The Benefits of Blogs and Message Boards
January 23, 2007

There is a new voice being heard on nonprofit Web sites. It’s the voice of Web site visitors stepping up, speaking out and taking part in their own online community spaces — blogs, discussion groups and more — and it’s changing the way nonprofits think about their Web sites, and about their strategic approaches to reach out and engage their constituents and supporters. Many nonprofits have “brochure” Web sites with pages that present read-only information about an organization’s goals, activities and accomplishments. These sites may be attractive and informative, but they don’t actively engage the Web site audience. Because of this, they are giving

Hi-Tech Advocacy in Action
January 16, 2007

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, online advocacy campaigns are not only possible, but they can bring an issue located hundreds or thousands of miles away right to constituents’ backyard in ways that direct mail can’t. The “I Love Mountains” campaign is a perfect example of this. A collaboration by local, state and regional organizations across Appalachia working together to end mountaintop removal, a type of coal mining where the tops of mountains are removed and mined for coal, I Love Mountains is operated through, a site produced by Boone, N.C.-based environmental organization Appalachian Voices. It uses cutting-edge technology to inform and involve

Googling for Donors
May 9, 2006

&000; May 9, 2006 By Nick Allen Nonprofits usually use search-engine marketing -- buying keywords on Google, Yahoo!, and other sites -- to drive traffic to their sites, sell merchandise, and enroll supporters on their e-mail lists. Many organizations are buying keywords, and many others are taking advantage of the Google Grants program, which offers free keywords to selected nonprofits. Amnesty International USA has been taking the next step, acquiring donors directly on search engines -- and making money on the acquisition -- through a program that involved testing a wide variety of keywords and continuous editing of the words based on their

Top of the Heap
January 1, 2006

I have a love/hate relationship with my own stupidity. I love it when I learn something that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. But I hate it when I have to acknowledge, even to myself, that I didn’t know it.

Privacy Policy Must-Haves
November 8, 2005

Privacy Policy Must-Haves Nov. 8, 2005 By Abny Santicola, FundRaising Success When it comes to privacy, the gathering of the data isn't the issue. It's what's done with the data that's controversial, says David Lamb, prospect research consultant for software and services provider Blackbaud Analytics. Lamb says the way for organizations to deal with this is to be upfront about what they are doing with donor information by creating a privacy policy. "There are a lot of organizations -- nonprofits -- with privacy policies on their Web sites that I think are terribly inadequate. If you just Google 'privacy policy' or 'donor privacy'

Soliciting Major Gifts?
June 1, 2005

The 2004 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ annual survey cited two important trends. First: Large organizations once again outperformed smaller organizations in fundraising — no surprise there. Second: Major gifts and planned gifts are on the rise.

More than 80 percent of AFP’s 3,000 survey respondents said they expect revenue from major gifts and planned giving to remain strong or increase in 2005, while casting direct mail as essentially flat.

Take A Lesson from the Old School
March 1, 2004

That dream. We’ve all had it: You’re back in school, sitting down to take the final exam, and you haven’t attended a class all semester. And the exam is on advanced Russian or trigonometry … or nuclear physics.

That’s how it can feel to walk into a major-gift meeting without being properly prepared. It’s that make-it-or-break-it moment, the final exam that will decide your grade.