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The Year-End Appeal: Reflection and Hope

Everyone seems to want your money - right now! There are more than 1.5 million charities operating in the United States, and most of them are seeking year-end contributions. It’s no wonder your mailbox and inbox, as well as your donors', overflow with appeal messages every November and December. How do you make your appeal stand out?... [More]

It’s About ‘You’, Not About ‘Me’ - Writing appeals that aren’t self-centered

There’s no doubt about it: Your organization does some pretty amazing things. You and your team work hard to make a difference in what you do. When writing appeals to your supporters, it’s natural to want to remind them of all the great work you’ve done. However, what you need to focus on is your supporter. After all, if they weren’t important, you wouldn’t be writing appeals asking them for their time and money.

So how do you make sure your appeal isn’t self-centered? [More]

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Questioning Your Inquisitive Process

In my experience the best asked questions get responses that are actually answers, and not questions themselves. Here are some tips about how to get substantive answers to your questions by addressing these concerns before they happen... [More]

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Getting Started with Individual Donor Fundraising - Part 1

In 2011, Individuals gave nearly $218 billion to nonprofits. That’s 73% of total U.S. giving for the year – far more than foundations or corporations received. Nonprofits must build and sustain strong relationships with people to stay in business – so how do we do that? [More]

Are These Really Best Practices for Email Subject Lines?

The Almighty Open Rate

All nonprofits need and want to communicate with their supporters, but when it comes to email, there is one thing standing in your way - the inbox. In the world of email statistics, we all worship at the altar of the open rate. While open rate isn’t completely indicative of overall engagement with your mailing, it is the most ubiquitous statistic and applies to all types of mailings. Furthermore, the inbox is a very impulsive place - suggesting if you could just put the right combination of words in the subject line you could basically get something (opens) for nothing. Because of this, guides to increasing your open rate proliferate the net like ads for Viagra in your Spam box. Here’s a small sampling of Email Subject Line Best Practices summarized from other articles... [More]

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