March 17, 2020

Right now, because of the coronavirus pandemic and other factors, you’ve probably got anxious donors and board members on the edge.

It’s time for you and your organization to show leadership.

We’ve got some advice for you (much of this advice is exactly the same as we offered during the Great Recession of 2007-2009):

Take a deep breath – resist the urge to panic, as so many nonprofits did during the Great Recession. As we know all too well, many nonprofits that slashed their fundraising budgets and staff so they could “save” money are the ones who felt the most pain when all was said and done. It was the organizations that continued to communicate with their donors that not only maintained,...

February 19, 2020

I’m going to make an assumption that you’re a hard worker. I’m sure that you try to engage your donors and prospects with communications that focus on the impact of each individual’s investment in your mission and that you’re now preparing to reap the benefits of your hard work.

If only it were that easy. Do you agree that keeping your donors loyal, engaged, and giving is a really big challenge? “Keeping” is an interesting word, isn’t it? I’m not simply talking about retention here. Loyalty is what I’m after for you.

When we talk to nonprofits, we ask about donor loyalty—the process of keeping donors invested in and giving to your mission.

The thing about loyalty is that there has to be an e...

January 22, 2020

Your CEO, president, or chairman of your board of directors may have their own ideas about what it takes to be successful when it comes to direct mail fundraising. Some of those ideas may even make sense. Others though, could really hurt your direct mail efforts.

When it comes to coping with people who are well intentioned, but unschooled in fundraising, here are some words to live by: don’t change your appeals simply to please someone who says, What we’re doing right now isn’t working. Let’s try it my way.

Do “simple” better. Here’s how:

• Understanding what motivates your audience and speaking to their needs is the most critical element of the pre-planning process. Then you can think about...

January 6, 2020

Many potential donors look at an organization’s mission statement before they decide to give a first gift. Does your organization prioritize donors first by making them the focal point of your mission statement?

Go ahead and take a look at your mission statement. I’ll bet that for every 10 of you who look at it, nine don’t even mention donors.

Your mission statement should tug at emotions while at the same time allow your donors and prospects to envision how they can help you achieve your mission.

What I’m really suggesting here is that you re-structure your organization in such a way that you stop serving children, the needy, the sick or uneducated, etc. long enough to put all of your resou...

December 9, 2019

Is fundraising more of an art or a science?

It’s a question that’s been debated for a long time. For example, when a donor’s behavior shifts from giving to your annual fund to something much bigger. Instead of picking up on a slight change in behavior, moving them into it or having them tell you, how would your strategy change if you knew the exact moment it was going to happen?

Analytics can help do that for you.

A religious organization recently increased their commitment to donor analytics. In doing so, they noticed that when longtime donors who had primarily given in smaller amounts stopped giving, it wasn’t necessarily a sign that they were withdrawing their support altogether. On the c...

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