Create a system for expressing gratitude

Do you have a system for expressing gratitude? For telling your nonprofit’s donors how grateful you are for their support? In my weekly coaching email, Fundraising Kick, we’ve been looking at systems we use in fundraising. Using a system allows you to make a decision one time, rather than needing to make decisions with each and

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Be strategic and curious – not a jerk

Did you read the “Outspoken Donor” article in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy? I didn’t like it very much. But some of the donor’s experiences with fundraisers are chilling. For example, she says: “Development officers sometimes think that because you gave money to one particular cause, you’re expected to give to something else, too, and

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How to effectively interact with donors

So many fundraising problems can be solved by interacting with donors. Getting to know them. Asking about their interests. Learning their stories. I call it “seeing donors in their natural habitat.” But if you’ve had years and years of only focusing on your nonprofit and what you do and how great your staff is, interacting

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Giving headlines should grab your attention, but not for the reasons you think

Private coaching clients have been emailing me the doom and gloom articles on the latest Giving USA report. Giving was up about $3 billion but when adjusted for inflation, giving was down in 2018. This should grab our attention. But not for the reasons you think. In answering a coaching client today, I ended up

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Email deliverability is more than double opt-in

Nonprofits love sending email. It doesn’t take all the printing time of direct mail. And it costs less. But what if your emails aren’t getting to your list? In the last few weeks, Google and Yahoo have tweaked their algorithms – the systems they use to determine if your email is wanted or unwanted. In fact,

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When in doubt, write a JTOY

Excellent fundraisers know that fundraising is about a relationship with a donor. Since they’re a “donor,” the relationship is centered around their giving. But it is a relationship. That giving is linked to a donor’s values and passions – things that make her uniquely human. And it’s those values and passions that contribute to a genuine

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Who’s leading the army?

Last month, at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, I saw Jeff Brooks help nonprofits understand donor communication by sharing a great image. I wrote about it to my Fundraising Kick email subscribers. But I wanted to share it here. Hopefully it’ll help as you write your next fundraising letter or thank you note! SUB: Who’s leading

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A true disruption in fundraising

We often hear people claim they’re going to “disrupt” an industry, even fundraising. “This will change everything,” they promise. And the implied threat is that you’d better adapt or get left behind. They are usually selling a website or an app that is supposed to take away your fundraising woes. Usually by making you sell

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[Guest Post] 3 Surprising Things I Learned From Making Recurring Donations to 115 Nonprofits

Monthly giving is important for nonprofits. But are we doing it well? To test, Brady Josephson ran an experiment involving giving to 115 nonprofits. And I’m honored that he agreed to write about his findings. Brady is the Vice President of Innovation and Optimization at NextAfter – a fundraising research lab. No stranger to nonprofits

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Happy (Fiscal) New Year

Years ago, I recorded this “Thank you for fundraisers.” I wanted to get it out early this year to give you the extra “umphf” to push through these last few days of the fiscal year. (If your fiscal year ends in June!) Thanks for your hard work. Our world is better because of the persistence

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