Key takeaways from our client who just raised $8.5 million

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Capital Campaigns, Higher Education.

While mistakes can be valuable learning opportunities, this is a case where the client did everything right. Blue Ridge Community College followed our advice to the letter—and the results speak for themselves. Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge Community College offers comprehensive programs of instruction including associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in occupational/technical and college/university transfer… 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 »

UNDERDOG SUCCESS STORY: How a small, rural museum raised $3 million

Posted , by Wendy McGrady, Executive Vice President. Topic: Nonprofit Management, Preparing for a Campaign.

To Virginia’s secluded Eastern Shore community, the Barrier Islands Center is more than a museum, education center and tourist attraction—it’s a cherished gathering place. Founded in 1996, the Barrier Islands Center introduces visitors to the history of the islands and surrounds them in the rich history of the Eastern Shore. In 2009, the Barrier Islands Center… Read more »

Understanding Prospect Research, Part I

Posted , by Ryan Woroniecki, Guest Writer | DonorSearch Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Topic: Donor Prospects.

Maybe you’re just breaking into the nonprofit world, or you’re a seasoned fundraising fiend. Either way, taking the time to learn or review prospect research is key to keeping your nonprofit aimed toward success. Are you looking to get more out of your current donors? Are you looking for new donors? Maybe you’re looking to… Read more »

7 steps to score a prospect meeting

Posted , by Abby Weber, Client Manager. Topic: Donor Prospects.

It seems like people are busier than ever these days, and trying to connect with a donor for an in-person meeting can be a challenge. For that reason, nonprofit professionals often rely heavily on mailings and emails to communicate with donors. However, making the effort to meet with prospective and current donors face-to-face is one of the… 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 »

Examining Your Board: Notes from the AFP International Conference

Posted , by Kaitlin Robb, Consultant. Topic: Board Development.

At this year’s Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference in San Antonio, I participated in two sessions on board leadership and how to create a dynamic, purposeful group of volunteers. Kay Sprinkel Grace, spoke passionately about the need to create an environment where there is permission to innovate. Board members and staff should be encouraged to… Read more »