[News] No such thing as a magic pill

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more that clients are coming to me looking for the ‘next big thing’ and the ‘magic pill.’ I wish I could say that I could snap my fingers and make money come to you.

However, it takes work and time to develop a strategy that will work consistently for the long haul. And the more we get distracted by shiny objects or new programs, the longer we delay taking deliberate steps to get the basic plan in place first (I’ve learned this the hard way with my business too).

The biggest missed opportunity I see is in mid-level donor programs (mentioned by The Agitator this week). In many ways they’re treated like the middle child – ie not getting much attention and perhaps feeling a little slighted. This week, commit to finding ways to help your mid-level donors feel special and valued. Your donor retention levels will thank you!

Scroll down and you’ll see a full list of articles and posts to help stay up-to-date on trends and topics facing the nonprofit world.

Happy fundraising!


Surprising Sources of Stories – The Storytelling Non-Profit @vanessaechase Surprising Sources of Stories - The Storytelling Non-Profit

Before you can tell a story you need the story leads. Here’s the one easy tip you need to help you uncover those: Look to the onion.

That might sound odd, but it’s true. Think of your organization as an onion. It’s made up of many layers of people — administrative, program folks, staff on the front lines, volunteers, advisory boards, people helped, donors, etc.

Those are layers that all house potential story leads!


Fixing Hidden Leaks #3: Ban good writers from your website – Agitator @AgitatorEditorsThe Agitator

Nothing will drive website visitors away faster than turning a real writer loose on your website.

Here’s the problem. All good writers want people to read what they write. To do this they tell stories. They want to share. They want to explain. They long for the reader to get lost within the writer’s world.

No desire could be more destructive when it comes to your website. Get thee away from good and honest writers.


Fundraising Planning

How to be relevant to your donors @101fundraisingHow to be relevant to your donors - 101fundraising

Six major international development charities were asked a very simple question; “what’s the reason donor’s support you and not your competitors?” Each gave their answer. A cross section of their donors was asked a similar question; “what’s the reason you give to this charity and not the others?”

Not once did the answer the charities gave match the answer their donors gave!

Mid-level donors and the element of surprise – 101fundraising

Intermediate donors… leadership donors… “the Mid-level donors and the element of surprise - 101fundraisingmuddle in the middle”. Whatever you call them, mid-level donors continue to be a bit of a mystery to fundraisers. But they’re there! They’re not annual donors and not yet major donors, but they want to give you more money than they’re giving you right now, and the benefits to you include:

More money now (obviously)
Some stability in the middle of your giving pyramid (cliche, but true)
Future major gifts (should these donors have the capacity for it)

Fundraising Tactics

10 Actions to Take This Summer to Increase Donor Retention - Ignited Fundraising10 Actions to Take This Summer to Increase Donor Retention – Ignited Fundraising @LJacobwith

With vacations and long weekends upon us, take this as your reminder to schedule some “donor retention” activities for the summer. The fact is, when donors have a high level of trust about what you DO with THEIR financial support, they are much more likely to give again and again.

Here’s my checklist of 10 low-cost or free actions you can take this summer to cause your supporters to feel connected and ready to make a contribution the next time you ask.

Wild Apricot Blog : 7 Top Tips for Creating “Win-Win” SponsorshipsWild Apricot Blog : 7 Top Tips for Creating “Win-Win” Sponsorships @WildApricot

It’s about “philanthrotunity”. Companies today are much more mindful of integrating a cause into their organization. Companies get it, they know why it’s important to work with associations, chambers, nonprofits. Here are the 7 top…



Top Factors for Improving Nonprofit Directors’ Board Experiences | Eugene FramTop Factors for Improving Nonprofit Directors' Board Experiences | Eugene Fram @HuffPostBiz

Spencer Stuart, an international placement firm, recently asked 500 directors who serve on for-profit boards to name the top factors that would reasonably improve their board experience. Their answers also resonate in the nonprofit arena.



I.R.S. Seeks to Define Political Activity for Nonprofits – First Draft. Political News, Now. – NYTimes.comI.R.S. Seeks to Define Political Activity for Nonprofits - First Draft. Political News, Now. - NYTimes.com @nytpolitics

The Internal Revenue Service could issue as early as next month new draft regulations governing political activity by tax-exempt organizations, according to a notice issued on Thursday. But it remains unlikely that the new rules would be in place before the 2016 election.

The effort comes as nonprofit organizations prepare to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on presidential and congressional races, much of it devoted to thinly disguised campaign ads that the organizations say are merely intended to raise awareness of policy issues.


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