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Segmentation is the key to your nonprofits direct mail success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Why Donor Appreciation is Crucial This Time of Year!

Guest blog post by: Margaret Battistelli Gardner A special holiday poem (with great apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr., each of whom was credited at different times with writing the original “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) ‘Twas a few days before year-end and all through the land Nonprofits were scrambling to put out a hand. Donors’ mail and inboxes were stuffed to the hilt With asks and appeals and a wee touch of guilt. Fundraisers were huddled, awaiting the cash, Ignoring, just maybe, they’d been a bit crass. These donors, they knew, keep them sustained And deserve so much more than the same old refrain. When out of the slush pile arose something new – A note...

10 Holiday Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

Guest blog post by: Margaret Battistelli Gardner

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Fundraising Events

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg The holiday season is upon us!  A crazy, hectic time for nonprofits whose intentions are firmly glued on year-end giving. But soon this old year will fade away, replaced with a new year filled with great possibilities. For this new year, give your organization the gift of successful fundraising events. This is the time to bid farewell to bad event planning habits that have scuttled your fundraising events’ effectiveness, and to make a commitment to a new disciplined regime that will transform your bloated, boring events into sleek and engaging money-making machines. Here are five game-changing New Year’s resolutions you can make to get...

Why Direct Mail Fundraising is Better This Year-End Giving Season

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp This past weekend, I spent several hours going through the stack of direct mail packs I had  received in the past two weeks. I reviewed each one, identified organizations I’d like to donate to and then I scanned in those that could help give me some new ideas for year-end giving appeals for organizations I work with.  Every year around this time, I talk to nonprofits, struggling to decide if they should send out a direct mail appeal at year-end. Sadly, every year, some organizations drag their feet too long  that they end up missing out on the best time of the year to generate the funds they need to support their mission!  Why does this happen? I think there are...

Insta-tips for using Instagram for your #GivingTuesday Campaign

“It’s #GivingTuesday! Give us money!” Yes, there ARE ways to use Instagram to raise money on #GivingTuesday. But that’s not one of them. #GivingTuesday seems so simple. Possibly because it’s so social media oriented. And we tend to think of social media as a quick ‘n’ easy way to raise money and awareness for our causes. But it’s not. Not really. Like any good campaign, a #GivingTuesday effort takes planning. And orchestration. And prep. “Most of the stuff I see is organizations just posting on their social media pages, ‘It’s #GivingTuesday, so give us money,’” Ephraim Gopin, founder of nonprofit communications firm 1832 Communications, says with a heavy sigh.  But it needn’t be that way....

Using a Match to Increase Your Nonprofits Monthly Giving Success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

5 Things Not to Say in Grant Applications for Nonprofits

Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC

3 Questions to Consider in Selecting Grant Management Software for Grant-seekers

Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC You successfully wrote and submitted a grant application. And you GOT the grant! Handstands, cartwheels, and high fives for your whole organization!  But now you have to implement the proposed work you outlined in the grant application, and you have to manage not just the program, but also the finances, and the required reports. And as you successfully start writing and managing one grant, you begin to build bigger grantmaker relationships and a grant portfolio for your organization building on your grant success.  Only now, the management of deadlines, relationships, and the decisions on all of your applications becomes more...

How To Create a Nonprofit Event Budget | CharityHowTo

Get a Grip on Nonprofit Event Budgets Creating Budgets and Cutting Costs Nonprofit event budgets are as unique as snowflakes, and just as elusive to pin down! Whether a gala, festival, or house party, organizations need to understand how to create a nonprofit event budget in order to successfully plan and execute their events.

6 Tips to Establish and Build Grantmaker Relationships | CharityHowTo

“People grant to people, not to proposals.” — Heather Stombaugh, Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Why Are Grantmaker Relationships so Important? Relationships with grantmakers have become an integral part of seeking and obtaining grants. While not all grantmakers have the capacity or the desire to communicate with potential grantees prior to making a grant award, you must remember that your funders are humans, too. Your efforts in building authentic, long-term funding relationships and partnerships with grantmakers will make it easier to get grants from your preferred funders now and in the future. Here are six ways you can establish and solidify relationships with grantmakers before...

