[Headlines] What’s Your Story?

Here are last week’s headlines with news, tips, and ideas you can use to improve your nonprofit.

Fundraising

  • Here’s a bit of fundraising performance data on the use of infographics, from Production Solutions.
  •  If you want action, make people feel they are are part of something positive. Read 3 tips for turning your frustration over what isn’t working into a message that compels action – instead of inaction.
  • Amy Eisenstein ere outlines 4 simple steps to building major gifts relationships.
  • The tone of your copy matters. Here’s an email test that looked at the power of that tone. (Hint:  Imagine you’re saying what you read to someone you know.)
  • This article shares an experiment related to how well organizations build relationships quickly. The best of the NPO’s had a relationship built within 90 days!
  • Just as commercial retailers go to great lengths to bring attention to specific items they want you to buy in their stores, remember that your gala’s silent auction is your store. Read more advice on auctions here.

Marketing

  • A troublesome trend to add to falling retention and acquisition rates — falling email read rates.
  • People stories are hugely valuable in moving people to take the actions you want. Craft the stories to make it easy for your prospective donors, partners and more to stand in the shoes of your current supporters, and they’re golden.
  • See a great example of an incredibly effective progress report email.
  • Have a great visual story? Enter the DoGooder Awards. This annual contest is now open for submissioins.
  • Alt image text or alternative image text, in plain language, is the text that shows up when someone can’t view the image due to the settings on their email or browser. Here’s why it matters.
  • You can take immediate steps to make your content better. Check out these 5 tips to start rocking your website content planning.

Nonprofit News / Leadership

  • For giving to grow to its full potential in India, it will be of paramount importance to ensure that donors and recipients have a common language and common goals around results. This report explores the crucial and complex questions around the impact of giving.
  • Here is NPQ’s analysis of the short-term future of the charitable deduction, pro and con, based on the surprising and perplexing House Ways and Means Committee hearings that were convened to get charities to speak out on their incentive in the federal tax code.
  • The IRS just released its comprehensive list of changes for Form 990. There are quite of number of significant changes to this year’s filing, but most fall within the category of clarification of existing requirements.
  • Congregations with clergy aware of their giving trends and with younger people attending were more likely to see positive fundraising results in the first half of 2011 and first half of 2012, a new study says.
  • Read some suggestions from Marc A. Pitman on inviting more people you know to your organization’s board.
  • Spitfire Strategies has developed a short guide to help nonprofits and volunteer-led groups of all sizes navigate a trail of influence by identifying—and eliminating—blind spots before they sabotage change strategies.

Online / Social Media

  • Nonprofit Law Blog points out 10 issues to address in your nonprofit’s social media strategy.
  • With more than 1 billion smartphones on the planet, that means one in seven people on the earth have the ability to do so many things at their fingertips.  We have an unprecedented opportunity to unleash generosity through technology and make what people want to do easier and more compelling. Here’s why mobile matters.

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