Losing Too Many Donors? 5 No-Brainer Ways to Keep Them

 

Specific gifts 300x264 Losing Too Many Donors? 5 No Brainer Ways to Keep Them

Thoughtfully thank donors for their specific gifts if you want their continued, thoughtful giving

When it comes to improving donor retention, I often try to guide organizations through the process of shifting their thinking – and the culture of their organization – in the direction of gratitude rather than greediness toward their donors.

What’s important about making this philosophical shift is that it forces you to think very specifically about what you’re grateful for.

You aren’t simply asking your donors for money. Similarly, you aren’t thanking your donors for money.Continue Reading

October Nonprofit Blog Carnival Call for Submissions: Tricks or Treats – How Do You Get and Sustain Major Gifts?

ScreamPumpkin 255x300 October Nonprofit Blog Carnival Call for Submissions: Tricks or Treats – How Do You Get and Sustain Major Gifts?

H E L P! I need major donors!

I’m majorly S C R E A M I N G with delight to be hosting this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival!

So majorly, in fact, that the subject this month is TRICKS or TREATS – How Do You Get and Sustain Major Gifts?

Tell us your tricks – the ones that work! Do you HAUNT prospects through a series of managed ‘moves’?  Do you fly in on a BROOMSTICK and just drop in spontaneously? How do you put them under your SPELL?

Tell us some treats – ways you wow your donors! Smile like a JACK-O-LANTERN every time you think of them; then figure out a way to let them know? Give them lots of virtual CANDY (seriously, do you use social media for any part of your major gifts strategy)?Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: How Philanthropy is Changing; Giving Tuesday; Content Marketing; Retention; Color Psychology; Thank You

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: How Philanthropy is Changing; Giving Tuesday; Content Marketing; Retention; Color Psychology; Thank You

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Changes in Philanthropy

Click-It: On Nonprofit Fundraising, Physics and Utopia. Heidi Hancock of Mosaic muses on the nature of nonprofit growth, and why it’s probably not realistic to think you can raise an endowment that will set your nonprofit up for life.

Giving Tuesday

Click-It: Expert Advice on Taking Advantage of #GivingTuesday comes from the folks at Double Donation. More than 30 experts weigh in on how to prepare for a successful #GivingTuesday campaign. I don’t happen to be a proponent of Giving Tuesday for every nonprofit, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you if you know going in what you hope to get out of it and set realistic objectives that don’t confuse your donors or cannibalize other fundraising efforts. I like using the day for gratitude. Whatever you do, plan for it and follow up with those who participate. Check out this article for promotion ideas.

Content Marketing

Click-It: 6 Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy.You can grab your free ebook on the subject over at Social Media Today. Why? Because if you learn to do it well you can convert “awareness” into “donor prospects” and, ultimately, donations.

Retention

Click-It: Why Think Retention Is All About After The Gift? What a thought provoking article by Jay Goulart of NewSci Labs! I agree that retention of only 39% is abysmal and, ultimately, unsustainable. And I’m all for a new engagement-based model. In fact, I’ve written about retiring the Donor Pyramid and replacing it with an inbound marketing-based Donor Vortex. What do you think?

Color Psychology

Click-It: The Psychology of Color: How It Affects the Way We Buy [Infographic]. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I happen to think being thoughtful about color choices for nonprofit marketing materials can make a difference in how you are perceived and even how much money you raise. Humans are visual creatures, after all. Thanks to Lindsay Kolowich at Hubspot for reminding us. Want to know more? Check out Hue Are You? What Color Can Mean for Your Marketing Strategy.

One Week Left to Get the Power of Thank You

There’s still time to register for my upcoming 4-week E-Course with expert Pamela Grow: The Power of Thank You/The Basics and More! Donor retention is probably the greatest challenge facing nonprofits today. If you’re not making it a priority you’re ignoring your nonprofit’s future. Learn how to WOW your donors and keep them for life with this simple, practical course. Then write your thank you while you’re writing your year-end appeal. There’s no point getting donors today, only to lose them tomorrow! REGISTER TODAY — and keep your hard-won donors!

Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra

 

 

What My Mother Taught Me and How it Informs My Fundraising Practice

 

Manners Polite and Rude 300x300 What My Mother Taught Me and How it Informs My Fundraising Practice

Do you toss good manners, along with common sense, out the window when you cross the threshold of your nonprofit?

