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Fundraising ProTip: Writing Awesome Receipt Letters

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Revise your receipt letter each month: you have no excuse not to do this! It takes 5 minutes and can dramatically increase the relevance and readability of your communications to donors. There is nothing worse than donating to an organization a second time and reading the same generic thank you that you received months (or years!) ago. This conveys that …

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Fundraising ProTip: 10 Steps to Impress Your Volunteers

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Show that you are a professional organization from the start. Give every volunteer a job description that outlines their duties — even if they are just volunteering for one day. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that helps them understand what they can do to be the most help to you. At the end, include ways that they can …

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Fundraising ProTip: How Nonprofits Can Use Google Alerts

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Put your top donors’ names in a Google Alert and have it notify you when their name appears on the Web. If it’s something interesting, email it to them (or print it out and forward it to them) with a note, “Congratulations on this honor!” or “Just in case you missed this, here’s a great story that features you in it.” They will like …

Fundraising ProTip: Cultivating Donors with … Comic Strips?

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Get a desk calendar that has a different comic each day (I use the Cartoons from The New Yorker Day-to-Day calendar). Every day, tape that day’s comic into a notecard and send it to the donor that it reminds you of – and if you don’t know your donors well enough to know who might appreciate which joke, you need to get out of …

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Fundraising ProTip: Get an Annual Sponsor for Every Area of your Building

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Some donors don’t need recognition. God bless ’em. But many donors — especially corporate donors — want to see their name. And not just in a thank you letter, but on an event program. On your Web site. On the back of a t-shirt. On top of your building. But the latter doesn’t just have to be for capital campaigns. …

Almost looked too good to drink. But I did anyway.

Fundraising ProTip: Cultivating Donors with Coffee Cards

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Purchase ten $5 gift cards to Starbucks and mail them to ten lapsed donors with a note, “I’d love to share a cup of coffee with you to update you on our progress. Call me when you have time!” You’ll be amazed at the response… but don’t forget to call everyone that you send the card to within a few weeks. Strike while the …

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Fundraising ProTip: House Parties are Easy Ways to Turn Board Members into Fundraisers

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Every nonprofit created since the dawn of time has complained about how their board members are not helping them to raise enough money. Don’t just complain about this. Do something. And no, I don’t mean pass around a list of foundation trustees and ask “Hey, do you guys know these people? If so, can you call them and tell them …

Watch yer step...

Fundraising ProTip: Everyday Donor Cultivation

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Pick one donor from this year – not the biggest, either – and randomly call just to say  “thank you” . . . you will be amazed at how good it feels just to thank people and NOT ask for money. Then, consider pulling a list of 100 such donors and scheduling them on your calendar one per day for the next few months. However …

Fundraising ProTip: Cultivating Past Event Chairs as Donors

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Call the chair of last year’s big gala and let them know how much their success paved the way for this year’s event. Don’t ask them if they’re coming – unless you can offer them seats at your table or the current chairperson’s table. Just thank them, and let them know how much you appreciate them. And then make the same call to …

Fundraising ProTip: Cultivating Former Committee Members as Donors

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Send a personal note to all the prior members of a committee to give them an update on the committee’s progress. They spent a year (maybe more!) deeply involved in this work: assume they cared about it, and keep them updated. While you’re at it, thank them once again for all that they did – and continue to do! – for your organization. Don’t …

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Fundraising ProTip: Cultivating Board Members as Donors

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The first thing to know about raising money with/from your board is: Every board in the history of nonprofits has been bad at raising money. The second thing to know is: Every fundraiser in the history of nonprofits has taken their board’s support for granted. You can beat the odds on both of these today by simply sending a personal …

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The best “Twitter Best Practices” yet

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I’ve been on Twitter for about nine months now, and this is by far the best guide I’ve found. It’s not comprehensive, but nearly everything on it was useful. It also changed some of my basic assumptions about how to use Twitter: http://www.diosacommunications.com/twitterbestpractices.htm

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Reinvent Your Enterprise

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Interesting book from Brand Velocity: The Drucker Institute, at Claremont Graduate University, calls the book a remarkable contribution and writes, “where legendary management thinker Peter F. Drucker wrote about ‘what’ managers need to do, Jack Bergstrand explains ‘how’ to actually go about doing these things.” The Drucker Institute also explains that reinventing our enterprises will help us reinvent our society.

Free (the) workers!

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If you care at all about volunteers, your organization should definitely look into this… Google and Obama Administration are partnering on this www.AllForGood.org site. Great opportunity to get noticed on national stage while also recruiting highly connected volunteers.  —————————————— From: All for Good Team [mailto:footprintteam@gmail.com] Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:10 AM To: footprintteam@gmail.com Subject: Posting Volunteer Listings on All …

Why Non-Profits Are So Good at Social Media

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Another powerful article fromHarvard Business Publishing, this time care of Alexandra Samuel:: Why Non-Profits Are So Good at Social Media http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/06/nonprofits.html Key points: Engage your audience by speaking to their core concerns. Put your audience in the driver's seat.  Offer a mix of tangible and social benefits.  Embrace emergent value propositions Innovate within the bounds of your core mission Read …