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3 Reasons Your Donors Jump Between Fundraising Channels

fundraising nonprofit Jun 08, 2020

As marketers and fundraisers, sometimes our tendency to put donors in a box can work against us. We define donor profiles (one box), we invest in specific fundraising channels (another box), and we often give attribution to the last-touch channel that acquired the gift (yet another box). We put donors in boxes because it helps to corral planning and donor communication. It helps us go deeper in relationships with donors by channel. And it helps us report “what’s working” in fundraising to our boards and stakeholders.

The truth is that donors do not live in a box. They are like you and me. People, not donors. They are human beings who are influenced to give by many factors and don’t care about the box you put them in. They aren’t looking at your organization saying, “I’m a direct-mail donor” or “I’m a digital-only donor.” Donors just want to make a difference. They will send in a check, donate online,...

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5 Reasons Nonprofits Should Boost Posts on Facebook (and 1 BIG Reason Not To)

fundraising nonprofit May 22, 2020

Nonprofits have a problem on their hands when it comes to organic posts on Facebook. Many nonprofits spend hours each month planning, writing, organizing, posting, and tracking the performance of social media posts. HOURS. But those that have done this for the past few years know this is not a new problem. 

According to the 2020 M+R Benchmark Report, organic posts from nonprofits reached just 4% their page’s followers (Page Likes). To flip that stat, 96% of a nonprofit’s Facebook followers will NOT see its organic posts. If you work for a nonprofit and are involved with Facebook organic posts or paid ads, then you’re likely familiar with Facebook Boost advertising option. A Boost is designed to do just that, boost (i.e. increase) the amount of people that can see your post. This type of advertising is becoming especially more important for nonprofits as less and less of its organic audience is seeing the regular posts that a nonprofit makes on its...

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Giving Tuesday Now Marketing Schedule & Checklist

fundraising nonprofit Apr 21, 2020

My last post examined four important ways your nonprofit can prepare and plan for Giving Tuesday Now. This post fast forwards in time to the actual day. It’s Giving Tuesday Now, do you know where your donors are? (Relax, this is only a test, you still have some time)

I do keep in mind that as you’re reading this, you may be a team of one that is doing the work of “the marketing department.” You may also be on a larger team, specifically involved with digital fundraising. Either way, you likely have a Giving Tuesday Now plan in place, but things can get thrown off quickly the day-of for a number of reasons.

So let’s take some action. Pull up your calendars and block out time on May 5, Giving Tuesday Now. Literally, pull up your calendar in one window while you’re reading this post in another! By protecting your time and dedication to executing the plan, you increase not only the likelihood of increasing revenue on Giving Tuesday Now, but also...

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#GivingTuesdayNOW: 4 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Prepare

May 5, 2020 - Giving Tuesday Now - Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

With COVID-19 striking a major blow to consumers and businesses alike, nonprofits are also struggling. Service needs are up, donations are down. The good news is that there is some relief for nonprofits through the $2 trillion stimulus package, which will provide nonprofit loans and release checks to your donors that may be in a position to give. 

Another piece of good news is that GivingTuesday.org recently announced Giving Tuesday Now happening May 5. This is in response to the societal needs that have surfaced as a result of COVID-19.  This doesn’t give nonprofits much lead time to put together a plan for Giving Tuesday Now, but it’s still completely possible. You have more questions than answers, which may look like these:

-       This isn’t much time to prepare, should we participate?

Answer: Absolutely, there are still donors that are in a position to...

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4 Reasons to Run a Digital-Only Fundraising Campaign

fundraising nonprofit Mar 30, 2020

When most nonprofits think of digital fundraising, they usually think of digital as a marketing channel to support or supplement direct mail. And honestly, that’s how fundraisers should think of digital (for now), especially when creating multi-channel campaigns. For single-channel campaigns though, you’ll find that most fundraising is done via direct mail only rather than digital-only. This is due to a number of reasons that may include anticipated ROI, historical performance, or the ‘ol “this is how it’s always been done” approach. Yet, there can still be value to running digital-only campaigns that stand alone from direct mail. The following are 4 reasons that you may want to add digital-only campaigns to your marketing mix this year:

 

1. Test Creative

There are many creative tests you can do with direct mail, which include everything from the envelop size and design to premium items like address labels. For digital, there are creative...

