Getting People to Open Your Nonprofit’s Email Messages

Photo by terren in Virginia on Flickr Email subject lines should tell us about the candy (the content), not about the wrapper (vague descriptions or formats, like “Winter Edition of the Newsletter”). Last week, in my Nonprofit Marketing Tips newsletter (sign up in left sidebar), I published some advice on writing the best possible subject…

End-of-Year and Annual Appeal Letters – Join Us Friday

During this Friday’s edition of Magic Keys Radio (December 5, 2008, 1:00 p.m. ET), Claire Meyerhoff, Gail Perry, and I will be talking about those fundraising letters and emails everyone sends out in December. If you aren’t planning to send an appeal this month, you really need to. Make the time. Network for Good processes…

25 Interview Questions to Help You Write Newsletter Profiles

Profiles of donors, volunteers, clients, and other supporters are a staple of nonprofit newsletters. You can also use them in your annual reports and other marketing materials. Today I posted 25 different questions you can ask when interviewing the people you’d like to profile. These questions will help find that special something about the person…

Writing Supporter Profiles: Some Interviewing Tips

Nonprofits use personal profiles (aka personality profiles) all the time. You’ll often find them under headings like Volunteer Spotlight, Friends of (Your Issue), and Meet the Board.  Nonprofits also use profiles as one form of storytelling to put a specific human face on their programs, accomplishments, needs, and advocacy positions. Every good profile starts with…

Can Storytelling and Good Online Writing Mix?

Maybe not, if you believe what Jakob Nielsen says about writing styles for print versus the web. Neilsen (whose Alertbox e-newsletter is a must-read) writes: In print, you can spice up linear narrative with anecdotes and individual examples that support a storytelling approach to exposition. On the Web, such content often feels like filler; it…

What’s New: Online Marketing, Annual Reports, Writers Block

Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been working on the last week or so . . . Online Marketing Workshops I’m being asked to speak a lot lately on various elements of online marketing for nonprofits. Last week, I presented two workshops to museums, historical sites, and other arts organizations in Charlotte, NC. The…

What’s Your Story? Nonprofits Need “Founding” Story

I’m teaching Nonprofit Storytelling: How to Write Your Nonprofit’s Best Stories this Wednesday, September 10, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern (10:00 a.m. Pacific). Join the webinar for just $35. Every nonprofit has great stories to tell, although it’s not always clear exactly how and when you should tell those stories. One story that ALL nonprofits should…

Make Your Website About Visitors, Not About You

The biggest mistake that a nonprofit can make with its website is to use it as an old-fashioned brochure, where you immediately hit the visitor with your long, jargon-filled mission statement, right at the top or smack in the middle of the home page, followed by bulleted lists of “projects” or “services.” Why is this…

Stand Out with Thank You Notes, Part II

Yesterday I wrote about how you can use thank you notes to set yourself apart from the competition, because lots of nonprofits (1) don’t do thank you notes at all, (2) don’t do them very well, or (3) overlook easy opportunities to touch their donors’ hearts. Here’s another story for you about the power of…