Why and How to Invoke the Power of Thank You

My mother was known for having impeccable manners. At her memorial service, it seemed as if every other person who shared a memory talked about her manners. They did so not in a nitpicking way, but in a loving way.  It seemed she always knew just the right thing to do to show her appreciation.

Maybe that’s why I love writing thank you notes.  Seriously, it’s my favorite thing to do in all of fundraising.  And it’s undoubtedly why, when I first heard Penelope Burk speak in 2001, it completely changed my approach to the practice of development.Continue Reading

3 Rules for Thanking Nonprofit Donors that Should Never Be Broken

Thank you balloons 300x300 3 Rules for Thanking Nonprofit Donors that Should Never Be Broken

Never underestimate the power of a thoughtful, personal thank you.

If you’re not retaining as many donors as you’d like, you’ve no one to blame but yourself. And I’m here to tell you why.

You’re Not Thanking Donors Properly.

I’m serious. How you handle donor acknowledgements is that important. Yet, sadly, most of you do an absolutely rotten job of showing your donors how much they mean to you.

Part of the problem is due to focusing on acquisition at the expense of retention. Most executive and development directors don’t even know their retention rates without looking them up.

DUDES! Your retention rates should be on the tips of your tongues! If you don’t know how you’re doing, how can you improve?Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: How Philanthropy is Changing; Social Media Measurement; Twitter for Nonprofits; Recurring Gifts; Lapsed Donors; Thank You

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: How Philanthropy is Changing; Social Media Measurement; Twitter for Nonprofits; Recurring Gifts; Lapsed Donors; Thank You

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Here’s this week’s Clairity Click-it, leading off with a provocative piece about the state of the charitable sector and roaming through a mix of interesting and useful nonprofit marketing and fundraising tips — all designed to help you be the best you can be. Enjoy!

Changes in Philanthropy

Click-It: Philanthropy Reconsidered: The Paradigm Shift is a fascinating, thought-provoking article Continue Reading

6 Traits of Relationship-Building Nonprofits + 4 Most Effective Ways to Retain Donors

Bad day 6 Traits of Relationship Building Nonprofits + 4 Most Effective Ways to Retain Donors

Your donors have bad days too. Learn to be a friend.

Donor retention has continued to plummet every year for the past seven years.  It’s really, truly an awful problem. For some unknown reason, all that hard work you put into acquiring new donors is, seemingly, being wasted. Why?

I recently asked folks what ONE word they would use to sum up what is needed to transform donor loyalty. I received some interesting answers and thought I’d share them with you, along with my comments, here. First, let me remind you of my own Big Secret — the one principle I’ve found that makes the greatest difference to long-term, sustainable fundraising success: Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Leadership, Text Donations, Mobile Optimization, Saying Thank You

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: Leadership, Text Donations, Mobile Optimization, Saying Thank You

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Here are some important links for you as we head into prime fundraising season. Some will make you think. Others are hands-on and practical. Enjoy!

Leadership

Click-It: To Be a True Leader, Start by Listening. Check out this podcast where Allison Fine interviews Annie Murphy Paul, author of the upcoming Brilliant: The New Science of Smart, about the concept of “cognitive humility”—recognizing what you don’t know and having an eagerness to learn. Do you fear to let others know when you don’t know something? Learn how to embrace admitting this as a strength.Continue Reading

The Big Secret – One Word – to Transform Donor Loyalty

SECRET 300x300 The Big Secret – One Word – to Transform Donor Loyalty

What ONE principle can change your donor relationships from short- to long-term?

In a recent post about building donor loyalty I promised to reveal my personal #1 SECRET the one principle that makes the greatest difference to long-term, sustainable fundraising success.

I’m going to share that principle here; then I’m going to turn this principle into a word – actually three variations of the same word – that you can use to transform the way you’ve been doing business.

Are you ready?Continue Reading

You Can’t EXPLAIN People into Caring – Nonprofit Social Media Messages that Work

 

Secret shh.. You Cant EXPLAIN People into Caring – Nonprofit Social Media Messages that Work

Does it feel as if what your organization does is a big secret no one knows how to share?

“We’re the best kept secret around.” “No one knows what we do.” “If folks understood the depth and breadth of our work they’d want to support us.”

Does this lament sound familiar? It’s probably the most common complaint I hear from nonprofits. And all too often folks think the answer is hiring someone to write a newsletter or annual report. Or getting someone to “do” social media. All with the end goal of explaining what you do to people so they understand and want to make a charitable gift.

Folks, you can’t explain people into caring about you.Continue Reading