Transparency and Stability: Keys to Surviving Criticism, Change, or Even Worse Scandal

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Donor Communication, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management.

Nonprofits, philanthropy and fundraising have been my life for a long time now. During this time, I have been through periods of growth and economic downturns, leadership resignations, and even some times of crisis. As I sat down to think about the common threads that have helped organizations weather the ups and downs, the common… Read more »

Words to Give By: 5 phrasing tricks that could increase your donations

Posted , by Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Communication, Donors.

We all know good writing is critical in fundraising, but even a well-written appeal might leave money on the table if a more strategic word or phrase could have been substituted. So how can your organization ensure you are packaging your message in the most strategic way? Luckily, a variety of studies have been done to determine which… Read more »

Clients v. Donors: How to write without making a wrong

Posted , by Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Communication.

While we hate to disillusion anyone right after the holidays, I need to set the record straight about a certain mythical figure. You might have been sending letters to it for years. But unfortunately, there’s no such thing as… the General Public. All too often, nonprofit communications are written for this “audience,” and the message… Read more »

4 Ways to Make a STATEMENT with Your Case for Support

Posted , by Sarah Fargusson, Client Manager. Topic: Cases for Support.

Donors want to see you making an impact on the community—but you need to make an impact on donors, too. One of the best ways to do both is through a well-designed and engaging case for support. A case for support is the basis of all your fundraising materials. Your case should outline your organization’s… Read more »

Not another year-end appeal! 12 writing tips to stand out & inspire action

Posted , by Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Communication, Year-End Giving.

If you’ve worked in the nonprofit world more than a year, you might already be weary of the pressure to maximize year-end gifts. It’s not that different for your donors, who are often bombarded with requests as December 31 looms closer. The way you communicate your message is key to cutting through the clutter and… Read more »

How to write thank-you letters your donors will actually read

Posted , by By Melissa James, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Acknowledgement.

Acknowledgment letters are more than an obligation. They’re an opportunity—to build donor relationships, to educate and hopefully, to inspire future giving. But let’s face it, many of these missives leave us less than inspired. Do you read all the nonprofit thank-you letters you receive? Me neither. What’s different about the ones you do read? Here… Read more »

Do you know your economic impact? (hint: it will help you raise money)

Posted , by Michael Marks, Consultant. Topic: Capital Campaigns, Cases for Support.

As the economy continues its recovery, many nonprofits are considering long-delayed and necessary capital projects—new buildings, physical improvements, or expansions, all critical to the long term success of their organizations. As these organizations move through their fundraising steps, a key component they often overlook is the overall economic impact they have within their community. Information… Read more »

Top 5 pitfalls to avoid when thanking donors

Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Consultant. Topic: Donor Acknowledgement.

Are you effectively thanking and engaging your donors? I often encounter well-intentioned nonprofits that are hurting their acknowledgment efforts through common mistakes: 1. Slow response. You risk losing donors—and donations—by waiting too long to send thanks. Some say that 48 hours is the ideal turnaround time, but if that’s not realistic for your organization, aim… Read more »

“Donor-Centered Fundraising” Defined

Posted , by Erin Phillips, Marketing Director and Consultant. Topic: Donor Communication, Fundraising.

AFP of Hampton Roads recently hosted a seminar featuring industry expert Penelope Burke on “Donor-Centered Fundraising,” which is also the title of a study published by her research firm Cyngus Applied Research, Inc. Burke opened her presentation with three attributes donors define as most important when making a gift to a nonprofit. 1. Receiving prompt, meaningful acknowledgment… Read more »

What Makes you Stay? Preventing the Revolving Door in Nonprofits

Posted , by Kaitlin Robb, consultant. Topic: Donor Retention.

For years, the state of the economy was one of the only things on which nonprofits and donors could focus. As nonprofits begin to feel more confident with the future of philanthropy, they are addressing issues that were pushed to the backburner during the economic downturn. Nonprofits are being forced to take a hard look at… Read more »