fundraising

#GivingTuesdayIt’s #GivingTuesday 2016, the best day to do vital prep work for #GivingTuesday 2017.

Whether your organization is a passionate participant or still weighing joining the movement, you have lots to learn from watching colleague and competitive organizations execute their #GivingTuesday campaigns. Even if you decide to stay on the sidelines—maintaining focus on year-end—you’ll know what your prospects are seeing post-Thanksgiving each year so that you can shape your campaign accordingly.

Take these three steps now, concentrating on other organizations that your donors support and those in your cause or programmatic arena:

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Nancy Schwartz on November 29, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Online-Engagement-Tool-GuideGuest blogger Maureen Wallbeoff, Vice President at Firefly Partners, brings a people-focused, collaborative influence to the Firefly team and clients. 

If the title of this blog post resonates with you, you have lots of company. 
In fact, most nonprofit organizations have a degree of dissatisfaction with their online engagement tools – primarily because there is no perfect platform. Nothing like the pressure of year-end to highlight those lacks.

Fundraising, advocacy, email marketing, events, eCommerce, and CRM are all standard components of most nonprofits’ online engagement software. They’re all critical to the smooth functioning and ultimate impact of every nonprofit using websites, online tools, and technology to communicate, advocate, and raise money to further their missions. You just want to provide a great experience for your supporters and an easy-to-manage tool for your colleagues (mostly accidental techies), right?

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Guest Blogger on October 27, 2016 in Tools | 2 comments
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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:

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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
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Guest Blogger on September 29, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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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:
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Guest Blogger on August 24, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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Better Nonprofit ContentNeed help with that campaign email or program registration mini-site due to launch last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to the most audience-delighting, highest-impact calls to action of your life? How about getting there via a captivating romp through the life—and laws—of one of the most motivating fundraising writers around?

You can get it all with Jeff Brooks’ Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. You’ll learn and laugh as you gobble your way through this guide to writing good—then great—messages that spur the actions you need.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 16, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments
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Read Part One

Thanks to NYC’s 501 Tech Club for inviting knowledgeable nonprofit video makers from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and International Rescue Committee (IRC) to share tips, tools, and case studies with us video expert wannabees. Here’s more of what I learned from them:

What’s Happening with Video at
International Rescue Committee (IRC) & Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Cathe Neukum is Executive Producer for IRC, where she’s responsible for all video content. In her two-and-a-half year tenure, she’s increased the organization’s visibility on Facebook and YouTube by over 800%.

Cathe’s latest video (at top) features actor and activist Mandy Patinkin standing with IRC aid workers in Greece to welcome families fleeing Syria and other war-torn countries for a better life. This video has been viewed 5 million times on Facebook.
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Nancy Schwartz on February 9, 2016 in Video | 1 comment
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Nonprofit Video Tips & Tools

Read Part Two

It’s so challenging for nonprofits to get video right, especially with limited budgets and bandwidth. That’s why I so appreciate the practical guidance shared by NYC’s 501 Tech Club presenters Cathe Neukum, Executive Producer at International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Lane Beauchamp, Manager of Marketing and Media at Broadway Cares. Here’s a brief summary of what I learned:

Know Before You Go

  • Why us and why now? Ensure that the video is designed to advance priority goals, and is one of the best methods of doing so. Don’t just do it to do it. (Lane)
  • Powerful videos require planning, lots and lots of planning. Know what you’re getting into before showtime. (Cathe)
  • Make your video shareable. It’s not enough for people to like it, they need to share it. (Lane)
  • Earmark some of your video budget for paid distribution; social is a pay-to-play world at this point. (Cathe)

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Nancy Schwartz on January 27, 2016 in Video | 1 comment
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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.

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Guest Blogger on November 17, 2015 in All-Org Marketing Team | 2 comments
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