Mastering Your Nonprofit Grant Strategy | CharityHowTo

Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC

Unique Giving Tuesday Ideas for Your Nonprofit Social Channels | CharityHowTo

Blog Post by Julia Campbell The seasons are changing, summer is waning, fall is approaching and that can only  mean one thing – year-end charitable giving season is about to descend upon us! For many nonprofits, year-end giving season is kicked off by the global giving movement #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to the consumerism that often marks year-end. Americans have a day of giving thanks (Thanksgiving). This is followed by two days of giving and getting deals (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) – so why not a full day for giving back?  This year #GivingTuesday is on December 3, and expectations are sky...

How to Write a Grant Report that Exceeds Expectations | CharityHowTo

Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC

3 Case Studies that Prove that Nonprofit Direct Mail Still Works in 2019

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp, Charity How to Presenter, Author, Blogger and Nonprofit Library Contributor  I grew up with and in direct mail. I was fortunate to work at Reader’s Digest (RD) in Amsterdam right after college and it really shaped the rest of my career. I’ve always loved direct mail because you can measure results, but nothing beats seeing the boxes and boxes filled with responses coming back.  I was ‘hooked’ on direct mail and all of us direct mail ‘nerds’ at RD loved recieving the latest direct mail samples sent to us from countries like the U.S. Australia, Canada etc.  The general rule of thumb was that if direct mail packs worked in those countries, they’d most likely also...

Moving Your Instagram Audience to Action | CharityHowTo

Instagram is a marketing powerhouse for brands, companies, and nonprofits alike. If you want to target a younger demographic, Instagram could be for you, with 59% of online adults ages 18-29 active on the network. More than 500 million people have Instagram accounts, more than 300 million of which use it daily!

Grant Writing Training For Your Nonprofit | CharityHowTo

What To Look For (And What to Avoid) In Grant Writing Training For Nonprofit Organizations Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC

How To Set Up Your Nonprofit’s Website For Monthly Giving

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Does Your Nonprofit Event Need a Psychologist? | CharityHowTo

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg Does Your Nonprofit Event Need a Psychologist? Many organizations spend an enormous amount of time and resources on nonprofit events, only to have them fall short of their goals. They may try changing venues and changing themes, but still, the events fail to meet expectations. What these organizations should be changing instead is their own mindsets and figuring out how to fix their events’ psychology! As a 20-year veteran nonprofit event planner, I deeply understand the psychology of fundraising through nonprofit events and how the choices we make during the event planning process will impact, positively or negatively, a guest’s...

How to Move Your Nonprofit Advocacy Ambassadors From Knowledge to Action

Blog post by Mike Brand Let’s talk about advocacy. Many nonprofit organizations regularly engage in advocacy to advance a particular cause. Some organizations’ primary function is to advocate for change. There are also countless organizations that do not engage in advocacy, or at least think that they don’t. And they are missing out! If your organization falls into that last category keep reading! I’m going to tell you how your organization can benefit from advocacy and how you can move your nonprofit ambassadors from knowledge to action. What is Advocacy? When people hear the term advocacy they often think of a major protest or perhaps an organization like the ACLU pops to mind. But we are...

The 5 Key Components of a Successful Monthly Giving Program | CharityHowTo

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp Setting up a successful monthly giving program doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you keep these key components in mind. Let me share the top 5 with you: Commitment Accountability Preparedness Detail orientation Persistence For a successful monthly giving program these apply to the person who’s interested and willing to grow the program as well as to the program itself. Let’s take them one by one.

How to Grow Your Monthly Giving Program from Good to GREAT

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Drink Your Own Kool-Aid…Start Monthly Giving to Your Own Nonprofit

This past week I heard this expression several times, so I wanted to explain why it’s especially important when it comes to monthly giving. Let me start with the Wikipedia definition: “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards.”

