Are your donors missing the picture?

When you send an email, are your donors missing the picture? Seriously. Many may not have images automatically open. So all you get it a weird blank space. And possibly some words. Those words are the "alt" text. When you add an image to an email or web page, most...

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Why your fundraising stories don't work

During my time as a leadership and fundraising coach, I've helped thousands of nonprofit leaders clarify their fundraising stories. Nearly all make the same mistake: they forget the audience - the donors. Take hospitals for instance. Have you ever asked hospital...

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Setting up solicitations based on hardwiring

.One of the hardest stages of asking for money is getting the appointment. The good news is that getting the appointment is mostly about consistency and polite persistence. But hardwiring plays a role too. In my Quadrant 3 Leadership training, I show participants how...

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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...

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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...

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Get fundraising unstuck by reframing

I just returned from training NGO leaders in Lebanon. Prior to the training, I spent time studying Lebanese philanthropy and interviewing people who'd registered. Fundraising is clearly getting harder. I kept hearing the two reasons it was particularly hard in Lebanon...

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Fundraising in the last days of December

Year-end is a huge time for nonprofit's fundraising. There's a debate if the spike in giving is because we ask so much more frequently at this time of year or if it's because people are more generous because of the mix of public and religious holidays combined with...

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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...

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Capital Campaigns for the 21st Century

Capital campaigns are a mainstay in nonprofit fundraising. There's something special about a time-limited, specific goal like a capital campaign. It gets us motivated to give generously and accomplishes results we can see and touch. But things are changing. For...

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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...

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Make the most of the summer

Last week, I sent my Fundraising Kick subscribers a couple ideas on how to make the most of the different pace of the summer. Although Kicks are written for nonprofit CEO's, I thought this might be helpful to a larger group of people as well. Happy New (fiscal) Year,...

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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...

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Will you take the Red Pen Challenge?

Fundraising is a counter-intuitive profession. But it is a profession. Experts research fundraising tactics and test strategies to find out what works. Often, the results seem illogical. Like is the case in writing fundraising letters that actually raise money. The...

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What do you offer?

Listen to a direct mail specialist like Tom Ahern or Steven Screen talk about fundraising for any length of time and you'll hear them constantly talking about "offers." You need clear offers. Test various offers. What is your offer? This can confuse the rest of us....

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Are you able to sharpen your saw?

I've been talking to a lot of amazing nonprofit leaders and staff. Our sector is full of some of the most dedicated people! But dedication seems to go only so far, doesn't it? With all the hard work, doesn't it just feel like there's more to do? In our latest...

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