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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If You Write Direct Mail Appeals In-House, You’ll Want to Know About This
Jul17

If You Write Direct Mail Appeals In-House, You’ll Want to Know About This

If you have been part of our community for any length of time, you know Tom Ahern and how awesome he is at writing fundraising copy – especially direct mail appeals. (If you are new here, “Welcome!”) In fact, his direct mail appeal e-clinic has been the most popular e-clinic we offer and consistently sells out each time. (Because of the personal attention Tom gives to participants, we have to limit the number who can...

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3 Email Acquisition Campaigns You Can Use to Grow Your Email List
Jul16

3 Email Acquisition Campaigns You Can Use to Grow Your Email List

We get a lot of questions about how to grow your email list, so we decided to create a new advice and tips page devoted solely to growing your email list. We still have a page focused on email newsletters, but we thought that email list growth needed its own page. Like the other advice and tips pages, this page is also organized based on your experience level, so whether you are just starting to acquire emails for a new e-newsletter...

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5 Leadership Failures That Hurt Communications and Fundraising
Jul15

5 Leadership Failures That Hurt Communications and Fundraising

Communications directors and development directors are not magicians or miracle workers, and yet many executive directors and boards seem to think they should be able to pull rabbits out of hats and turn water into wine. Too often, when I coach communications directors through their daily challenges, I find that their jobs are being made so much harder than they should be because of a handful of leadership failures. Here are five that...

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Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Lindsay Nichols
Jul14

Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Lindsay Nichols

Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words. Lindsay J.K. Nichols is the senior director of marketing and communications for GuideStar, a nonprofit that powers philanthropy and is widely considered the leading source of nonprofit information. Every day she builds on GuideStar’s strong brand position and reputation to sustain...

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