PALMDALE – Smoking will be banned in three of Palmdale’s newest recreation facilities, and prohibitions elsewhere are in the works. Smoking will be banned effective Aug. 19 at the Marie Kerr Park amphitheater and the park’s Best of the West softball complex and at the DryTown Water Park. City staffers are devising a comprehensive plan for the City Council’s review that will designate what other park areas or city facilities will be smoke-free. “As a former smoker, I know that smoking does affect other people,” said Mayor Jim Ledford. “As the effects of secondhand smoking are becoming better known, the public is looking at agencies, such as cities, to protect them.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The city’s action does not go far enough, said Xavier Flores, executive director of Pueblo y Salud, a nonprofit group pushing for tighter tobacco and alcohol regulations. The city should have enacted a complete ban on smoking in city facilities, Flores said, citing recent health reports such as the American Cancer Society estimate of 1 billion tobacco-related deaths this century and a UCLA report of high asthma rates among Antelope Valley children. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we had hoped they would have taken a bigger step,” Flores said. “The council has every reason to implement the most far-reaching policies and regulations, but they are being timid.” Councilman Tom Lackey also favored an outright ban. “If we say we don’t want smoke, let’s mean it and say no smoking,” Lackey said. Ultimately, a complete ban might be enacted sometime down the line, city officials said. The City Council viewed the new regulations as part of a transition phase. “We can’t go cold turkey,” said Councilman Mike Dispenza. “We need to start weaning people away from smoking.” Councilman Steve Hofbauer said an outright ban would be difficult to enforce. An outright ban could also cause problems with cleaning up cigarette butts tossed on the ground because there are no ashcans. “They’ll just try to sneak it,” Hofbauer said. “I think you have to give people an option.” Hofbauer cites the city’s transportation center as an example of how designated smoking areas can work well. Having a designated smoking site has kept cigarette-butt litter down to a minimum and keeps smoke away from the nonsmokers, he said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The best thing about Twitter beefs is that they can spring up between random people who may NEVER cross paths in real life.The latest one is between CHRIS EVANS, a.k.a. Captain America, and DAVID DUKE, the white nationalist who used to be the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.It’s no secret that Duke is a fan of President Trump, and he recently Tweeted, quote, “Mr. Trump’s appointment of [Steve] Bannon, [Michael] Flynn and [Jeff] Sessions are the first steps in the project of taking America back.”Chris responded, quote, “If David Duke . . . DAVID DUKE! . . . thinks you’re right, then you’re unequivocally wrong. The confirmation of Sessions is beyond words.”
With an unexpected development, Metro Business College has made the announcement that they plan to close its campuses in Jefferson City, along with Cape Giradeau and Rolla, by the end of the year.The founder and president, George Holske said declining enrollment and the increased costs have forced the decision to close.The private college focused on training medical office personnel, administrative assistants and coding specialists.
If you’re still not sure what your organization should be doing with social media, it would be a good idea to figure it out soon. As social media use continues to grow, this channel is becoming even more important to online donors as a way to connect with causes and find news and information.Here are some social media fun facts: Free WebinarWant some help with your nonprofit’s social media strategy? Nonprofit communication expert Farra Trompeter of Big Duck will join us on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1pm EDT for a free Network for Good webinar. Farra is a seasoned fundraising and nonprofit marketing professional who has helped hundreds of nonprofits create amazing campaigns and communicate more effectively via social channels. This is a perfect opportunity to learn from one of the best. Registration is free and I hope you can join us. (Note: If you can’t attend the live stream, we’ll send you the presentation so you can review it on demand.)Develop Your Social Media StrategyTuesday, October 22nd, 2013 1 pm EDT 27% of online time is now spent on social networking. Source: Experian Tweet this stat.47% of those 45 and younger in the U.S. say social media is more valuable than search for discovering news. Source: Reuters Tweet this stat.Thanks to recent algorithm changes, Google now uses many social factors as top criteria for ranking search results. Source: Searchmetrics Tweet this fact.Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds. Source: Global Web Index Tweet this stat.
