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 »

Connecting with Millennials: How Nonprofits Can Build Relationships with Tomorrow’s Leaders

Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Campaign Manager. Topic: Donor Communication, Donor Prospects, Fundraising.

The most recent AFP eWire featured three short, but informative, articles on tapping into the power of Millennials. Nonprofits know this influential generational group is more “connected” than any of its predecessors. But, how can the estimated 92 million members of the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2001) be motivated to effectively rally behind a… Read more »

Highlights from “Donor and Board Member Engagement” Webinar Hosted by Bloomerang

Posted , by Erin Phillips, Consultant and Marketing Director. Topic: Boards of Directors, Donor Retention.

Bloomerang, a company specializing in donor databases, hosted a webinar recently titled “Everything You Need to Know about Donor and Board Member Engagement.” We are cautious of programs that boast these superlatives—”Everything”, really? But we knew the hosts were authorities in their field and signed up to participate. While Jay Love, CEO of Bloomerang, and Bryan… Read more »

Higher Donor Retention Rate Translates to Higher Charitable Receipts

Posted , by Lauren B. Fenn, campaign consultant. Topic: Donor Retention, National Research Collaborative.

“Are higher retention rates associated with higher totals in charitable giving?” This is the question that the Nonprofit Research Collaborative sought to answer in their most recent survey focused on donor retention rates. More than 770 organizations across every subsector participated in the study. Interestingly, the results are almost exactly the same as the NCR’s… Read more »

The Importance of Engaging (and Retaining) Volunteers

Posted , by Wesley Stanley, Marketing Director. Topic: Donor Retention.

Last week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch interviewed Keith for an article addressing the surprisingly low volunteer rate in the Richmond,Virginia area. The article juxtaposes this reality against the fact that 2010 actually showed the highest growth rate in U.S. volunteerism since 2005, climbing to 63 million. So why is it that only 20.9% of Richmond-area residents volunteered… Read more »