The Accelerator: Do What Normally Takes 3 Months in Just 6 Weeks

    I hear comments like these all the time — and these are real comments from our recent survey . . . I spend too much time doing things that aren’t important and don’t have time left for what really matters. My “do this eventually” list is growing and out of control. I am…

Should Your Direct Mail Appeal Letters Be Kept to One Page?

During our direct mail appeal letter training, we invariably get asked about appeal letter length: How many pages should our letter be? Anyone have great success with anything over 2 pages? Everyone on my team is very afraid of anything over a page. Direct Mail expert Tom Ahern shoots down the one-page myth immediately. In his words,…

What Really Happened on #GivingTuesday Last Year? This.

Is Giving Tuesday just a blip? A giving day only big nonprofits can pull off? Something to skip? Nope. According to a new Giving Tuesday report by Blackbaud, Giving Tuesday has definitely made a dent in online giving. Take a look. Double-Digit, Year-Over-Year Growth in Online Donations Since 2012 Online Average Gift Amounts Exceed $100 for Most Organizations…

A Super Effective Online Fundraising Tool: The “Wins” Blog Post

Want to get donors all jazzed up before an online fundraising campaign? Try the “wins” blog post, a numbered summary of the good your donors made possible in the recent past. I’ve tried this tactic with three clients over the past 18 months, each with excellent results. Take a look. American Heart Association For AHA’s year-end…

Communications Mentoring Program – Fundraisers Welcome!

Session #8 of our Communications Director Mentoring Program starts July 1, and we are already half-way full. For the first time, we are offering two tracks, one with a “Fundraising Emphasis” and the other with a “Community Engagement” Emphasis, with a cap of 10 people per track. The Fundraising Emphasis track will be customized to…

Becoming a Fundraising Genius

Fundraising expert Tom Ahern is cranking out some great stuff for us this year! We just finished the first session of 2015 of his Ahern Writing Academy for Fundraisers including a BRAND NEW e-clinic on making the most of your landing and donation pages on your website. Tom is legendary as a guidebook author, donor-centered copywriter, and…

8 Commandments for Converting Direct Mail Fundraising Appeals to Email

Looking to repurpose your direct mail appeals into email? Kerri has some great advice for you! ~Kivi 1. Thou Shalt Make Email SHORTER Than Direct Mail. Direct mail appeals clock in at well over 1,000 words, sometimes double and triple that. If you do that in email, no one will like you. While I’ve seen super…

Closing the Loop with Your Donors When You’re Not Sure What Information You’ll Get

I coached Cassia Burke’s organization Children of the Nations  a couple of years ago and I continue to be impressed with the way they have embraced near constant reporting and thanking of donors in creative ways. I’ve encouraged you to borrow borrow their ideas before and think you’ll like these ideas for keeping your donors informed as well. ~Kivi Guest…

Donor Newsletter Tips to Bring in the Dough

Does your donor newsletter cost more to send than it brings in? That’s a pretty common trait among donor newsletters, but it’s not the idea of the donor newsletter that’s wrong – it’s how you’re approaching it that’s wrong. Is your donor newsletter longer than 4 pages? Are you sending it as a self-mailer? Did you…

Board Exercise: Communicating to Become a Favorite Cause

I recently contributed to the 10-Minute Board Exercises Series by the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship.  These exercises and worksheets are meant to be incorporated into your board meetings to get board members talking about important issues. My worksheet, Becoming Your Donor’s Favorite Cause, is about helping your board brainstorm ways to solidify your relationships with…

Really?

Wow, what a disconnect. Let me tell you about it, so you can make sure your organization avoids this kind of blunder. Last Friday morning I got an email from our local performing arts center (PAC). The place has been around 10 years and is a gorgeous, intimate performance venue. We’ve attended several great shows there over the years,…