With debates, caucuses, and primaries flooding the public’s attention, it can feel like it will be even more difficult to connect with donors (and raise funds!) this year. Many nonprofits might wonder if there is a magic formula for standing out during an election year.There is, but it’s more common sense than magic. Nonprofit advisor Joan Garry collected some great insight from fundraising and marketing experts on this very topic. Be sure to check out her recent roundup of advice, which includes my own take on the subject:In 2016, just like every other year, your fundraising appeals and donor communications should seek to strengthen your relationship with supporters. You can do this by speaking to them in a way that is more personal and highly relevant.Here are four ways to better connect with your supporters and stand out in a crowd:Plan consistent, compelling communication.Want to be first in line for a charitable gift? Start now and create a meaningful dialogue with your donors. Regular outreach that evokes the reasons why your supporters care about your work will help build a relationship that will pay off when it comes time to send your next appeal. (Learn how to create your own editorial calendar.)Get the right message to the right donors.Do your campaigns feel generic or custom-made for your donors? Create a basic marketing strategy for each segment of donors based on why, when, and where they give. The more tailored a message, the more it will stand out in a sea of mass communications. This is always important, but will be even more so in 2016. Yes, it’s a little more work, but with the right data and tools, your job will be easier and your results will be significantly better. (Network for Good’s easy-to-use donor management software can help!)Focus on the impact a donor’s gift has—and will have.When you tell the story of how your work gets done, keep your donors at the heart of it. Consider how many ways you can highlight how your donors make a difference for your cause, your beneficiaries, and your community. Tell authentic stories about your work so your donors can feel their impact come to life.Help donors see themselves in your work and let them feel like part of your team.This is where political campaigns shine, so follow suit. Generate a sense of community with social proof and the leverage the pull of identity. Illustrate these powerful concepts when you ask for a gift through your nonprofit’s donation page or during peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
Want more tips on boards and fundraising? Download the full eGuide: How To Create a Fundraising Friendly Board In my experience, there isn’t a board that doesn’t groan when the topic of fundraising comes up. Board members often consider fundraising one piece of an organization’s fiscal health. When it comes to rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in it, they suddenly disappear. This happens for three reasons:1. Board members may think that soliciting gifts is the only way to fundraise.To debunk this myth, it’s important to explain the different roles Board members can play in fundraising. Some Board leaders are ambassadors. Ambassadors cultivate connections and introduce new people to an organization. Some can be connectors to their networks and bring other donors to you. Some may enjoy being solicitors and asking potential and current donors to invest in your work.Finally, all Board members can and should be stewards of your donors. Take Board “thank you” calls. They have an incredible effect on donor retention. Penelope Burk’s 2003 research showed that if a donor received a thank you call from a Board member within days of making a gift:93% said that they would “definitely or probably give again the next time they were asked”84% said they would “make a larger gift.”74% would “continue giving indefinitely.”The next time your Board balks at calling or writing a donor, share these powerful statistics with them. Or better yet, show them this graphic:Tips: Identify a few specific activities for ambassadors, connectors, solicitors and stewards. Each year, ask Board members what role they feel most comfortable playing in fundraising and assign them a couple of tasks. Build time during every Board meeting for members to write “thank you” notes and regularly assign calls to Board members to thank your donors.2. They need help talking about your organization and why it deserves donor support.This may seem strange given the assumption that Board leaders are the real “insiders” of an organization. However, Board members may be wary of fundraising if they weren’t given a good orientation when they started or aren’t provided regular updates about your organization’s latest successes, challenges, and opportunities.Tips: Give every new Board member an in-depth orientation which includes fundraising training. Kick off each fiscal year with a refresher orientation to ensure that all Board members really understand your work and how to ask for support. Create standard talking points and an “elevator pitch” so that everyone is literally speaking off the same hymn sheet.3. They fear rejection.Who doesn’t, right? Board members may feel that fundraising is “begging,” or that they’ll make a prospective donor uncomfortable or caught off guard. Here’s a little secret: if you’ve trained your Board members to exude passion for your mission, they’ve made their own personal financial commitment, you’ve cultivated the prospect, and brought that Board member into the process well before the ask, there’s no question you will get a “yes.” It’s a lot like dating. If you propose to someone on the first date, your chances of getting accepted are pretty unlikely.Tips: Ask Board members what’s holding them back from talking about your organization or feeling comfortable soliciting a gift. How can you allay their fears? Coach the Board member on the fundraising cycle and what they can do to ensure a potential donor eventually says “yes.”
