Beware of Fundraising by Crisis
October 22, 2013

Here is our question to nonprofit leaders: Are you addressing the critical fundraising and fund development issues that support long-term nonprofit financials, or are you headed for a fundraising crisis? Refusing to address fundraising fundamentals is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few examples of what we mean.

Are Your Creepy Pitches Spooking Your Supporters? Pitch Fail and How to Fix It!
October 21, 2013

Creepy is great for a Halloween costume but not so great for raising funds so you can change the world. Let’s look at what’s really going on here: You, like most people on a mission to make the world a better place, probably have a pitch. Singular. Only one. You lovingly refer to it as your "elevator pitch." Its job is to close a deal while you glide up and down in an elevator.

Today's Twitter Picks
October 15, 2013

Tweets from the Direct Marketing Association's DMA2013 Conference in Chicago (#DMA13).

Better Subject Lines and Headlines: Fill-in-the-Blank Worksheet
October 9, 2013

I get it. Sometimes it’s really, really hard to come up with an attention-grabbing e-mail subject line or headline. That’s why we came up with a list of 50 fill-in-the-blanks to get you started, most of which are inspired by sensational headlines on consumer magazines. You can make that selling power work for your cause too!

The Deep Clean
October 1, 2013

Here are three major stages to increasing and taking advantage of database depth to tap untapped areas and maximize fundraising.

6 Unique and Unconventional Fundraising Ideas
September 26, 2013

“How are we going to bring in more money? Let’s get creative, folks!” Employees at nonprofit organizations of varying shapes and sizes have heard this from upper management in one way or another. There are only so many sources of fundraising revenue, and traditional foundation grants, corporate grants and annual appeals can become stale very quickly. We wanted to show you that there are several ways to think outside the box and give you a few unconventional ideas that might spark a creative fundraiser for your organization!

Story-Based Stewardship: Why It Works
September 3, 2013

Storytelling is an important tool that nonprofits are using in fundraising and communications. But perhaps its most important role is being able to forge relationships with constituents in a scalable way. Especially when it comes to annual-giving stewardship.

Being familiar with the complexities of annual-giving portfolios, I know that many annual giving fundraisers struggle with how to provide donors with meaningful stewardship without having to put in 14 hour days. Moreover, the real secret of course to retaining donors and increasing fundraising revenue is to provide donors with stewardship.

Actionable User Experience (UX) Principles for Donation Pages
August 26, 2013

We have seen time and time again the negative effect added friction in donation forms can cause to conversion rates, gift frequency, average gift rates and even in determining if you get that first gift. When was the last time you made a gift through your organization’s online donation process? Maybe it’s time to take a look at what you are asking donors to do in order to give to your organization.

3 Key Pieces in an Engaging E-mail Campaign
August 12, 2013

Nonprofits can learn from e-mail campaigns corporate marketers are sending. Corporate e-mail programs have focused on delivering value. They test offers, messaging and more. They send relevant content based on subscriber interests, preferences and actions. Think about what’s in your inbox. Daily deals, airfare price alerts, offers from favorite retailers and social media alerts. Add in family and friends and the inbox has become a competitive place.

So, how can your e-mail campaigns stand out? Here are three ways: use personalized messaging on different audiences, test subject lines and calls to action, and follow up.

Monthly Giving for Small Nonprofits: 8 Tips for Keeping It Simple
July 26, 2013

It seems to me that monthly giving programs should be a natural for small, even tiny nonprofits. Yet, many in the U.S. still don't use this form of giving. It may be that they think it is just too complicated. I just recently whizzed through "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant," by Erica Waasdorp, and was gratified by her down-to-earth approach. Here are some tips that I gleaned from Waasdorp's book and her webinar with Pamela Grow.