Direct Mail For Nonprofits – The Number One Thing To Consider Before Sending Your Next Campaign

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Instagram for Nonprofits: 5 Simple Tips for Getting Your Nonprofit Discovered 

Blog Post by Julia Campbell

Instagram Stories: How to Start Using Them for Your Nonprofit

Blog Post by Julia Campbell

How to Create an Irresistible Nonprofit Fundraising Video (6 Best Tips)

How to Write a Compelling Letter of Inquiry

Blog post by Diane H. Leonard, GPC Letter writing may seem like a lost art, but done well, it has the potential to open doors for funding opportunities. Specifically, a well written letter of inquiry can open to the door for you to submit a full proposal to a grantmaker to support your organization. Many grantmakers have implemented the process of letters of inquiry from potential grant seekers as a way to learn more about your agency, understand your ideas, and determine if it is a good fit with their mission.  Letters of inquiry can serve multiple purposes including saving time for both funders and grant seekers and building relationships. With the increased utilization of online grant...

Federal Grants for Nonprofits: Are They a Fit for Your Organization?

Plus: How to be Submit Competitive Applications Blog Post by CharityHowTo Expert Diane H. Leonard, GPC Your organization may have a successful grant seeking strategy. You may have great relationships with foundation and perhaps even state agency grantmakers. You may be managing your funding and reporting requirements well. But as your Board of Directors or fundraising team look at how to grow the organization further or diversify your revenue, it is likely that the question of federal grant support eventually arises. So how do you know if federal grants for nonprofits are a good fit for you? And if your organization is prepared to take on the 100+ hour process of applying for an average...

How to Raise More by “Upgrading” Your Monthly Giving Donors

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Successfully Secure Event Sponsorships

This blog post is by CharityHowTo Expert AJ Steinberg

How to Build Out Your Nonprofit Social Media Calendar

Does your organization have a social media calendar? As a nonprofit marketer for a small organization, I am positive that you wear many hats. Between answering emails, making phone calls to supporters, editing the annual appeal letter and coordinating fundraising events, who has time to maintain more than one social media account?

How to Save Money on USPS Direct Mail Postage with Barcodes

Do you ever wonder how your USPS direct mail gets to your donor’s mailbox? And how you can use best practices to save money on all of your nonprofit USPS direct mail campaigns? Have you ever been to the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC? It’s located right next to Union Station and access is FREE.  The museum shows in interactive ways how it all began. You’ll see how people literally risked their lives to make sure that the mail got delivered. From horse to stage coach to trains to planes…

7 Tips to Get Your Organization to Embrace Asking for Donations

Blog post by Brian Saber We all know that asking doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. Your organization and staff have to embrace asking for donations clear across the board in order for you to develop a strong culture of asking. Think of what it would mean if you did have a culture of asking for donations. First and foremost, fundraising would stop being a dirty word! We all know that as soon as we mention the word fundraising most people cringe. Well, that isn’t going to get us anywhere, is it? Here are seven ways to shape a culture of asking and a strong fundraising future at your organization. 1) View capital campaigns as the standard During a capital campaign we invest a tremendous...

How to Overcome Event Planning Burnout and LOVE Nonprofit Events

Blog post by A.J. Steinberg

How to Use Live Streaming Video to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

10 Ways to Use Instagram for Nonprofit Visual Storytelling

Building Authentic Grantmaker Relationships

This is a post by Diane H. Leonard, GPC Grantmaker relationships are a critical element of a successful grant seeking strategy, but you may be wondering how you can best build on those relationships once you get your first grant from a funder? How can you authentically build long-term funding relationships and partnerships? It boils down to the key question: “How can you express next-level gratitude for your grantmakers of all sizes and types (in a way that aligns with your own capacity and other grant-related responsibilities)?” Here are four ways that you can engage in more authentic grantmaker relationships as a way to express next-level gratitude: 1. Ask About and Respect Their...

4 Ways to Use Social Proof to Improve Volunteer Recruitment

This post is by Tobi Johnson, MA, CVA When it comes to volunteer recruitment for your nonprofit, understanding human nature and psychology is key. Why? Because our brains determine everything we do. By better understanding what triggers humans to act, nonprofit staff can become better influencers and, ultimately, better marketers. One of the most powerful and enduring psychological phenomenon is that of social proof. Over the millennia, our species has survived because of our ability to mold our behavior to that of our clan. Those who did not conform risked banishment and extinction. We have learned subconsciously that social conformity is linked to our very survival. The power of the tribe...