Posted on August 28, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Maternal health advocates often point out that when a mother dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, her surviving family members, particularly her children are left to face a range of negative effects. And, indeed, substantial quantitative evidence from around the world has reinforced this claim: there is little doubt that maternal deaths are strongly associated with an increased risk of poor health, educational outcomes and economic status for their children. Further, the effects seem to be particularly acute for girls. However, gaps in knowledge remain: while it is obvious that mothers’ and children’s health are connected, it is not clear how these connections function. A new study, “Costs of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania,” by Alicia Ely Yamin, Vanessa M. Boulanger, Kathryn L. Falb, Jane Shuma and Jennifer Leaning published in PLOS One offers critical evidence on this gap in knowledge. The researchers’ in-depth, qualitative approach provides crucial evidence on both the profound effect of a mother’s death on her surviving children, and sheds new light on the many connections between mothers’ and children’s well-being. The authors write: “The study illuminates the high costs to surviving children and their families of failing to reduce maternal mortality in this region and highlights potential pathways through which maternal mortality and maternal orphan morbidities are linked. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature on vulnerable children, but highlight the specific health and social impacts that a maternal death can have throughout the course of a child’s life and the all too frequent cycle of poverty and suffering that stems from the high cost of failing to prevent a maternal death and subsequent inaction to protect and support maternal orphans.”Throughout, they emphasize the critical role of underlying factors, such as poverty and inequitable gender norms in enhancing the health risks faced by women and children alike. The study is the first in a series led by the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights program on the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC), and supported by the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health, both of which are based at the Harvard University School of Public Health. The project aims to document both root causes and long-reaching impacts of maternal and child mortality in order to inform the development of evidence-based policy and advocacy at the national and global levels.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on August 19, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In “Ending preventable maternal deaths: the time is now” published today in The Lancet Global Health, a group of maternal health experts call on the global health community to not only commit to ending preventable maternal deaths, but to set a specific timeline for doing so. Citing the maternal health manifesto adopted at the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference, the authors lay out a series of priorities for the development framework that will follow the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The authors suggest that“An ambitious but realistic global target is to reduce maternal mortality ratios to less than 50 per 100 000 live births by 2035.” Along with this target, the authors propose new approaches to both measuring and achieving progress. From the article:“This method would help to focus planning for maternal survival. For all countries with estimated maternal mortality ratios of less than 400 in 2010, the goal would be a steady progression past a series of 5 year milestones to reach the global target. The expectation that every country would cross one milestone within every 5 year interval will provide a method to measure each country’s progress, and will also contribute to global progress. The 5 year milestones for countries with high initial maternal mortality ratios (>400) would be individually designed and tracked. Countries with an estimated maternal mortality ratio of less than 100 would be expected to move to lower values according to defined milestones, but with a focus on internal subpopulations whose maternal mortality is higher than the national rate. Strategies to implement targeted interventions to reduce maternal mortality need to address more than the clinical causes of death—they should respond to changing demographics, meet the specific needs of women for reproductive health, and address contextual features such as challenges caused by changes in health-care systems. These challenges include financial incentives, the effects of decentralisation, the role of the private sector, and urbanisation. Universal access to high-quality health services, including family planning and information and services for reproductive health (especially for vulnerable and at-risk populations), should be put at the centre of efforts to achieve the vision of ending maternal deaths.”For more on the ongoing planning process for the post-2015 development agenda, visit the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda final report.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions. Share this: Posted on October 8, 2014November 2, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:,Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions email@example.com New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions.
