It’s time to get your social strategy in order

first_imgIf 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.last_img read more

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Donors are the drivers

first_imgLearn and plan. Donors are the drivers. These are two important reminders that Larry C. Johnson shares in his new book The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising. While these maxims might seem obvious, Larry explores them in a way that will change how you think about asking for donations this holiday season.At the heart of every donor’s decision to make a gift is the desire to actualize their personal values.As you plan your year-end campaign, don’t forget to keep the emphasis on your donor. It’s important to provide a clear tie from the impact of your work to your donors who make it all happen. When organizations ask for donations using their own values, it’s mistakenly assumed that those values are universal. Listen to what’s important to your donors, then position your organization’s fundraising efforts so that you serve your donor’s needs while also raising money for the cause that you both value.Donors want to be engaged, not enticed.Have you ever tried to entice donors to give? When you approach supporters by selling them on the value of the services that your nonprofit offers, your interaction may seem more like a transaction. If you want your donors to feel involved, ask how your organization is meeting donors’ dreams and fulfilling their desires. Has your donor always dreamed of ending childhood hunger? Let him know how his donation will work to achieve that goal. Has your supporter had a lifelong interest in the region where you operate? Tell her about how your work affects the local community. Discover what inspires and motivates your donors, appeal to that, and invite them to be involved.Larry will join us next Tuesday to share more from his book and answer your questions on sustainable fundraising. You’ll learn how you can apply the eightrules to raise more money for your organization. Join our free webinar on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 from 1 pm to 2 pm EST. Register now to reserve your spot. (Can’t attend the live session? Go ahead and register so you receive the presentation and recording via email.)last_img read more

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How to inspire with stories: Season of Giving Campaign

first_imgA story’s emotional power is a fundraiser’s best tool to gain the attention of donors and inspire action. One fundraising campaign that is hitting it out of the park with its emotional “wow” factor is Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Season of Giving. The campaign’s message reinforces the work that RMHC does by reminding supporters that there is strength in numbers and that they are really giving the gift of togetherness when they make a contribution. I had a chance to chat with Jennifer Smith, Senior Director of Communications & Special Programs at Ronald McDonald House Charities to learn more about this campaign and its approach to connecting donors with the work they make possible. Jennifer was kind enough to share a bit of the process behind this amazing campaign and offer some tips to other nonprofits this holiday season.“For any nonprofit, but certainly for Ronald McDonald House Charities, our goal is to share the impact of the work we do with the support of our donors. Every campaign we do lets our donors know that the work they make possible is making a difference in the lives of the families we serve. For potential donors, this illustrates the fact that they are needed,” Jennifer says.The Seasons of Giving campaign includes donor communication pieces, direct mail appeals, videos, online ads, and social media outreach. In this multi-channel campaign, there are unifying elements, such as a red ribbon motif that provides visual connectivity across platforms.Jennifer has a great reminder for all nonprofit fundraisers: Don’t forget to match the message with the medium. “We’re careful to tailor the message. You can’t just stick your direct mail language on Facebook. Different elements pull out different aspects. Use the different components of the story to target specific audience at the right time. We make sure the content is relevant but there are still the connected elements, such as branding and the overall messaging.”How did RMHC arrive at this campaign?Jennifer shares a fundamental, yet natural, shift, “There was a time when we spoke more to facts, figures and children served, but we found that to add more dimension to the message, we had to do that by telling the family stories. People are already willingly telling their stories—they want to be able to share what they’ve been through. They often want to give back and say, ‘We want to help YOU.’ You can’t manufacture authenticity. You need real people telling real stories.”Here are Jennifer’s tips for other nonprofits looking to capture and share stories:1. Listen to what people are already telling you. What are your supporters and beneficiaries saying? Take those words and insights and build a story from them. This helps your supporters understand how our work is making a difference, and that donors are the ones making it happen.2. Sharing stories encourages others to tell their stories. After seeing the Season of Giving campaign, it’s clear that it’s not just about the official videos or stories—it’s about allowing more people to open up and share their stories. “Social media is a wonderful listening tool; the dialogue that happens is inspiring. I haven’t been in their shoes, so when they’re sharing their stories organically, it is a powerful experience,” Jennifer says, giving us a great reminder of the beauty of social media. “If you’re listening you can be more insightful and tuned in to messages that resonate. It also allows those stores to be shared more easily and more widely.”3. Ask, but be sensitive. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Would you be willing to share your story?” Jennifer’s team is careful to recognize the challenges, “We’re very sensitive to the fact that some of these families are going through what they are going through. What is powerful about [the stories featured in our videos] is that Kayla and Christina are still fighting and working to heal from cancer.” Jennifer also reminds us that it’s important to have checkpoints throughout the process. Continually ask, “Are you still comfortable with telling this story?”4. Make it a part of your organization’s culture. Jennifer shares how this works at RMHC, “The way our system is structured, we rarely have to do a formal process. If we see something that catches our eye, we first reach out to our Chapter and ask permission to find out more. Then if timing is right, we talk to the family.” Jennifer adds, “We also use stories from corporate donors, such as McDonald’s owner/operators, volunteers, and staff, etc. One of our core tenets is our compassion, from our training of our staff people to volunteers. We exist to provide resources when people really need it, and this permeates throughout everything we do.” A big thank you to Jennifer for sharing her insight with our readers and to the people at RMHC for the great work they do. To find out more about the RMHC Season of Giving campaign, visit http://www.rmhc.org/season-of-giving.last_img read more