Top 3 Hidden Gems to Uncover with a Monthly Donation Program

How to Ask for Donations Face to Face for Your Nonprofit

This is a guest post by Brian Saber  Most fundraising professionals would prefer to do just about anything than ask someone for money face-to-face. Even for those who find it somewhat “easy,” it can be awkward and anxiety-inducing to ask for money, regardless of how good your cause is. Yet, deep down, we know asking for donations face to face for your nonprofit will end up making a huge impact… and the facts back that up. Asking in-person is proven to have the highest rate of success among all methods. Kent Dove of the Indiana University Foundation analyzed different ways of giving. Direct mail has the lowest success rate of the traditional fundraising methods –just 1-2%. Phone calls – not...

Facebook Ads for Nonprofits: How to Plan a Successful Campaign

This is a guest post by Julia Campbell Welcome to the wonderful world of Facebook advertising! Facebook Ads for nonprofits, when created and launched strategically, can have powerful results for organizations looking to expand their online communities and raise more revenue. With over 1 billion daily active users sharing 4.75 billion pieces of content every day on the social network, launching a Facebook Ad campaign can set you apart and help you reach a targeted audience. This post is a simple guide to help you plan, create, launch, and measure a wildly successful Facebook Ads campaign to achieve your nonprofit’s objective, whether it be spreading awareness or raising money. Let’s jump...

How a Monthly Donor Program Can Drastically Increase Your Nonprofit’s Revenue

This is a guest post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Choose the Best Nonprofit Accounting Software for Your Organization

This is a guest post by Joseph Scarano Does your nonprofit’s current accounting software allow you to create separate financial statements by fund? How about generate budgets by grant, fund or program? The needs of a nonprofit are different from that of a commercial business, and that goes for accounting needs, too! This article will help you understand the needs of your organization and help you select the most effective software for your nonprofit. Evaluate Your Organization’s Needs First, list and prioritize your organization’s requirements to establish the most important elements required in a new system. The factors to consider are: Funding Sources and Budget for your Organization –...

What Can Your Nonprofit Offer in Exchange For Corporate Sponsorship?

This is a guest post by Simon Scriver Are you looking to bring on more large sponsors for your nonprofit? Great! Once you’ve identified the partners that you’d like to ask to for a corporate sponsorship, it’s time to consider how to provide great value in return for your ask. Before reaching out to the company, ask yourself… what does this company really want? Below is a list of ways you can create a win-win situation for corporate partners. Feel Good Factor Show them what will they achieve (not what your organization is doing…but what will be achieved because of them). They should feel part of the winning team. Connect them directly to your beneficiaries and your work through meetings,...

Using the POST Method for Creating a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Marketing Plan

This a guest blog post by John Hayden

Does My Nonprofit Need a Donor Newsletter? How to Get Started

This a guest blog post by Jeff Brooks A “donor newsletter” is a newsletter for and about donors. Its message: Your giving to our organization is making the world a better place. You are accomplishing what you meant to accomplish when you gave! A donor newsletter is not an education piece – rather, it’s about what our donors have accomplished through us. And it’s not meant to be a chronicle of our successes. It tells the stories of success… and gives the donor the credit for helping make it possible. So, does your nonprofit need to produce a donor newsletter? When you produce a donor newsletter and send it to your donors, here’s what you can expect: A donor newsletter will increase...

How to Find Great Content to Share on Your Nonprofit Social Media Channels

This a guest blog post by Julia Campbell When looking for great online content to share with your target audience on your nonprofit’s social media channels, always think back to their passions and their interests. What gets them up in the morning? What keeps them awake at night? When you have a clear picture of who you are creating content for using online platforms such as your website, blog, email, and social media, you will be able to quickly brainstorm a list of content ideas and places to look. When you begin looking for content to share on your nonprofit social media channels, keep in mind that content comes in a variety of forms! This can range from videos, to photos, to current...

5 Steps to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

This a guest blog post by Julia Campbell, originally posted on Wild Apricot’s Blog

5 Types of Nonprofit Members and How to Engage Them

Originally posted in Wild Apricot´s Blog