Stop Obsessing on Communications Channels; Focus on People’s Reactions Instead

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Content Marketing, Fundraising, Strategy, Trends

"Content Marketing" is a new term for many nonprofits. One way to think about the shift that content marketing represents is that this approach moves the emphasis off the specific communications channels used (such as a newsletter or website) and puts it on the people who are using the content provided through those channels. For example, when donors read stories and see pictures in a newsletter and on your website that show the changes taking...

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Four Words That Are Shifting Nonprofit Communications and Fundraising

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in Content Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing Management, Strategy, Trends

Is your organization thinking about reaching younger supporters? For some of you, younger means Baby Boomers; for others it means Gen X or Y. What might that mean for your communications strategy? Let's try to look at the big picture. Lumping hundreds of millions of people into categories always creates stereotypes. But for purposes of understanding some of the macro shifts that are taking place today, I have boiled down how each of the four...

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14 Ways to Share Results with Your Donors

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Annual Reports, Content Marketing, Fundraising

Donors expect results, plain and simple. They want to know that the time and money they share with you is used for good -- to change the world in ways that are consistent with their own values. Reporting back to donors isn't something you should do once a year with an annual report. While annual reports are valuable, they aren't enough. In this presentation, I offer more than a dozen ways that you can share results with your supporters...

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Fundraising Stories That Don't Work -- and What's Different About the Ones That Do

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Fundraising, Storytelling

I attended a great session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference earlier this month called "It's Not You, It's Your Stories: Why Fundraisers are Failing at Storytelling and What They Need to Change," presented by Steve Daigneault of M + R Strategic Services and  Sue Citro of The Nature Conservancy. Plenty of research shows us that stories are a very powerful way to communicate, and yet M + R's research with many of its clients found that...

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How Does Your Online Marketing and Fundraising Stack Up?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Fundraising, Online Marketing, Trends

Nonprofit communicators want to know how they can measure their own success (we are working on a webinar to help with that). One way is to compare your work to industry benchmarks. In the nonprofit world, there are several annual studies that give us a glimpse into what's happening in our sector, especially with online marketing and fundraising. One big caveat, however: the data in these reports are usually from what most Nonprofit Marketing...

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Five Ways to Sabotage Your Ask for Support

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Copywriting, Fundraising

I hear it all the time from nonprofits: "Our e-newsletter doesn't work." "Direct mail doesn't work for us." "Social media doesn't work for us." When I probe a little deeper, what people often mean is that their communications don't seem to be motivating people to do what the nonprofit wants, whether that's donating money, signing up to volunteer, or registering for an event. A closer look at these communications often leads to a common problem:...

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