Annual Campaigns

5 Elements of Every Successful Nonprofit Annual Report
December 2, 2013

I’m thinking a lot about annual reports right now. Are you? All nonprofit annual reports, regardless of size, length or format, should include these five essential elements: 1. accomplishments, not activities; 2. real people telling the story; 3. the financials; 4. ample thanks; 5. a call to action.

6 Fundamentals of a Smashing Fundraising Campaign
November 12, 2013

Here are six fundamentals of a smashing fundraising campaign: 1. Figure out your target audience. 2. One size does not fit all. 3. Craft your messages and tailor them keeping your audience in mind. 4. Determine who is making your case — not whom the actual ask is coming from (though that matters a lot too), but whose story are you telling? 5. Create an overarching "identity" for your campaign. 6. Map out your campaign on a timeline.

A Simple, Smart, Easy Way to Raise More Money Next Year: 50 Asks in 50 Weeks
November 7, 2013

Are you disappointed with your fundraising results? If you answered yes, I'm pretty sure I know the cause — you didn't ask as often as you should have. Over the last few years, I've developed a simple, easy-to-follow method that will get you on track to raise much more money. The best part of this system is that anyone, even someone with your crazy-busy schedule, can use it!

The plan is called "50 Asks in 50 Weeks." That's it — an ask almost every week.

Stand Apart From the Crowd — Year-End Fundraising Campaigns
November 6, 2013

Whether there is a specific focus around the holidays or not, many nonprofits choose this time of year to kick off their annual fundraising appeals. For some, it can yield a good percentage of their overall annual fundraising, but for others, their campaigns can fall flat. The following are some simple steps any organization can take to revive its annual appeal, better engage its donors and make one last final fundraising push.

6 Tips From Valencia College Foundation for Virtual Fundraising Success
November 4, 2013

The Valencia College Foundation took its six-week fundraising campaign, First One, online using peer-to-peer fundraising to supplement its offline campaign activities. At the end of the day the foundation raised $203,817, which included a matching grant, recruited 152 fundraisers on 36 teams, and attracted 170 first-time donors.

Donna Marino, Valencia College Foundation’s donor stewardship manager, shared some points of the foundation's success as well as some important lessons to take into planning for the next campaign.

3 Ways to Wake Up Your Donors
October 28, 2013

If you’re planning to wait until December to reach out to your donors, you may be too late. Setting the stage for your year-end fundraising push is as important as the ask itself. This is true for a few reasons. First, no one wants to be ignored all year, only to be asked for money when they finally do hear from you. That’s not much of a relationship. Second, it often takes more than one message to get donors to act.

6 Ways to Raise More Money With Your Annual Fundraising Appeal
October 14, 2013

Working on your year-end appeal? Flying by the seat of your pants? Struggling with your copy? Think your copy is OK but not super inspiring? Worried that folks may not even open your envelope? Crafting fundraising appeals is not rocket science, but you do have to adhere to certain guidelines if you want to achieve blastoff. So … here come some guidelines!

I’m putting these in order, with the most important at the top. Since I’ve only selected six tips, however, you can consider all of these critically important to your success.

5 Things to Do Now for Year-End Fundraising Success
September 18, 2013

The year-end fundraising season is almost here. It’s tempting to put off your planning for a few more weeks, but don’t give in to procrastination. Proper planning now is like insurance for a strong fundraising finish in 2013. Take a moment this week to assess your progress toward your year-end campaign plans. Here are five ways to make sure you’re ready: 1. Review your results. 2. Set a goal. 3. Create a plan. 4. Craft your key messages. 5. Test your process.