Why your nonprofit story needs tension and emotion

Tension is the element of story-telling you need to communicate well in the midst of your organization’s crisis moment.  Tension draws the audience into the experience…Emotions are an essential part to a master storyteller’s repertoire. That’s from Dan Portnoy’s newly released book, The Non-Profit Narrative.  I couldn’t agree with Dan more on this point, except […]

The value of personalization in your direct mail (Tip #15)

Personalization is key.  With the technology available today, there’s no reason you should be sending targeted direct mail to any donor or prospect and addressing it to “Dear Friend” (or anything other than the donor’s name).  That’s no way to start or build a relationship. But donor name isn’t the only level of personalization you […]

Fundraising and the Executive Suite

Good, bad or ugly (err…otherwise), Executive Directors set the tone for philanthropy in any nonprofit.  For many organizations, this is wonderful news.  There are some amazingly talented executives who are adept at leading both the operational and philanthropic efforts of nonprofits. There are others, however, who are less capable (or comfortable/interested) in building organizational capacity […]

Communicating differently via mail with middle and major donors (Tip #14)

Middle and major donors require a different treatment in the mail than your regular donor base.  These donors tend to prefer longer letters.  Closed-face envelopes, higher quality paper, First Class postage (both on the outer envelope and the reply envelope), and true handwriting are all techniques you should use when soliciting middle and major donors […]

Direct mail as part of an integrated fundraising strategy (Tip #13)

Donors don’t behave in silos.  They consume media via e-mail, print, TV, radio, mobile, social media and face-to-face.  And recent studies suggest that in many cases, they consume multiple media at once. Direct mail, because it still captures the majority of responses, should be central to your efforts.  But leveraging an integrated multi-channel strategy will help […]