— By Julie Cooper —
What's old still works (really well!)
It's not a revolutionary new tool. Or a cool new app. It's not even a sort of new thingy. Nope.
As unglamorous as it may sound, calling donors (yep, by phone!) may be the secret ingredient for increasing your donor retention rate and securing your organization's financial future. The truth is if you really want to "wow" your donors and understand their motivations, give them a call to thank them.
But what do you say and how do you prioritize donor phone calls?
You made it to end of the "Giving Tuesday" race! Hooray!
So, pat yourself on the back and think about the all good that will be unleashed into the world thanks to the funds you raised.
If you aren't collapsed on the pavement over the exhaustion, I’ve got a few tips for you. I’ll tell you the 3 things you should do before grabbing your race medal and heading home.
These 3 things will help you raise more money throughout the entire year.
(And What to Do Instead) It's something that most nonprofits do in their appeal messages... and it's hurting their fundraising results. Are you making this mistake, too?
Here is a fundraiser's trick-of-the-trade that will help you raise more money the next time you write an appeal message.
Nonprofits focused on donor retention and donor-centric fundraising have the advantage. They will always do better than those NPOs focused on the money.
In this video, you'll learn 2 quick & dirty reasons to spend time focusing on your thank you letters. Below you can download my Thank-You Letter Checklist & Guide. I hope you find this freebie valuable to you. :)
Today, you can start writing lovely thank you letters that help build relationships and raise more money.
Grab your FREE Thank-You Checklist & Guide right here:
Enjoy this guest blog post by Jay Wilkinson from Firespring.
A report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that approximately 35% of people in the United States don’t trust charities. From that same report, 25% of the population said nonprofits do a very good job helping people, but a mere 13% said they think charities do a very good job of spending money wisely. When it comes to building trust among your nonprofit’s constituent base, reports like that can be a pretty dismal sign.
Unfortunately, nonprofits can face a whole mess of criticism, which often results in a lack of trust from many potential volunteers or donors. Why does trust matter, you ask? Well, when constituents feel they can trust your organization, they’re more likely to care about your mission, which means they’re more likely to get involved with the cause.
A free guide and template will help you craft an email welcome series. Set the sequence on autopilot and start nurturing the budding relationship!
What happens after someone subscribes to your email list? Does she simply get tossed into the general email list? Or do you have a special way of welcoming her into your nonprofit's family?
An email nurture sequence is an automated series of emails someone receives after taking a specific action on a website. Typically, the action is filling out an online form to subscribe to a newsletter.
The purpose of the sequence is to welcome, build trust, and encourage the
subscriber to take the natural next steps with your nonprofit. This is the getting-to-
know-you phase of the relationship.
The problem is you don't have enough hours in the day to personally tell new subscribers what they need to know.
That's where an email nurture sequence comes in handy. You write the email sequence, set it on autopilot, then let your words systematically start nurturing the budding relationship!
Ideally, the email nurture sequence should end with the new subscriber making a small, first donation.
I have a free guide and template (PDF) to help you craft an email nurture sequence... and then set it on autopilot. The freebie is yours at the end of this blog post.
Key Takeaways for Fundraisers...
This week my Facebook news feed was bursting with a newly-released movie trailer. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — starring Tom Hanks — is about the life of Fred Rogers, our favorite childhood TV neighbor.
Watching the trailer led me down the rabbit hole of viewing videos about Mr. Rogers. I came across this video from 1969.
I started making connections to fundraising writing. And it blew me away!
We can learn a lot from Mr. Rogers about how to effectively appeal for funding.
Seven easy design fixes you can make right away...
and get BIG results!
In this blog post, you'll learn...
(There's even a FREE appeal letter design checklist for you at the end of this post!)
The editing process is essential to good writing. But many busy nonprofits skip editing altogether. They’re usually pressed for time to get an email sent or a blog published.
Why it’s important to edit
✤ You want to produce writing void of typos, grammatical faux pas, and punctuation errors.
✤ The editing process makes you a better communicator.
✤ When others find blatant errors in your communications, they may miss the main point of your message.
