There Must Be 50 Ways …
July 1, 2009

Remember the story of the boy in Holland who noticed a hole in the dike? Fearing a leak could flood the entire town, he shoved his finger into the hole, potentially avoiding a major disaster.

Model Behavior
June 1, 2009

Put simply, modeling means finding like characteristics about people that, when combined, enable you to predict future behavior. There are several inexpensive ways to model your data yourself (and some more expensive ways to use external data sources to help you) that can yield more revenue at lower cost from your direct-response program.

10 Things You Can Learn From Real-World Donor Thank-You Letters
May 12, 2009

Saying thank you. Recession or no recession, it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep more donors. Of course, you might already know “the basics” — things like thanking your donors promptly, segmenting by giving level or personalizing your letters. But there’s lots more to effective, engaging thank-you letters. And with the help of nonprofits from Toronto to Tasmania, you’re about to find out how much more.

29 Tips for Gaining and Retaining a Donor Base
April 28, 2009

In a Forum for Fundraising webinar last month, Pat Rich, principal at EMD Consulting Group, outlined 29 recommendations for how organizations can gain donors and retain their donor bases, touching on everything from planning your program and acquisition and renewal strategies, to upgrading current members and creating member surveys.

Mid-Level Donors: Get ’em, Grow ’em, Keep ’em
December 16, 2008

Do you need help developing long-term relationships with your mid-level donors? Do you want to launch some special mailings and tailored communications for these high-level donors but don’t know where to begin? Or is your current mid-level program in dire need of some fresh ideas?

Several organizations have made a big impact on the bottom line by attracting donors to the mid-level and by maintaining long-term, fruitful relationships with them, L.W. Robbins Associates President Lynn Edmonds said at Blackbaud’s 2008 Conference for Nonprofits held last month in South Carolina.

Bryan Terpstra, vice president of client services at Robbins, added that, “A big focus is on the creative approach used to attract the mid-level donors and how this differs from the approach used for other segments of the donor file.”

Making an Emotional Connection With Passion-Driven Leadership
December 9, 2008

“Achieving passion-driven leadership in your community is the key to establishing personal relationships. It’s about making that emotional connection.”

So said Nancy Bocskor, president of campaign consultancy The Nancy Bocskor Company, in a session at Blackbaud’s 2008 Conference for Nonprofits held last month in South Carolina.

Bocskor explained that “passion-driven leadership is the ability to inspire action in others by harnessing the boundless enthusiasm and deep feelings of the human heart.”

Planned Giving: Turning Donor Consideration Into Donor Action
December 2, 2008

According to Giving USA 2007, charitable bequests totaled an estimated $22.91 billion in 2006. As in recent years, these charitable bequests made up less than 8 percent of the estimated total giving that year. But research shows that one in three individuals would be willing to consider having a charity named in his or her will. These findings support the belief that organizations need to focus on upgrading donor consideration into donor action, especially for planned gifts. What does this mean for you? Whether you are beginning a new program or hoping to invigorate an existing planned-giving effort, you are far more likely to

Tips on Turning Tiny Campaigns Into Big Money
November 18, 2008

More and more, charities are adding microcampaigns to their fundraising strategies. A microcampaign is any program conducted by an individual, over a short period of time, targeting a relatively small fundraising goal. It sounds simple, but it can be quite effective. As organizations realize the advantages peer-to-peer fundraising has over traditional charity-to-donor appeals, microcampaigns are beginning to form an integral part of the “isosceles donor triangle.” Considering the nuances of this type of fundraising, there are three key elements to making sure your microcampaign is as successful as it can possibly be. Make it personal Microfundraising has a major advantage over regular fundraising:

Don’t Let a Dark Economy Leave Fundraising in the Shadows
November 11, 2008

With the economic slump, the significant decline of the stock market, and consumer confidence at historic lows, many in fundraising are watching how the current turmoil will affect charitable giving. Is there any good news or silver lining in this dark cloud? Yes. Fundraisers can take solace in the fact that Americans are remarkably resilient in their charitable giving. Individuals account for 88 percent of charitable giving in this country, with the donations equaling 2.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — a figure that has changed very little in the past decade. While it’s true that past economic downturns have cut