Copywriting for nonprofit organizations, especially when it comes to fundraising materials, is a little bit like a mystical science: You can follow a lot of guides, recipes, and formulas, but in the end you can't ever really be sure about what sort of result you're going to get until after you have already sent your marketing materials out. …Read More
When it comes to fundraising, everyone wants to be a big success, and there are few things that feel better than bringing in a lot of donations for an important cause. But, it's also important to know why and how successful fundraising has to change your approach to marketing. …Read More
Fundraising letters and campaigns are typically focused on a cause or message, and so only the largest and most well-known nonprofits tend to shift their approach seasonally. But, does that necessarily mean that you should ignore the calendar when you're reaching out and looking for donations? …Read More
In some ways, it can be easier for nonprofits to raise money for a new youth center down the street than it can be to find funds for a new hospital in Africa or Asia…even though the second project might represent a fraction of the cost of the first. That's because, as humans, we are more conditioned to think in terms of needs in our local area; they are just easier to understand than far away crises that we can't see with our own eyes. …Read More
Despite the growing importance of the Internet in almost every area of our lives and careers, many nonprofits still rely almost completely on traditional tools like direct mail fundraising to raise money for their programs. There is a certain logic in this, especially since direct mail is still highly effective for a lot of charitable groups, fundraising often requires longer messages than you can comfortably fit in an e-mail, and there are still portions of the older population who give the most money and prefer printed communications. …Read More
Chances are, if your nonprofit isn't well-known and established, you probably heard the advice to start small and plan on scratching your way forward for a number of years. After all, the biggest donors don't want to deal with unknown, untested nonprofits, particularly if they support causes that aren't in the public eye... or do they? …Read More
Could you pick your average donor out of a police lineup? That question isn't literal, of course, but it's not as far off the mark as you might think, either.
The more you know about your average donor—that is, the types of men and women who give money to your cause most often—the better job you can do reaching them with effective fundraising messages… not to mention finding more people just like them. There are a number of different ways to get the kinds of data you're looking for, such as keeping track of event registrations, giving gifts for filling out surveys, or even renting marketing lists and following the results. …Read More
Could your nonprofit organization benefit from publishing a special report? If you have something interesting to show or tell donors about, then it could be the perfect avenue for getting the word out. That's because a well-written and designed special report can have a little bit of everything – it can pull duty as a fundraising letter, informational brochure, invitation to future events, and even the beginnings of a magazine article or book on the topic. …Read More
A soft economy is bad news for almost everyone, but nonprofits are hit especially hard when things get tough. That's because they don't just have the normal declines in available income to contend with, but also the added pressures of lowered portfolio values, which can lead foundations and wealthy donors to substantially reduce the size of their annual gifts—or even eliminate them altogether.
Even the traditional economic appeal of giving, a lower tax burden, is rendered somewhat moot when there aren't as many high wage earners and soaring investment accounts to draw from. …Read More