Nonprofit Marketing as Gift Giving: Which Gifter Are You?

One the biggest challenges organizations face when trying to improve their nonprofit marketing programs is to stop thinking about themselves and to focus on their audience instead. One analogy I use in my nonprofit training courses is gift giving. With the holidays still in our short-term memories, you’ll recognize some of the five types of…

Nonprofit Taglines: So Few Words, So Much Angst

Nonprofit tagline writing can be a tough business. It’s a bit easier for short-term campaigns, but when you are picking the handful of words that will be next to your logo for years on end, it’s a rather daunting task. Before I spout off about a few nonprofit taglines that grabbed my attention recently, I…

Webinar: Dos and Don’ts of Writing for the Web and E-Newsletters

Do you know the important differences between how people read on paper and how they read on a computer screen? Do you understand how those differences drastically change the way you should write for your website visitors and email newsletter readers? If you aren’t sure, I’ll show you how to go from confused to confident…

Anatomy of a Direct Mail Makeover: Lessons from Cal

This is the fifth in a five-post series on a direct mail make-over currently being tested by the University of California at Berkeley (Cal). Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 This week I have chronicled the story of how Cal’s fundraisers took a new approach to turning alumni into…

Anatomy of a Direct Mail Makeover: Connect with Donors

This is the fourth in a five-post series on a direct mail make-over currently being tested by the University of California at Berkeley (Cal). Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | This is Part 4 | Part 5 The direct mail makeover by Cal fundraisers highlights the cultural contributions of alumni and…

Anatomy of a Direct Mail Makeover: Knead Until It Shines

This is the second in a five-post series on a direct mail make-over currently being tested by the University of California at Berkeley (Cal). Read Part 1 | This is Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 The fundraisers at Cal have decided to break away from their standard business letter…

Anatomy of a Direct Mail Makeover: The Value in Listening

This is the first in a five-post series on a direct mail make-over currently being tested by the University of California at Berkeley (Cal), my alma mater. Read Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 The fundraisers at Cal had a problem: they needed to raise more money from alumni to…

Are You Numbing or Inspiring Potential Supporters?

Are the copy and images in your nonprofit marketing materials drugging readers into ignoring you and your issue entirely? It’s a process called narcotization. Here’s how it works. People were shown pictures of gum disease. One group saw photos of a mouth just a little rotten. The second saw photos of moderately rotten gums. The…

Annual Report Show-Down: Who Is More Convincing?

As I was looking over annual reports from environmental groups this week, I noticed that both Environmental Defense (ED) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) claimed that they were largely responsible for getting California’s law on global warming passed. Now, I really have no idea who did what or how much, and I am…

10 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Nonprofit

Storytelling is all the rage in the marketing world these days, because it works. Examples are everywhere in commercial advertising. Samuel Adams commercials feature real employees and customers talking about beer. Those Geico commercials (not the ones with the gecko or the cavemen) feature customers and celebrities telling real stories. The UPS ad executive at…