E-Mail Tips From the Obama Campaign
February 17, 2009

Tips about wildly successful fundraising and awareness strategies will continue to be culled from the Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign for months to come. If you have passionate constituents, tasty pieces of breaking news can be effectively delivered to supporters’ cell phones, and you can leverage these numbers to activate your grassroots support — maybe even with mobile phone fundraising (“text to give”).

To the Point: Keep Your Year-end E-mails Off the ‘Naughty’ List
December 1, 2008

I have a really good piece of advice for you. Send a fundraising e-mail the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Dec. 30 and 31 are the biggest online days of the year, in my experience. All those generous procrastinators are just getting their acts together, so your timing is perfect if you send a last-minute reminder at year’s end. But make it a GOOD e-mail. How do you know the difference? We have a great new e-mail partner at Network for Good called Emma, and that company’s experts have agreed to share 10 big e-mail no-nos, based on their time in the

The Real Costs of Online Fundraising
September 1, 2008

What are the real costs of e-philanthropy? Coming from a direct-mail background, my experience has taught me that every, single component has a specific return on investment and is measured for value. Unfortunately, the words “return on investment” ring hollow in many development conference rooms these days. If one more person says, “Just send an e-mail — it doesn’t cost anything,” I’ll scream. Wake up and smell my energy drink — it costs plenty. As I started to pull my notes together for this article, I went to what was safe — let’s see — five costs that every fundraiser needs to consider for

2008 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence: And the Winners Are …
September 1, 2008

Judging for the Gold Awards was a little more low-key this year, it seems. (We think it might be because the ASPCA’s Steve Froehlich couldn’t make it. But please … don’t tell him we said so.) Also, there was no hotly contested tie for Package of the Year that had us seeking tiebreaker after tiebreaker like last year. But the competition was just as fierce.

Getting Schooled in Online Giving
August 20, 2008

Nonprofits have a new tool to better understand online giving thanks to Donation University. The free, Web-based guide was created by online-donation gateway Qgiv to help people understand how payments make their way from donors to organizations. “Everything in Donation University was built on the idea that people were genuinely confused about the world of online giving,” says Peter Rudden, Qgiv’s director of marketing. “We felt the best way to address these concerns and provide the necessary guidance to those seeking to accept donations via the Web, including recurring donations, event registrations and other payment options, was to create an educational Web site.

E-Mail No-Nos to Avoid
August 6, 2008

“If you don’t subscribe to Media Post or Uncle Roger’s Agitator blog, then perhaps you haven’t read the latest from Silverpop’s Loren McDonald. Read on and find out what Loren says are the biggest email design & marketing mistakes to avoid! 1. Making it difficult to unsubscribe. 2. No ‘welcome’ message and/or waiting weeks to send the first message. 3. Over mailing. 4. Using a large single image as the core of your email. 5. Not using alt tags. 6. Relying on graphical links. 7. Not having a preference center. 8. Not designing for the preview pane. 9. Using a person’s name in

E-mail Appends: The Good, the Bad and the Realistic
August 1, 2008

As with any new industry, the early days of online fundraising were filled with both success and failure. Some organizations quickly found a new stream of revenue … while others found themselves struggling to get out of that black hole known as the spam filter.

10 Tips for Fundraising in Tough Times
May 14, 2008

[This is] a challenging year. In addition to the recession, we are also seeing some other troubling indicators. Direct mail-based donor acquisition is getting harder and more expensive due to postage rate increases, mailing list fatigue and postal mail delivery challenges. Many nonprofits have cut back on direct mail-based acquisition efforts as donor files shrink and current communication approaches fail to align with a more empowered “new breed of donor” — constituents who value transparency about how their funds are being applied, are increasingly taking an active role in their philanthropy and have high expectations as to how they should be communicated to online.

eView: Political Marketers Have Embraced Web 2.0, But What About Online Advertising?
May 14, 2008

There is no question political and advocacy campaigns have embraced the Internet as part of the 2008 campaign cycle. Blogs, social networks and the YouTube phenomenon all are prevalent aspects of the marketing mix, and most campaigns have perfected fundraising and e-mail marketing online. However, to date, the presidential campaigns have overlooked an opportunity to capitalize on what non-political marketers have known for years: online advertising works. Otherwise, it would not be a $20 billion industry, surpassing radio advertising revenue and continuing to grow at 20 percent each year. Today, online represents about 7 percent of all commercial advertising spending in the U.S., versus