and professional communicators, seeks to abbreviate copy and save valuable space—whether in print or online—knowing that readership and comprehension both increase with brevity....

Why Nonprofits Should Ban the Word ‘Incentive’
January 24, 2018 at 10:56 am

I recently did a webinar for a major nonprofit preparing to roll out next year’s walk campaign to its local chapters. There were about 200 chapter directors on the call. In the last year, the nonprofit has gone away from providing incentives of consumer products and has opted for more modest gifts with its brand to recognize fundraisers and donors, per our recommendation...

Top 5 Tips for Email Marketing During a Capital Campaign
January 17, 2018 at 11:51 am

If we are being honest, on most days our inboxes are buried under a barrage of email. Many of the emails are automated email newsletters from businesses or organizations that we support. Many get marked “read” without us ever opening them or reading them. Really good email campaigns need to be cleverly written in order…

Nonprofit Email Marketing: 7 Emails for All-Year Engagement
January 12, 2018 at 12:13 pm

One of the best ways to get the word out about a fundraising campaign is through email. Emails are free, instant, completely customizable and able to reach anyone on your list who has an email address, which is pretty much everyone...

Mailing Smarter in Unsure Economic Times
January 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

Most Americans are unsure about what the recent tax bill signed by President Donald Trump will mean to the average nonprofit donor. Most nonprofits should again turn to their databases and list brokers to set their target for an uneven or even minimal growth prospect for the new year. Mailing smarter should be your 2018 goal...

Direct Mail Fundraising for the New Year
December 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm

It's not too late to plan now for your New Year’s fundraising campaign. So, let’s continue the assumption your new job with the nonprofit requires a complete direct mail campaign from scratch. Don’t fret! Here is a good list of things to start with: call your list broker, do the numbers, plan the mailing and test, test, test...

The Truth About Your Nonprofit’s Swag
December 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

Your swag may be hurting your mission. When asked about people wearing a nonprofit’s swag, most fundraising professionals will respond, “The more the better!” But when it comes to the buttons, ribbons, wristbands, t-shirts—all the stuff that people wear with a nonprofit’s brand—more is not always better. Sometimes, more can be, well, less. Here’s why...

Personalization Is More Than a First Name in the Salutation
November 8, 2017 at 11:48 am

What does it mean to make it more personal? We don’t mean personalizing salutations, using segmentation or even using behaviorally triggered automated-marketing tools (although you definitely want to do all those things)...