7 Simple Steps to Build a Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Program

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  All the best ways to build your market are free — word of mouth and referrals being chief among them. However, to maximize your potential referral sources, you have to make it easy for people to send you their contacts. And no, this is not asking them to literally give you their Rolodex (for those of you in Gen …

A Story to Show the Power of Monthly Donors

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This is the most amazing little story from Catholic Extension: Devoted to the Cause http://www.catholicextension.org/how-we-help/stories-faith/devoted-cause  I encourage you to click the link and read the full story about Virginia and Richard Miles. In brief, they are just a regular couple … probably middle-income, likely focused mostly on raising their family and doing what they can to improve the world. And yet, …

The Best Times for Nonprofits to Blog

old jg fundraising, Philanthropy 1 Comment

In a previous post, I blogged about a recent Mashable Social Media blog on the best times to share on Facebook and Twitter. This led me to dig into the trends for blogging. I wanted to see if they followed the trends for Tumblr, which I was shocked to learn had the best results for posts after 7:00 p.m. (and on …

Fundraising ProTip: The Best Times for Nonprofits to Share on Facebook & Twitter

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When are the best times for nonprofits to share updates on Facebook and Twitter? To answer that question, I turned to an excellent article from a few months ago. It analyzes a blog posted by bitly.com, the link-shortening service, called “Time Is On Your Side.” The article is by Samantha Murphy on Mashable Social Media, and I think it is well worth the …

Jeremy Gregg and PEP Graduates

10 Things a Nonprofit Should Know About Using Social Media

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I am not going to write about why your organization needs to integrate social media into its communications plan; if you can’t answer that for yourself by now, I can’t help you. But if you’re like most nonprofiteers, you’re already doing this: you just want to do it better. If that’s you, then here are ten pieces of advice that …

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Why Nonprofits Should Give Thanks this Year

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The Street/MainStreet.com just published a nice article entitled, “What Main Street Is Thankful for This Year” — and I am grateful that I was included in the section about nonprofits. Here was my initial reply to the reporter: “I work for one of the nation’s 1.4 million nonprofit organizations — and I am thankful for the millions of …

communities foundation of texas logo

Why innovate when you have $700 million?

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I was delighted to receive an email from Sarah Nelson, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Communities Foundation of Texas, announcing that the 50+ year-old grantmaker was getting a facelift. (There is a fantastic video about it here) My excitement was not because the organization needed it. In fact, I am sure that many feel the rebranding is an unnecessary expense — …

How to Market a Nonprofit Social Enterprise (#socent)

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I was very encouraged to see this piece on CitySquare (formerly Central Dallas Ministries) by NBC 5 DFW. The piece is a prime example of two of the best ways to market a nonprofit social enterprise: It promotes the social benefit of the store rather than just the products or services (i.e. it focuses on its unique point of differentiation from …

Inspiration to guide your work

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Whether you are a non-profit leader, a volunteer or even someone who has never participated in the charitable movement . . . you can gain a tremendous amount of insight on how to lead a good life through the “founding stories” that led to the creation of City Year: Download this PDF here: http://www.cityyear.org/uploadedFiles/CityYear_FoundingStories(1).pdf#cathedralbuilding That link takes you to one …

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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

old jg Philanthropy 2 Comments

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 …