Writing for impact is both a skill and an art. If we nonprofit communicators want to persuade others, we can’t just “wing it” because we are running short on time. Our writing can’t be something we just throw together in record time, hoping people will take action.
Writing is the primary tool nonprofits use to prompt people to make a donation. But how do we best make an impact on those we seek to influence?
“Last year my donations didn’t matter.”
This is what my mom said to me the other day. We were having a conversation about the upcoming April 15th tax returns deadline here in the states.
You followed the experts’ advice on building your organization’s social media presence. You dedicated a sizable portion of your marketing team’s efforts to publishing content daily. And then... slowly it happened, most noticeably on Facebook.
Get ready for heaps of donor love to be piled on you!
I was recently introduced to Vida Joven de Mexico through Tom Ahern's newsletter. Tom wrote, "If you'd like a 100% organic free-range farm-fresh steady stream of donor-centricity, become a supporter. I love what they send me. I mean, LOVE!!!!"
With a raving testimony like that from Tom -- someone who lives and breathes donor-centric communications -- how could I resist?
Ready to take a peek?
Taylor Swift recently finished her Reputation Stadium Tour, finishing the massive world jaunt with an eye-popping $435 million. Haters gonna hate, but for me, I'm thrilled Netflix quickly released Taylor Swift's tour film. It's wildly entertaining and filled with her past and present hits that cause you to bop around.
But... more than that, the film portrays Taylor connecting with her fans like no other performer I have witnessed. Sounds corny, but the space between Taylor and her fans is simply magical. Theirs is like the ideal relationship nonprofits crave to have with their donors.
You can learn a lot about donor communications from watching Taylor's relationship with her "Swifties." Here's what I mean...
I keep seeing this one, tiny word in the "ask" of many fundraising appeals, and it's surely a big reason campaigns are underperforming. This word conveys a feeling of timidness and uncertainty about a nonprofit's true need for funding. So, what's the word?
Donors are finicky... Donors are complicated... Donors give to your organization for their reasons, not yours. These are three truths I've learned about people who respond to fundraising appeals. Each truth shapes my fundraising writing. This insight can help you, too.
If you ever were faced with the task of writing your nonprofit’s fundraising annual appeal letter, you know how daunting it is to put pen to paper. After all, the expectation is that the letter you craft must bring in substantial funds. (No pressure, right?!)
I have a question about your blog: Are you bored with it? Do you keep posting the same type of content? If you think your blog is a real snoozefest, chances are your readers thinks so, too. You just might need a fresh writing topic idea to pump new life into your blog.
Blog post writing doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. If the idea of writing an article for your organization makes you want to run and hide under your desk, I’ve got some good news for you.
Is the thought of writing a blog post for your organization daunting? You know you have a lot of information to share with your community, but a lack of time and confidence may prevent you or your team from jumping in.
I’ve got good news and bad news about fundraising writing. The bad news is writing is always hard. Even experienced writers have a difficult time clearly and briefly stating the purpose in their fundraising writing.
Part 5 in a Series of 5 Posts on Building a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Nonprofit...
Who is your content meant to reach? When you craft content to support a campaign or program, do you have a specific person in mind or do you write to a general audience?
Part 4 in a Series of 5 Posts on Building a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Nonprofit...
Stories have the ability to connect people to an idea on an emotional level. Telling compelling stories helps our audience feel what we feel. And when it comes to powerful stories, the nonprofit sector certainly corners the market.
Part 3 in a Series of 5 Posts on Building a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Nonprofit...
When it comes to creating mission statements, nonprofits have one monumental advantage over businesses. Whereas a business is driven by profit, an NPO is driven by mission.
Not that earning profits is bad (yay, capitalism!), but nonprofits always start with a mission as their reason for existing. Having purpose why you do what you do builds the foundation for a strong content marketing program.
So, get your engines fired up! Let’s do some exploring together. In 5 steps, you will be able to document your content marketing mission statement!
Part 2 in a Series of 5 Posts on Building a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Nonprofit...
Nonprofits do so many things right! I’m always amazed how so much can be accomplished inside of a resource-strapped nonprofit organization. Doing so much with so little feels magical.