What Nonprofits Can Learn About Donor Retention from David Letterman

David Letterman and Justin Bieber 300x202 What Nonprofits Can Learn About Donor Retention from David Letterman

Are you the last kid on your nonprofit block to adopt social media as a tool to build relationships?

If you’re not using social media to get and retain more donors, be afraid. Be very afraid (I’ve got an easy e-course fix to alleviate your fears if you scroll to the end of this post).

Social media has ceased to be a nice little “toy.”  An “add on thing.”  It’s the thing. If you’re not hanging out where the majority of your constituents are getting their information, you may as well fold up your tent and go home.  David Letterman doesn’t “do social media.”    ( See “Do you use the Twitter device?” ).  He’s going home.

Letterman  may be ready to go off into the sunset. But you shouldn’t be. You can learn new tricks!Continue Reading

WARNING: Your Fundraising Communications are Too Pretty

Storyteller thumbs up 198x300 WARNING: Your Fundraising Communications are Too PrettyCreative is great. I see lots of beautiful newsletters, web pages and email appeals. They have great design, colors, photos and even videos. But they have a problem.Continue Reading

Creating a Donor Communications Plan to Woo Your Supporters: Part 1

Blowing hearts to donors 291x300 Creating a Donor Communications Plan to Woo Your Supporters: Part 1

How do you show donors you love them?

You want to be the favorite child, don’t you?

Did you know that half of donors give 2/3rds of their annual giving to a single charity. That’s why you want to become the “favorite.” Wouldn’t it be terrific if your donors adopted you and thought of you as a member of their family?

Truly, that’s how important you want to become to your supporters. But it won’t happen just because you’re a “good cause.” There are oodles of great causes out there.  Oodles.  It will happen only when Continue Reading

Nonprofit Social Media Alert: If You Do This You’re Monkeying Around

Chimp does Hamlet 300x260 Nonprofit Social Media Alert: If You Do This Youre Monkeying Around

To thine own self, and thy users’ selves, be true.

Monkey see, monkey do is not a social media strategy.

It tends to lead to trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Huh?  Bear with me. We’ll get there. First… before embarking on a social media strategy, do you ask:

  • What keeps our constituents up at night? How can we help them sleep better?
  • What makes our constituents sad? How can we help them feel better?
  • What makes our constituents smile? How can we bring them joy?
  • And how can we do all these things without compromising our own well-being and authentic self?Continue Reading

Breaking News about Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy: It Doesn’t Measure Up

Breaking News large Breaking News about Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy: It Doesnt Measure Up

Many nonprofits post on Twitter throughout the day to keep constituents up to date

XTRA! XTRA: NEWS YOU CAN’T USE

This just in: Many nonprofits post on Twitter throughout the day to keep constituents up to date.”  Woo-hoo! I’m jumping for joy! Over the moon! Popping champagne corks! I’m….

Wait just a dog-gone minute…  Is this really a news story? What does this really tell me? How does this help me? Well, perhaps if I read the story I’ll…

Learn more.

What story?  Oh… this is a real headline, sent to me by my friend Jimmy (a really smart marketing guy who works in the business sector), for an article that appeared in eMarketer which claims to provide “the world’s top brands, agencies and media companies with the most complete view of digital marketing available.”  Yet really all the article does is report on a study by Vertical Response showing that nonprofits were more likely to be present on social media channels than small businesses surveyed in a similar study.

So, great.  We’ve got some data on how nonprofits are behaving digitally.  They’re putting up Facebook pages and starting Twitter accounts. Whoop-de-do.

What we do not have is a fully fleshed out narrative that tells us why nonprofits are behaving this way, who they’re targeting with their social conversations or what they’re getting out of it. We have no knowledge of their engagement plan or their engagement metrics. As I told my friend Jimmy, the fact that nonprofits are doing incrementally more on social media doesn’t really tell much of a story.Continue Reading

5 Secrets of Psychologists: How to Get Donors to Say “Yes”

Freud model 5 Secrets of Psychologists: How to Get Donors to Say “Yes”

You might miss out! How do you feel about that?

In 1984 Robert Cialdini wrote a groundbreaking book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, outlining principles of influence that affect human behaviors. A new infographic visually makes the point that, while technology advances, human triggers remain constant.

Even someone inclined to support your cause may not give unless you push the right buttons. Here are five triggers with a few suggested strategies (I’m sure you can come up with more) to use these principles in your offline and online relationship building with prospective supporters:Continue Reading

WARNING: Your Donor is Getting Bored

Yawning person 300x225 WARNING: Your Donor is Getting Bored

You’re doing the opposite of inspiring me. Zzzzz…

I randomly checked out some nonprofit mission statements yesterday. I was going to check a few more, but… YAWN… I fell asleep.

I’m not kidding. 

I don’t want to embarrass anyone, butContinue Reading

Personal is the New Plastics: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Build Donor Relationships.

Graduate Personal is the New Plastics:   4 Ways Nonprofits Can Build Donor Relationships.

‘Personal’ is the new ‘Plastics.’ It’s your nonprofit’s future.

This month’s SMIT (Single Most Important Thing I have to tell you):

Remember in ‘The Graduate’ the one word piece of advice given to Dustin Hoffman?  PLASTICS. That was seen to be the wave of the future (oh how long ago that seems, and how quickly something can turn from friend to foe…. but I digress).

Recently I gave another “P” word as my best piece of advice for nonprofit marketers and fundraisers. PERSONAL. I received a lot of feedback, so I’d like to revisit this word and flesh out its multiple meanings – and how getting personal can help you achieve your fundraising and marketing goals.Continue Reading

Earth Day: What the World Needs Now – 7 Ways to Influence Change

Change the world dream bigger Earth Day: What the World Needs Now – 7 Ways to Influence Change

Don’t just wait for the dream to come true. Facilitate it.

We want help solving our problems, both significant and commonplace. We want help improving our lives. We want help making sense out of world fraught with uncertainty.” — Jay Bear, Convince and Convert

It’s a day for thinking about the planet, and how to repair our world.  There are many different ways.  Sometimes it’s just hard to get started. The problems seem so insurmountable… it’s hard to envision making a difference.

Your job, as a nonprofit fundraiser and marketer, is to help folks see how they can influence the outcome. Then, you must help them to do it. Guide them towards being the change they want to see in the world. Persuade them that your cause is a fantastic way to achieve this change. Your cause may be one cause among many picked by your constituents; that’s fine. Your task is simply to (1) engage them to act, and (2) entice them to choose your organization to facilitate that action.

How do you turn thoughts into action that improves lives?Continue Reading

Show Me That You Know Me — 5 Things You Must Do To Sustain Donor Relationships

Show me you know me Show Me That You Know Me — 5 Things You Must Do To Sustain Donor Relationships

Show me you know me

My recent post about showing your donors you know them* through personalization struck a big chord.  Folks have asked for more tips on the subject of building and sustaining meaningful, loyal relationships, so I’ve taken the liberty of sharing this article originally published in The Bridge. The 5 tips are towards the bottom, so scroll down if you’re impatient. Okay…Continue Reading