Start Out Spicy: Use Feature Ledes to Combat Boring

Comment

Start Out Spicy: Use Feature Ledes to Combat Boring

I’ve been thinking about how spicy, vital causes like yours go with the bland, safe option when they write. Should we blame legal? Tempting. How about the curse of multiple editors? That certainly doesn’t help. But the fact is that sometimes we feel too busy to be creative. Here’s some inspiration.

Comment

A Universal Problem: How to Communicate with Donors

Comment

A Universal Problem: How to Communicate with Donors

It doesn’t matter whether your nonprofit is in Arizona or Abuja. The one audience that seems to vex us the most is donors. How can we keep up with what donors are thinking and tell them stories that will inspire them to give? Thinking through your “buyer journey” is a good place to start. Here’s how.

Comment

10 Ways to Stop Writing Boring Nonprofit Content

Comment

10 Ways to Stop Writing Boring Nonprofit Content

Nonprofits naturally have amazing stories to tell about lives saved, challenges overcome, heart-breaking sacrifice and huge needs that diverse communities are rallying to meet. So why is so much of our writing DEAD BORING. Understanding how journalists decide if something is worthy to print, can help change that.

Comment

How Nonprofits Really Use Digital Tools

Comment

How Nonprofits Really Use Digital Tools

Nonprofits love to save money. Relying on low-cost digital tools like email and social media is a great way to do that. But nonprofits also need people to read and respond to their communications. And research shows that’s getting harder for some nonprofits to achieve online. Get the solution. 

Comment

The Digital Avenger: Or How I Learned to Love Print Again

Comment

The Digital Avenger: Or How I Learned to Love Print Again

As I moved up the nonprofit ladder, I started a one-woman campaign against print. If there was no proof of ROI, I destroyed it and sometimes recreated it in digital form. But now I know that when print and email get together, average response rates soar. That means more money to fund programs and make meaningful change happen.

Comment

Screw Perfectionism! Improvise for Better Results

Comment

Screw Perfectionism! Improvise for Better Results

Perfectionism is on the rise, and that’s not a good thing. Psychologists believe this irrational desire to succeed may cause mental health issues. If you feel stuck between delusions of perfect grandeur and the fear of being found out, let me offer a solution from my not-so-secret, secret skill: improvisation.

Comment

How to Manage Donor Complaints

Comment

How to Manage Donor Complaints

Shakespeare penned the words, “Beware the ides of March,” in his play Julius Caesar. The piece recounts the Roman ruler’s assassination by angry mob and stabbing. I hate to be dramatic, but sometimes being a fundraiser can feel just like that.  Here's how to deal with disgruntled donors and still keep your cool. 

Comment

Basic Nonprofit Fundraising Plan Template [Free Download]

Comment

Basic Nonprofit Fundraising Plan Template [Free Download]

All too often, the year starts and fundraising planning gives way to crisis control. To help you get out of emergency mode, I’m sharing this nonprofit fundraising plan template – all ready for you to customize. If you’ve ever wondered how to write a successful fundraising plan, this is a great start.

Comment

Time for Nonprofits to Rethink Social Media

Comment

Time for Nonprofits to Rethink Social Media

Three out of four nonprofits admit they use social media to talk about their events, their activities and their needs. In doing so, they miss the true purpose of social media. Find out why now is a good time for nonprofits to rethink their social media strategies. 

Comment

Is Your PR Effective? Use Analytics to Find Out

Comment

Is Your PR Effective? Use Analytics to Find Out

Vanity metrics are rarely correlated to real outcomes, like increasing donations so you can provide more meals to people in need. Your nonprofit’s mission is why you exist. And everything you do, including PR, should contribute to that mission in some way. 

Comment

How Healthy Is Your Donor Conversion Rate?

Comment

How Healthy Is Your Donor Conversion Rate?

Some 52 percent of all websites use Google Analytics. But few of the nonprofits I’ve worked for have this free tool installed. And even fewer use the data to guide decision making. 

This condition could eventually be fatal. Here’s why.

Comment

Is Your Data Stuck in the  Stone Age?

Comment

Is Your Data Stuck in the Stone Age?

Truly successful fundraising, the kind that builds a relationship and earns repeat donations, runs on data. A good database can tell you exactly who to mail, what to mail them and when they’re most likely to give a donation. It’s time to leave Access and Excel behind—without breaking the bank or your back. 

Comment

Arizona Goes Rogue on Emotion-First Fundraising

Comment

Arizona Goes Rogue on Emotion-First Fundraising

I’ve based all of my successful fundraising strategy around emotion backed up by logic, not the other way around. But now I know there are specific times when the exact opposite is true. Just don’t forget to back up your ask with a great impact story and fantastic stewardship.

Comment

5 Ways to Ease the Pain of Nonprofit Writing

Comment

5 Ways to Ease the Pain of Nonprofit Writing

As a nonprofit writer, there are moments that feel like being an NFL linebacker – taking the hits play after play. Don’t let your storytelling get sidelined by confusing plays and poor sportsmanship. Here are 5 things you can do to take some of the pain out of nonprofit communications. 

Comment

This Is Your Brain … on Fundraising

Comment

This Is Your Brain … on Fundraising

New fundraisers are often surprised at how mentally challenging the job can be. To avoid burnout, it’s up to you to convince the boss that you need some outside muscle. Here’s how to go about that and not get burned.

Comment

Go Ahead: Admit You're a Fundraiser in 2018

Comment

Go Ahead: Admit You're a Fundraiser in 2018

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 20 years of nonprofit fundraising it’s this: if you want to be successful at the job, you have to own it. No one is going to give you millions of dollars unless you’re fully committed. Here are 9 signs you might just be a fundraiser after all. 

Comment