Fundraising: Innovations & Research

Missing Middle DonorsTry this fundraising mash-up to close the yawning giving gap you might not even know you have!

Mix these insights on giving patterns of rich vs. middle- and lower-income donors with Sea Change Strategies’ take—The Missing Middle: Neglecting Middle Donors is Costing You Millions—and you get a clear call to action for every fundraiser.

Although these two middles are differently defined—the first based on income level, whereas the Sea Change study probes donors who give from $250 to $900 annually to a single org—there’s just one conclusion: There’s more value in middle donors than we imagined.


Nancy Schwartz on February 3, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 4 comments
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Get Going #GivingTuesday 2015

Would you have generated donations your organizations wouldn’t have gotten otherwise if you had participated in this year’s #GivingTuesday? Could you have tried some new strategies this year, like the matching gifts offered in so many #GivingTuesday campaigns? Should you have built an all-org #GivingTuesday giving team to capitalize on the relationships with donors and prospects many of your colleagues already have?

Woulda coulda shoulda for #GivingTuesday 2014 but now’s the time to document ideas and goals to boost your 2015 #GivingTuesday results. Here’s how:


Nancy Schwartz on December 3, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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Guest author JennNonprofit Storytelling #GivingTuesdaya Sauber is a crowdfunding and digital marketing expert at CauseVox, a peer-to-peer fundraising software for nonprofits.

The beauty of a movement like #GivingTuesday is that the nonprofit world gets to shine in the midst of the chaotic and overwhelming madness that is the holiday retail season.

But let’s face it: when your nonprofit is one of hundreds, or thousands participating in this growing global giving day, making your story stand out can be an intimidating task. You’ve got a short lead in to December 2, and then you have 24 hours (less if you think about when people are awake and online) to inspire people to give.

So how do you amp up your fundraising appeal in a way that encourages people to click that donate button? Use the power of storytelling! Here are a few of my favorite tips to consider as you craft your storytelling plan for #GivingTuesday.

1) Make your story relevant

When planning a move, people always say “location, location, location.” For #GivingTuesday, it’s of the utmost importance to keep things relevant. And we’re not just talking about staying on topic to your mission—but think of the time of year, think seasonal.


Guest Blogger on November 13, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 4 comments
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Donor LoveDonor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize and activate your prospects and donors—are THE key to fundraising success. That’s nothing new.

What you may not know though, is how few organizations do donor communications well. So if that’s your organization, you’re not alone!

Now—with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital—we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail, and the impact that failure makes. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down, or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, here’s the kick-in-the-pants you need.


Nancy Schwartz on September 23, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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major-gift-fundraisingWelcome to guest blogger  Amy Eisenstein, whose superb guidebookMajor Gift Fundraising for Small Shops—was just released . Grab it, it’s great.

Wish you knew how to build and deepen relationships with people who can advance your issue or cause—like major gift prospects—but you just don’t how?

Fundraisers who work in small development shops are frequently overwhelmed by the details of grant writing, direct mail, and event planning. I’ve been there, and I bet you have too.

As a result, you can end up leaving a lot of money on the table. And you marketers face the same pressures from a different set of challenges!


Nancy Schwartz on March 18, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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I hope you’ll try something new, and join me at the Engage Fundraising Conference in Philadelphia on April 10.

Register today with this discount code (SPEAKER75) and you’ll get $75 off.

You see, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the first-ever Engage Conference last year. The tight group of participants were fantastically “engaged,” so the speaking part was great. Even better, was that I learned so much from the other sessions and other participants!


Matt Koltermann on February 27, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments

Fundraising with Businesses by Joe WatersWhen my friend and colleague, Joe Waters, told me he was writing a hands-on guide to fundraising with businesses (a.k.a. cause marketing), I was absolutely delighted.

You’ve probably seen the same coverage I have on cause marketing, covering big orgs partnering with big corporations—like Miracle Treat Day (Children’s Miracle Network with Dairy Queen) and the Kraft Fight Hunger Facebook page for Feeding America. So I was eager to see how Joe would make this high-value fundraising strategy available to the rest of the nonprofit world and extend it to include partnering with businesses like the diner down the street or the independently-owned supermarket in  town.

Eureka! In Fundraising with Businesses, Joe lays out 40 doable ways to partner with businesses to raise money for your cause. He provides a fresh take on traditional approaches from register fundraisers to payroll deductions and introduces a slew of innovative techniques from #hashtag fundraisers to scan-to-give, showing how every organization—including yours—can work with businesses to raise cash.


Nancy Schwartz on January 29, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments

Get More from SalesforceWelcome to guest blogger, James Porter. James is Associate Director, Development & Communications for the END Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to controlling and eliminating neglected tropical diseases. 

Your database tools have the potential to dramatically increase marketing and fundraising results if you use them right. That’s why I’ll be blogging lots of tips, tools and case studies on building out and using your database(s) to improve your supporter’s experience in 2014—via segmentation, serving customization content and personalization. More satisfying experiences lead to more of the actions you need (results!).

Nancy Schwartz on January 23, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 3 comments
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Fundraising GoalsHere’s what my dear friend and colleague, Kivi Leroux Miller, said when I asked her to share the most important takeaway from her just-released 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report:

In far too many organizations, communications/marketing staff and development/fundraising staff aren’t talking or cooperating, and in the worst cases, are working at cross-purposes. Your goals don’t have to be completely in sync, but they must be aligned.

Oh yeah, they do. If your goals—and all the activity that flows from them, both marketing and fundraising wise—aren’t aligned, you won’t get anywhere with your outreach on either front. Actually, the impact will be far worse than that—you’ll alienate prospects and supporters by confusing them with an inconsistent experience, a proven recipe for pushing folks far, far away.

Kivi’s must-do recommendation comes from learning that communications directors and development directors vary widely in their take on:


Nancy Schwartz on January 16, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Donor Retention Rules!Donor retention is an absolute priority (again) for 2014. Yet the path to donor retention success remains elusive for so many organizations. How about yours?

Please join me in thanking Frank Barry and the Blackbaud team for sharing donor retention guidance from some of the smartest fundraising experts out there. I’m thrilled to be included!

Here’s my #1 donor retention recommendation—R-E-S-P-E-C-T your way to strong and long-lasting donor relationships:


Nancy Schwartz on January 9, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 3 comments
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