5 Story Starters You Can Steal
Jul30

5 Story Starters You Can Steal

When we get stuck for blog post ideas, it’s nice to have Laurel Dykema around to step in for us with her great posts. If you don’t have a Laurel in your life, try these story starters to get your ideas flowing. ~Kristina Guest Post by Laurel Dykema of Mission India A blinking cursor. A blank page. You have a new great story to write—about someone your nonprofit has helped. And a looming deadline. The only problem is … you...

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BRIEF: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less [Book Review]
Jul24

BRIEF: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less [Book Review]

Nonprofits do some pretty complex work. As a communications professional, it’s your job to simplify that work into language and images that others can understand and be motivated by — in as few words as possible. In his new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less (Amazon link),  Joe McCormack argues that being brief is essential for everyone. He says the consequences of not being brief can be brutal: wasted time,...

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How to Perform the “You” Test for Donor-Centered Communications – Do You Pass?
Jul23

How to Perform the “You” Test for Donor-Centered Communications – Do You Pass?

You know that donor-centered communications are vital to getting and keeping your supporters. During the coaching and feedback sessions for our fundraising writing e-clinics with Tom Ahern, he uses this little trick to instantly see how many times nonprofits address the supporter specifically by seeing how many times they use the word “you” in their writing. Here is how he does it in Microsoft Word. Find the...

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Pro Tip – Check How Easy Your Text Is to Read in Word
Jun27

Pro Tip – Check How Easy Your Text Is to Read in Word

Here’s a quick tip for you today on using Microsoft Word to check how easy it is for your supporters to read your communications. Word has the ability to let you know your Flesch Reading Ease score and your Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. You just have to turn it on! Wait, what? The Flesch Reading Ease score and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level are readability tests that let you know if your copy is easy to read or not. If you are...

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What Questions Do You Include in Donor Surveys?
Jun10

What Questions Do You Include in Donor Surveys?

I’m getting a lot of questions about questions — the ones you should ask donors or other supporters of your work in surveys. First, yes, surveying your donors a couple of times a year is a great idea. It not only gives you information you can use to adjust your programs and how you market and fundraise for them, but surveying also demonstrates that you actually care what your donors think! What questions do you include in...

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Nonprofit Writers: How to Build Your Superhero Team!
Jun05

Nonprofit Writers: How to Build Your Superhero Team!

Laurel Dykema of Mission India (and guest blogger extraordinaire) is back with a new post on how to round up folks from all parts of your office to create a communications team that will help you think of new ideas, proof that email, or create a graphic. ~Kivi Guest Post by Laurel Dykema of Mission India Hey, nonprofit writers! Ever wish you had a team of “writing superheroes”—people who swooped in with new ideas, encouragement, and...

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