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Summertime Shifts: Keep Connecting Through Fireflies, Fireworks, and Family Vacations

first_imgSummer is just different. Even though schooldays ended eons ago for most of us, our focus, attitudes, and readiness to act change as the weather warms.Over the years, I’ve heard from many of you that you feel the same, as do your supporters and prospects. And you’ve asked me how to connect in the context of sizzling summer distractions. This Book Could Change Your Life: Great Summer Reads for Fundraisers Here are three ways to up your summer communications game: Craft your asks to be short, sweet, and personal, like this creative appeal from Food for the Poor, suggests fundraiser Pamela Grow. Nothing is more important than crafting content that’s relevant to your readers. But it’s challenging when they’re distracted by the delights of ice cream, the beach, and after-dinner badminton. What summertime shifts do you make in your fundraising campaigns and communications? Please share in the comments section! Whatever summertime shifts you consider, it’s ideal to base them on what you know about your people, anecdotally and/or via data on last summer’s responses. If possible, measure before and after each shift, and make only one change at a time so you know what does or doesn’t work. Send less frequently. No Friday sends. More Summer Stuffcenter_img Make your content more fun, light, active, and short attention span friendly, advises Kivi Leroux Miller from Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Be aware that you’re communicating to people who are on or just back from vacation, says John Haydon. That could mean sending an email twice (with a fresh subject line the second time), with round two going to those who didn’t open the first, and extending a campaign period into early fall. If you know your people are on email less and Facebook more, follow them where they are. This applies whatever the season. Here’s more summertime shift guidance from some of the best fundraisers and communicators I know: Reboot with These 6 Summer Camp Strategies Shift your topic, tone, and/or language to make it seasonally relevant and fun. Change timing and/or frequency. A quick poll of nonprofit communicators found this to be the most common summertime shift. With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.last_img read more

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6 Things You Need for a Successful Year-End Email

first_imgCreating your year-end email appeals? Don’t forget these six key ingredients:An obvious donation button.Your donate button should be big, bold, and above the fold. When your donors want to give, it needs to be as easy as possible. They shouldn’t need to hunt for the link to your donation page.A clear and specific call to action.A vague call to action like “support us” is more likely to confuse than to motivate. To be effective, make your calls to action highly specific and feasible.A sense of urgency.Compel your donors to take action with a real sense of urgency. Let your supporters know when there are only a few more days left to meet your annual goal.Contact information.Make sure to link to a contact page so donors can get in touch if they have an important question. It’s also important to include an easy way for readers to opt-out of your nonprofit’s emails (if you’re not sending from an email service provider like Constant Contact, be aware of CAN-SPAM laws).Mobile-friendly design.Smartphones make it easy to act in the moment, which is important because the decision to donate is often impulsive. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly so you can easily connect with donors at any time, no matter where they are.A compelling case for giving.Asking for a donation is not enough. To stand out from the crowd, nonprofit fundraisers must make a compelling case for giving by using stories, building credibility, and packaging your message.last_img read more

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What Women’s Health Initiatives in India Can Teach Us All

