all-org team of messengers

We’re in count down to year-end fundraising season, with its relentless pressure and never-ending to-dos. Are you banging your head against the wall yet?

Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources won’t be enough. Yet you know how much you could bring in, if only…

Good news! There is a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier—Launch a team of messengers to be your nonprofit’s ambassadors for year end (and beyond). Enlist your colleagues, board members, and passionate supporters to boost your nonprofit’s reach and results for little or no cost. The best part? They’re already motivated to help you reach your goals.

Start with these three steps to identify, inspire, and support ambassadors for your year-end campaign:


Nancy Schwartz on October 26, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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All-Org Team of MessengersWatch the webinar at your convenience

Join me to learn how to turn your board, staff, and loyal volunteers into a team of passionate and engaging messengers. They’ll develop confidence and skills while you’ll get more of the donations and donor loyalty you seek—without additional budget or hires. Bonus: They’ll connect your organization with their personal networks—many of whom you’d never reach otherwise.

Nancy Schwartz on October 4, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Small Organization FundraisingGuest blogger Heather Yandow brings more than a decade of experience as an outreach coordinator, coalition leader, project manager, and fundraiser to Third Space Studio’s clients.

The latest Individual Donor Benchmark Report is now available with groundbreaking findings to support small nonprofits with their fundraising efforts. The survey compiles annual fundraising data from organizations with budgets under $2 million to highlight trends nonprofits can use to spark their own success.

This year’s findings taps two clear paths to successful fundraising:

  1. Working from a plan strengthens individual donor fundraising for small and medium-sized organizations.
  2. Organizations retain just 60% of their donors from year to year, so finding new donors is a critical element of fundraising on an ongoing basis.

The Key to Success

Guest Blogger on September 29, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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Civil Nonprofit Communications

Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall, with a presidential campaign as contentious and bizarre as the Clinton-Trump contest, is tougher than ever. That’s a real concern as we plunge into Giving Tuesday and Year-End.

Tonight’s debate will, once again, highlight our dukes up, all-rules-broken political arena. Pile on the chaos we face on so many fronts—from Hurricane Matthew recovery to racial profiling, and the refugee crisis—and it’s almost impossible to get attention, much less motivate action. We can’t fight it, nor can we sit it out.

Here’s how to get (and stay) close to your people right now:

1) Show your people you get them. The shifting of norms—who is presidential material and how the campaign is run, caring for refugees fleeing nations that brutalize them, public safety for all—is unnerving. People are feeling vulnerable, and the candidates’ fear mongering fuels our anxiety and sense of powerlessness.

Acknowledge that this is a tough time for all of us, and that you respect and care about your people and their families.


Nancy Schwartz on September 27, 2016 in Strategy | 0 comments
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All-Org Team

So many of you have reached out to me recently in total panic, asking for guidance because you’re stressed to the max by pressures of launches, giving day, and year end. Then there’s the biggest one—the pressure of unrealistic expectations (especially your own). I know because I live it too.

Methods for addressing those pressures are you- and organization-specific, but some game-changing strategies work across the board. One tried and tested method stands out as the most universal, powerful, and long-term way to get happier, healthier, and more productive at work (sorry if I sound like clickbait, but it’s true):

Team with colleagues and peers in the field to share your needs, provide and ask for help, vent and listen, or to get or give a fresh take. There’s nothing like it—we are so much stronger together. The outcome is stronger too—personally, for your output, and for the ultimate results.


Nancy Schwartz on September 14, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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I’m on vacation rejuvenating, clearing space, and building energy for a productive fall and winter. I hope you do the same, if only for a day—It’s a necessity for good creative and intellectual work, and sense of wellbeing.  PLEASE join me—It’s the best investment you can make.

Allyson KapinThanks to guest blogger Allyson Kapin, founder of Rad Campaign and Women Who Tech.

Congratulations, you’ve got a new email subscriber who’s interested in your cause and impact.  Now’s the time to introduce them to your nonprofit with an email welcome series. You get just one chance to make a first impression! Dumping a subscriber into your list with no explanation or recognition can be jarring, or worse, annoying. So don’t.

Instead, do it right with a three-part email welcome series. In fact, research shows that welcome emails are four times more likely to be opened and five times more likely to get click-throughs than other emails. Here’s how to create your own email welcome magic, drawn from Care2’s new Welcome Series Toolkit:

Guest Blogger on August 24, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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I’m on vacation and NOT WORKING (unlike what’s become a bad pattern) . Instead, I’m rejuvenating, clearing space, and building energy for a productive fall and winter. I hope you get the chance to do the same. It’s a necessity for good creative and intellectual work, and sense of wellbeing. Join me!

Nonprofit Marketing GuidanceThanks to guest blogger Heather Ratcliff. Heather is a web content and social media strategist who blogs at How to Reach People.

Despite shifting online trends, such as growing social media platforms and the rapid growth of text messaging, email should still play a vital role in your communication strategy. Should you send newsletters or emails? How should you segment your list, and how often should you email?

We took on these challenges at a recent NetSquared DC meetup, in which Roshani Kothari and I invited three email experts: Janelle Mackereth with DC Central Kitchen, Erik Leaver with Blackbaud, and Virginie Combet with TechnoServe. (Recording here).

Guest Blogger on August 17, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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I was thrilled to see Van Jones’ introducing Dream CorpsDay of Empathy via this video. Wow!

This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.

Please join me on Day of Empathy’s Facebook group to follow its development, roll out, and results. So much to learn. So much inspiration. I’m so excited!

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your inbox!
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P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.

Nancy Schwartz on August 4, 2016 in Relevance Rules | 2 comments
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Nonprofit MarketingPart 1

Dig in a.s.a.p. to these tested and terrific ways to get your people out of the heat and into action—shared by peer fundraisers and communicators in the field. There’s no better source of ideas, guidance, and support!

Personalize to Connect!
Here’s where you rely on your robust, reliable donor management software. The more you know and log about your prospects and donors, the better you’ll connect with them.

Connect with Your Patrons, Donors, and other Supporters via THEIR Summer Habits and Passions
When I coach folks on communicating to donors, it’s one-on-one—an individual strategy. I don’t advise them to feature Hawaiian shirts and mai tais on their communications. But every communication needs to consider the audience, so I guess we naturally consider it. People leaving or arriving for the summer have different agendas and needs.

If the recipient is “in town” for the summer, we explore why she’s interested in the nonprofit. What causes her to support a charity while on vacation? From there, we create a strategy.                                     —Marc Pitman, Fundraising Coach


Nancy Schwartz on August 3, 2016 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments

Nonprofit Media RelationsThanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.

In their day, legendary journalists like Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post essentially defined the day’s news for their audiences. But today it’s a different story—Increasingly, audience interests shape journalists’ decisions on what’s news.

NBC, for example, is sharing viewers’ thoughts on the election anonymously, collecting them via text, phone, and Tumblr. The New York Times has decided “to produce a product that consumers have a greater say in creating,” according to its public editor Liz Spayd. Other examples abound, affecting news, feature, and opinion coverage.

How the News Is Changing, and Why You Should Care
This is happening because traditional media is still adjusting to the internet’s impact. Digital media has exploded with new outlets representing diverse opinions and covering an incredible range of subjects. To compete with these newcomers, traditional media outlets must stay closely attuned to their own audiences.


Guest Blogger on July 27, 2016 in Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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