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5 Digital-Only Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Examples

fundraising nonprofit Mar 17, 2020

“Yeah, I recognize direct mail generates more fundraising revenue than digital but….”

 How many times a year do I say this? Too many to count. Yep, it’s true, direct mail raises tons more money than online fundraising channels. However, online fundraising revenue has steadily increased year over year. Even in years where fundraising overall has been flat, digital has increased. In my previous work with fundraising agencies for nonprofits, the client mix was focused on direct mail as the primary fundraising channel with digital as an afterthought. And I can sorta be ok with that.

What’s not OK is to be complacent with digital or just limit it to email or fundraising campaigns. There are so many ways that you can capitalize on digital marketing tools to connect with your current and prospective donors. For example, just creating a blog post provides content that you can share on social media, email, and direct mail. Let’s check out 5 different...

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6 Insights from the 2019 Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report

fundraising nonprofit Mar 01, 2020

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If you’re into nonprofit fundraising, especially on the digital side, then it’s that special time of year where industry benchmark reports begin rolling out. Most recently, Blackbaud kicked off the benchmark season with its 2019 Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report. This is one of the most significant reports for digital fundraisers for the sheer size of the data set. The report is based on data procured from 8,210 nonprofits and $36.3 billion in fundraising revenue. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal, and why it’s one of my favorites.

As always with benchmark reports, I advise that you review it, take notes and examine how your organization stacks up to others in your nonprofit sector and size. However, I also always caution that you create...

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9 Components of a Nonprofit Brand Book (Style Guide)

Let’s do a quick exercise. When you see the Disney logo, what do you think of? What about Apple’s apple? McDonald’s arches? Coca-Cola’s wave?

Chances are, you have formed some memory or emotion (good or bad) towards the thought of any of these logos or brands. Branding is powerful. It’s an intangible asset of your nonprofit that goes well beyond a logo. It creates a reputation that has the ability to impact your donors for a lifetime. This is why the characteristics that your brand embodies must remain consistent overtime. Donors can count on this consistency, which equates to trust.

I recently posted articles about how to establish your nonprofit's brand and also provided 8 examples of nonprofit brand books. These are great resources to see finished versions of what every nonprofit should have, which is documentation of your brand standards. When it comes to creating a brand book, consider using the following nine components as an outline of items...

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Nonprofit Branding: 8 Examples of Nonprofit Brand Books (Style Guides)

Uncategorized Feb 18, 2020

My last post discussed the foundation for branding (or rebranding) your nonprofit, which goes much deeper than just a logo and some pretty colors. This post will take it to the opposite end of the spectrum and dive into the end result of your branding exercise. For the sake of this article, we’ll call it a brand book, though it may also be referred to as a style guide, brand guide, or some other variation. In essence, this is a living document that displays the standards for your brand, including appropriate and inappropriate use, colors, logos, fonts, and more.

Why a Brand Book is Important

If your nonprofit does not already have a brand book, now is the time to create one. A brand book is important because it serves as a guide for internal stakeholders to follow that has anything to do with messaging your brand internally or externally. Without standards, employees can take leisure with how your logo is used, what fonts are utilized, and what style of photography or tone is...

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Nonprofit Branding: Before Logos and Colors, Start With This

Whether you’re a start-up nonprofit or been around for decades, there comes a time when you either establish or refresh your brand. Branding is so much more than having a logo and smacking it everywhere you can. It’s a multi-dimensional force that is used to take residence in the hearts and minds of your donors. There are physical and emotional aspects that work together creating a seemingly real-life personality, drawing people closer to the brand, or in some cases away from the brand. And just like a human personality, deep change comes from within an individual, rather than changing what’s on the surface.

That said, my approach to branding is a lot like self-care, begin within and seek a better understanding of your nonprofit so that its existence can take better care of others. This means taking a dive into your nonprofit’s brand identity. Establishing your nonprofit’s vision, mission, and values helps to set the tone not only from an organizational...

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