The last six weeks of the calendar year are make or break time for nonprofits.In fact, nearly 30% of nonprofits raise 26-50% of their annual fundraising in November and December – when folks are feeling their most grateful and generous.Nearly a third of all annual giving happens in the single month of December, and 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of that month!You really don’t want to miss out on this most giving time of year!That means going above and beyond simply sending out a single year-end mailed appeal letter.Because once you’ve sent it, and waited a few weeks for responses to come in, that single appeal becomes pretty much a lame duck.If that’s all you’ve got, you’re sunk.If you want to get in on more of that holiday spirit, you must get all your ducks in a row. Now!Let two little words be your mantra:PLAN. AHEAD.Let’s get you some tips that will help you have the best fundraising season ever!Year-End Nonprofit Fundraising Action Tips1. Send Impact Reports to Set the StageIf you’ve not done so already, get ‘quacking’ and send a report to remind donors how they helped. Every donor should get something, even if just a brief email with a photo of someone they helped and a quick “You’re our hero!” or “You did it!” Also consider sending a special thank you gift to donors and volunteers who went above and beyond during the year. I don’t mean anything expensive (that could backfire); thoughtful tokens of appreciation that just say “I’m thinking about you” are welcome, effective and pre-suasive.2. Clean Up Your Prospect DatabaseGet rid of the dead ducks on your mailing list. There’s no sense spending money to mail duplicates and/or deceased and wrong addresses. Ditto to folks who’ve repeatedly demonstrated they aren’t going to support you.TIP: Make sure you do an annual address correction request using a process like NCOA.TIP: Purge prospects and donors who’ve not given for quite some time, if ever. I recommend purging any donors who haven’t given for five years and any prospects who haven’t given for three years. You can archive them for historical purposes if you wish, but stop paying to mail to these folks.Editor’s note: Ask Network for Good about our contact address cleanup service, available with select donor management packages. Click here to schedule a call.3. Establish Priority Goals Based on Last Year’s ResultsLook at retention, upgrades and downgrades from last year and evaluate your areas for improvement. Your database is a potential gold mine when it comes to setting your year-end strategic fundraising objectives. If you don’t focus in on what’s working/what’s not, you’re likely to repeat last year’s results. And you prefer to exceed them, right?TIP: Consider how you’re doing with various donor segments and other constituencies in terms of retention, upgrades and downgrades: (1) first-time donors; (2) ongoing donors; (3) lapsed donors; (4) multi-gift donors, and (5) upgrades/downgrades. Also look at how you’re converting volunteers and clients (e.g., parents, patients, ticket buyers, members, subscribers) to financial donors. Create specific strategies designed to improve your results in areas that offer the greatest potential.For more insights into using your data for your year-end campaign, register for this webinar: Fundraising and Technology Insights for Your Year-End Campaigns.4. Prioritize Contacts with Your Most Promising SupportersYou don’t want to lose your sitting ducks. Even folks not on your major donor cultivation list may be among the top 10 – 20% of donors who give you 80 – 90% of your funding. If you want to keep these folks, build a plan that assures you don’t duck out on them during the time of year they’re most likely to give!TIP: Create a list of LYBNTs (gave last year but not this). Sort them according to dollar range, so you can prioritize contacts with the largest donors. You’re going to want to remind these folks of their generous past support (thank them!) and let them know they’ve still got time to renew and make a difference this year.TIP: Make sure to evaluate folks based on cumulative annual giving. A $100/month donor is not a $100 donor, but a $1,200 donor. When you sort based on most recent gift, you’ll miss these important loyal supporters.TIP: Don’t overlook Peer-to-Peer fundraisers who bring in significant gift totals. These folks can be the functional equivalent of major donors, and you want to be sure to put in place strategies to encourage their continued engagement and investment.TIP: Don’t overlook volunteers. Research by Neon CRM shows volunteers are twice as likely as non-volunteers to donate. Sometimes, they simply aren’t asked well. Consider making them a separate campaign segment, and send them a tailored appeal that recognizes their already generous contribution to your cause.5. Prepare a Year-End Email SeriesThis will not only bring in gifts on its own, it will also bolster your offline campaign by reminding folks they intended to give. You want to send enough emails to maximize your chances during this most heavy giving period of the year. Did you know 10% of gifts arrive in the last 48 hours of the year? It’s best to plan at least five email touches in December (one can be in your e-news), with a year-end blitz of at least three e-appeals between December 26th and 31st.TIPS: Take advantage of best practices:The best times to email prospects are between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Source: GetResponse).Subject lines should not be an afterthought. 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone (Source: Convince and Convert).Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% (Source: Aberdeen Group).Send fundraising emails more than once. You never know when you’ll reach someone at an optimum time. 23.63% of email opens occur within the first hour of delivery (Source: GetResponse) and only 23% of sales emails are opened (Source: TOPO). Give your message a few chances.TIP: When folks click on the “donate” link in your email, make sure you send them to a branded donation page that reflects the same message featured in your appeal. This can help you raise as much as seven times more than a non-branded page.6. Plan a multi-channel campaign. Maximize your chances prospective donors will notice and act on your appeal.People today are more (or less) responsive depending on the way you connect with them. While your email appeal was like water off a duck’s back for Prospect A, they may take to a tweet with a link back to a compelling story on your website just like a duck takes to water! For Prospect B, on the other hand, direct mail may be the golden duck. Even they, however, might wait to act until they’re reminded via email.This is why, when it comes to messaging, the “flock” (e.g., direct mail, email, website, social media, and telephone) will do better than any single duck trying to make it on its own. Don’t be afraid to include campaign messaging on several different channels. While you may not be tweeting out direct asks, it doesn’t hurt to include similar campaign theme, messaging, images and graphics so your year-end appeals stays top of mind for prospective donors.TIP: Send a sequence of messages across different channels. If your donor receives a mailed appeal, then sees a similar message via email or on a blog post or social media link a week later, this may trigger their memory and remind them to make a gift.TIP: Create a multi-channel campaign content calendar, work plan, and timeline that incorporates all of your offline and online appeal messaging. Plan to use a consistent theme across all channels so your integrated messages reinforce each other.7. Plan Ahead to Call Your Most Important Lapsed DonorsWho you call, and how many you call, will depend upon your own resources and the makeup of your donor base. Again, begin with those who’ve given the most, as well as those you believe have the greatest potential to become more major donors. Also take a look at those who’ve given consistently over a period of years. These are your most likely future planned giving donors – the ones who might leave you a bequest. The same holds true with ongoing, loyal volunteers. You don’t want to lose these folks, so find out why they may not have yet renewed.TIP: If you’re strapped for resources and staff to make calls, organize this as a year-end phonathon and enlist your board and other volunteers to help. It may even inspire some of them to give! No band width this year? Put it on your calendar for next year as a ‘must do.’ Why? It’s much more cost-effective to renew an existing donor, or convert a volunteer into a donor, than to acquire a brand new supporter.TIP: If it’s been awhile since your monthly donors got a real thank you, consider folding a ‘thankathon’ into your plan. Recruit board members, development committee members and/or other volunteers to help. If you’re a school, ask students to help. This sets you up to ask for an increased monthly commitment this year.8. Plan to Send a “We Miss You” Letter to Lapsed Donors You Can’t CallSome folks may manage to duck the question up until the last minute. Don’t give up! Send them a letter letting them know you miss them. Also send this letter to donors you called, but were unable to reach. Make it brief, direct and as personal as you can manage (e.g., if you called and left a message, reference the fact you’re sorry you missed them). And stay upbeat and positive. Reward your donor for their past giving and praise them for their ongoing generosity and good intentions.TIP: Tell them you know they intend to give because you know how much they care. One of Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence is “commitment and consistency.” People are inclined to keep doing what they’ve already done in an effort to appear consistent. Assume in your tone and language that your donor simply has forgotten/just not got around to it due to the busyness of daily life (based upon my own experience, this is often true; many folks think they already gave and just need a reminder). I used to send a short note (in an envelope emblazoned with a finger tied with a little red reminder ribbon) that said “Did you forget?”SummaryThe end of the calendar year only comes around once annually.If you miss it, your would-be donors will have already flown the coop, having spent their wad. Elsewhere.Plan ahead to get your full piece of the fundraising pie this year.Prime the pump with an impact report.Get your mailing list ready. It’s fruitless to mail to dead ducks.Set goals based on past performance. It makes sense to hunt where the ducks are.Prioritize strategies based on potential for highest yield. This should be a no-brainer – as easy as duck soup – yet too often nonprofits focus more on the 80% of donors who give 20% of the money because mailing seems easier than phoning or meeting face-to-face.Plan as carefully for email as for direct mail. Don’t make your email a bit of a strange duck.Build a multi-channel strategy so no one strategy is all duck and no dinner.Don’t neglect lapsed and other loyal supporters. Compared with cold prospects, these folks are more likely to take to you like a duck to water.Now that you’ve got your duckies in a row, may you have smooth sailing this year-end.Data not otherwise attributed courtesy of Neon CRM.