2016-take-survey-nowKivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey has become the “go to” source for what’s REALLY happening in the world of nonprofit communications and fundraising. The annual results report provides concrete benchmarks for your marketing approach and the proof points you need to lobby for the resources you need to do marketing right.

So please, take 10-15 minutes now to take this year’s Survey. Your input is vital to generating the benchmarks and proof points we all need to do marketing even better. BONUS: As a survey respondent, you’ll be among the first to get the results (via a preview webinar on December 16). Give 10—take the survey today.



Nancy Schwartz on November 18, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments

Our first post in the new Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to Renee Thompson, director of philanthropy, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Nonprofit StorytellingTested Turnaround! Introducing a new fundraising spokesperson—one of our clients (an individual who’s benefited from our donors’ support).

Keeping It All about Our Donors, Not Our Organization
Traditionally, our ED produced all year-end content, reviewing the past year’s work and impact. That’s how most organizations do it, after all.


Guest Blogger on November 17, 2015 in All-Org Marketing Team | 1 comment
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Connect to convert: Nonprofit communications

Let’s be real: Your organization is one of the many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers.

In Part One of this mini-guide, I shared my take on why such emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. And cited a reliable litmus test for photo-story impact—1) If you’d share them with your family and friends; 2) would they “like” or share them.

But you can make emotional connections with your target audiences, even WITHOUT kittens and puppies.

In fact—if your organization is not an animal rescue or another organization directly related to puppies, kitties or babies—these alternatives are far more effective in helping your forge connections and motivate your audiences to give, register or volunteer. Most importantly, they are authentic, relevant messages, rather than manipulative click-bait.

Here are two tested methods, with examples:


Nancy Schwartz on November 3, 2015 in storytelling | 1 comment
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Part Two

Adorable! Few of us can resist photos like this one, which is why you see so many organizations communicating cute.

But if your organization doesn’t have piglet or puppy photos to share, what can you do? Assess what makes these photos so magnetic, then share some of that.


Nancy Schwartz on October 20, 2015 in storytelling | 0 comments
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Rob Wu, CauseVoxGuest blogger Rob Wu is CEO of CauseVox, a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform used by nonprofits to create fundraising websites.

Today, fundraising extends far beyond motivating people to donate. We want engagement, we want other actions, and we want to build a relationship! We also want as many people as possible rallying for our cause.

Here’s where peer-to-peer (P-to-P) fundraising comes in, as a reliable method of leveraging your existing audience to raise money on your behalf. It’s a great way to reach a broader audience, activate new donors, and re-engage current supporters.

You tell us that your biggest challenge is getting your peer-to-peer fundraisers prepared, informed, and engaged. This five-part fundraising toolkit will be a great help:  READ MORE

Guest Blogger on October 14, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments

Nonprofit Message Magic: Surprise

Shaping messages to be relevant to the people we want to to engage and spur to action is the most reliable path to productive marketing. Relevance rules!

But there’s more you can do, once you get to relevance. Over the last few months, my passion to find, analyze and guide you to the most effective messaging possible has uncovered a few additional secret ingredients that are absolute magic. Today, let’s talk surprise…


Nancy Schwartz on October 13, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
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Guy Arceneaux

Guest blogger Guy Arceneaux is Director of Marketing and Communications for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

Here’s my top takeaway from my first three months on the job at Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland: Smaller, more nimble nonprofits like ours typically know their audiences better—so are far more connected with them—than do most large, complex organizations.

That Was Then
In 2013, I was the Director of Marketing for an international humanitarian development nonprofit. The annual budget was nearly one billion dollars, with our $2.3 million marketing budget funding the work of three departments and 13 staff members. Sounds like a lot, right?


Guest Blogger on October 7, 2015 in Relationship Building | 2 comments
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Donald_J__Trump___realDonaldTrump____TwitterThere’s so much to learn from the way others communicate, even if you don’t share perspectives. In fact, it can be easier to highlight and harvest high-impact marketing techniques when you’re on opposite sides of an issue or cause. Because we all want to do better than that guy!

There’s no better Twitter-er to learn from than Donald Trump, whose technique “allows millions of supporters to make his case for him,” reports The New York Times.

Put Trump’s Twitter tactics to work today for your organization. Here’s how:


Nancy Schwartz on October 6, 2015 in Social Media | 0 comments
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South_Carolina_Children_s_TheatreYou have a priceless, DOABLE opportunity to position your organization, programs, services, campaigns, and events in audiences’ hearts, minds, schedules, and wallets: Relevant messages!

Your tagline is the heart of your message platform. If crafted right, these eight words (or less) will complement your organization’s name to convey its unique impact or value with personality, passion, and commitment.

Take a look at this one from the South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT): Totally professional. Delightfully immature.


Nancy Schwartz on September 30, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments

Nonprofit Marketing MetricsRead Part 1 first

Metric mania! It’s all around us. Unfortunately, when we try to measure too many marketing measures, all we get is frustrated. Even for nonprofit communicators in large, well-staffed organizations, there’s rarely enough bandwidth to capture, analyze, share and use many marketing insights.

But there is a better way…I urge you to take these three steps to identify five or fewer insights that will make the MOST DIFFERENCE in boosting marketing impact:

Nancy Schwartz on September 22, 2015 in Benchmarks and Measurements | 0 comments
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