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 15, 2012June 16, 2017By: Gary Darmstadt and Wendy Prosser, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationClick 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)This post was originally posted on Impatient Optimists.With almost 200 million people living in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, a state more populous than the entire country of Brazil, the sheer breadth of exciting, new ways to improve maternal and child health is enormous. With all of those people and increased investments in health research and service delivery along with a growing economy, imagine how much information and knowledge can be shared when it comes to finding solutions for some of the most challenging women’s and children’s health issues. But also imagine how complicated it must be to find the right people with the right information to learn from to scale up these programs.I had the chance to talk to our partners at the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) in Uttar Pradesh last week. The Urban Health Initiative works to improve the health of the urban poor—particularly in enabling women to plan their families and access the contraceptives that they want—in this densely populated area. I asked their opinions about what we’re doing that works, what doesn’t work, what we should change—and what we are not doing that they would like us to do.They encouraged us to do more in the area of knowledge sharing, because they see the tremendous benefits of learning from other organizations, partners, the private sector, and global thought leaders. They see the synergies that can exist even between sectors, like family planning and HIV, and want to exploit those in the most beneficial ways.For example, foundation partners who work in the contraceptives arena know that, in Uttar Pradesh, 21 percent of women want to use some form of birth control but they don’t. Knowledge is understanding why those women don’t use birth control—for example, because the health center closest to her house has been out of stock of her preferred method for a couple of months, or because she is too embarrassed to get condoms from her neighborhood store—and then to act on that information to create lasting solutions.This conversation I had in Uttar Pradesh reminded me of the thoughts that were shared at the Achieving Lasting Impact at Scale convening at the end of last year. That convening brought practitioners, researchers, and global experts together to start the conversation on diffusion and dissemination, and of scaling up successful interventions for impact in maternal and child health—not just documentation of inputs or things done, but real impact in improving the health of women and children.The ideas from our partners at UHI are the catalyst to change the way we think and talk about the ways in which we provide women’s and children’s health care in developing countries. They specifically suggested the breakdown of “silos,” or separation between organizations and sectors working in different health arenas, by creating platforms to share learning and knowledge.We’re talking about much more than sharing information, data, trip summaries, or progress reports from activity implementation.Our partners in Uttar Pradesh are asking for inventive ways to share knowledge to scale successful interventions which have a positive, lasting impact on women’s and children’s health. And we’re working to address this need, given the tremendous potential to increase our collective ability for impact when it comes to maternal, newborn, and child health in India—and to disseminate this learning from India for benefit throughout the world.Share this:last_img read more

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On World Humanitarian Day, a Focus on Reproductive and Maternal Health Providers in Humanitarian Settings

first_imgPosted on August 20, 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)Yesterday, on World Humanitarian Day, K4Health launched a new Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings toolkit, a set of resources that offer guidance for health care providers, emergency workers, communications professionals and others. It covers a range of health issues, including a module on maternal and child health, and brings together a range of resources that K4Health  began compiling following crises in Haiti and Pakistan, which inspired the creation of a general toolkit for use in a range of humanitarian settings.In addition, UNFPA marked World Humanitarian Day with a profile of Muneera Sha’aban, one of Jordan’s first midwives, who is now working in a UNFPA-supported clinic to ensure that Syrian women who have fled conflict in their home country to Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp deliver safely.From the article:The 69-year-old midwife says she enjoys doing her job regardless of all the difficulties she encounters serving in one of the UNFPA-supported clinics in Za’atari Camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan.Muneera’s days start very early, as she makes her way from Amman to the camp, some 80 kilometres away. She leaves her house at 6 in the morning and takes two buses to arrive at the camp by 9.“I have to work to make a living, but without the love I have for the work I am doing, life could have been more difficult,” she says, adding, “I return to my house at 6 in the evening, backed with satisfaction.”World Humanitarian Day also marked the launch of “The World Needs More #___” a campaign that invites the public to share their answers to the question: “What do you think the world needs more of?” Check out campaign submissions on Twitter.For more on the vital role that midwives play in ensuring that women deliver safely in the midst of conflict, catch up on coverage from NPR and the MHTF blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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PMNCH Partners’ Forum Taking Place Today and Tomorrow in South Africa

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 30, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick 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)Today and tomorrow up to 800 maternal, newborn, and child health leaders will gather in Johannesburg, South Africa at the 2014 World Health Organization’s (WHO) Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) Partners’ Forum. Given the current environment of determining the post-2015 agenda, this meeting is critical in gathering world leaders to emphasize the importance of protecting and ensuring the health of women and their children around the world.Since the contextual factors that impact maternal, newborn, and child health are diverse, representatives at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum include public and private sector representatives and experts in health, gender and development, nutrition and education. This diverse group of participants will allow conclusions of the forum to address how diverse sectors can all support supporting and ensuring maternal, newborn, and child health.The Partners’ Forum will also include the launch of four landmark reports:Every Newborn Action Plan provides a concrete plan and platform for improving neonatal health and preventing newborn deaths and stillbirths.Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health Report spotlights 10 countries that serve as models for making considerable progress improving maternal and child health, especially for high-need countries.Countdown to 2015 Report for 2014 is a report that assesses current coverage and equity of coverage of maternal and child health interventions and the financial, policy and health systems factors that determine if proven life-saving interventions are delivered to woman and children.State of the World’s Midwifery 2014 (Africa focused launch) highlights progress and challenges that 41 Sub-Saharan countries have seen since 2011 in delivering life-saving midwifery services.Tune into the discussion happening at PMNCH’s Partners’ Forum by going to the #PMNCHLive Hub, #PMNCHLive Daily Delivery sign-up, and #PMNCHLive on twitter.Are you attending the PMNCH Partners’ Forum? Would you like to share your experience or reaction to the discussions taking place? Please contact Katie Millar on how you can be a guest contributor to the MHTF Blog. Share this:last_img read more

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Year-End Nonprofit Fundraising: Get Your Ducks in a Row

first_imgThe 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.last_img read more

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