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Getting Started with Individual Donor Fundraising - Part 2

As you consider your next steps with your prospective major donors, think about what you are offering them and what they expect from you out of their giving. Many Americans report giving a donation to a charity or non-profit every year. You are probably among them! Think about what made you give: your donors want the exact same things you do out of your gift. [More]

Fighting for a Historic Cause - A Volunteer's Analysis

Last week, Minnesota made history as the first state to vote down a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. All 31 states where the issue had previously been put to a popular vote had elected to enshrine discrimination in their state constitutions. I wasn't in the upper echelons of planning or strategy for Minnesotans United for All Families. I was just a regular ole' run of the mill volunteer. However, I did get an inside look at how a well-run organization recruits, galvanizes, and leverages volunteers. These are lessons that apply to any nonprofit. [More]

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Donation Forms?

Having easily accessible online donation forms is an important factor in increasing overall donations, but it’s really only half the battle. To ensure that potential donors who visit your forms turn into actual donors, there are many other aspects to consider. Are your forms intuitive? Are they a good length? Do they look trustworthy? There are a whole host of reasons why people click the little red x on a page without actually donating, but the good news is, many of these things are in your control. [More]

Donor Acquisition on Social Media – The Overlooked Goldmine! (Part One)

As someone who started doing direct mail prospecting in the 1980s, I’m old enough to have been around in the “Golden Age” of direct mail, and not so old that I can't remember it. While there are lots of tales about that time, mostly true or based on things that might have been true, I personally managed direct mail acquisition campaigns in the late 1980s and early 1990s that were revenue positive, meaning that acquiring new donors actually made money. Yes, that was the “Golden Age”. [More]

Thoughts on the growing importance of peer-to-peer fundraising

It always has and probably always will be the case that people are more likely to donate to an organization when asked by somebody they know.

That’s one of the reasons that most thriving nonprofits utilize their boards of directors to make asks of potential donors who are peers of their board. The ask coming from a board member who’s a friend or colleague of the potential donor will almost always be more powerful than the same ask coming from organizational staff. [More]