Internet & Web Fundraising

  • Subject Lines for Your Last-Minute Email Appeals (knock them off)

    Are your email appeals ready and lined up for the last week of the year? It’s not too late to tweak them and sharpen up your ask. Remember, as much as 10% of your ENTIRE ANNUAL giving will be coming in the last 3 days of the year. Better be ready! What’s the first step […]

  • My #1 Year-End Fundraising Tip that Will Bring in the Most Money

    Year-end is a terribly busy time for you, I know. There is actually one important step you can do pretty easily.  And it can be highly profitable to your annual fund bottom line. And we all want that, don’t we? This simple tactic can make the largest difference in your year-end fundraising results. So if […]

  • Phone Calls to Donors = Highly Profitable Fundraising

    Are you afraid of the phone? It can be scary to pick up the phone to call a donor or a potential donor! Especially when it’s so much easier to keep your polite distance and send a letter or an email solicitation. But stop a minute and think about your donors: Could it be that […]

  • Is There a Crisis in Fundraising Leadership?

    How do we attract, develop and retain good fundraisers? At last week’s International Fundraising Congress, many of us were transfixed by a provocative conversation about “The Emerging Fundraising Leadership Challenge.” International fundraising guru Tony Elischer, managing director of Think Consulting Solutions, and 5 dynamic women:  Rory Green,  Maria Ros Jernberg,  Joanne Warner,  Elise Ledsinger, and  Lucy Gower led the conversation. (By the way, […]

  • A Simple (and Smart) Way to Increase Fundraising by Year-End

    Guest post by Amy Eisenstein Do you have a Monthly Giving Program? If not, you should! Here’s how establishing Monthly Giving can enhance your year-end fundraising campaign. I rarely have a guest blogger at Fired-Up Fundraising, but I wanted to bring you the very smart Amy Eisenstein today.  She’s really a major gift expert (have […]

  • Listen Your Way to the (Major) Gift

    What’s the toughest lesson to learn in major gift fundraising? To know when to shut up. Here’s how to set yourself up for failure – or success with your major donor. Just imagine: Here you are, ready to meet with a major donor prospect. You’re getting ready to walk into her home, and you are […]

  • 5 Tips for Making Your Donors Love You

    Your donor has just sent in another gift! Hurray! So you reply with a wonderful, personal thank you note. And then you call her to say thanks. In addition to the paper letter that you send. Then what? You have to communicate with her . . .  so you can continue to build that warm, […]

  • What’s Next for Fundraising after the IceBucketChallenge: 5 Predictions

    It’s a new day in fundraising, now that we have all seen the astonishing success of the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon. I, for one, am scratching my head in incredulity as I watch the fundraising totals and new donors stream into the ALS organization. This morning, August 29, ALS is reporting 2.1 million new donors and $94 […]

  • A General Unrestricted Ask is LAZY Fundraising

    I’m going out on a limb here to challenge one of the oldest and most cherished fundraising habits in our sector. Not to fear! I’m also showing you how to take that general ask and make it sharper, more urgent, and more compelling. I remember when everyone’s fall appeal letter was a General Unrestricted Ask. […]

  • How to Knock Off the Ice Bucket Challenge and Make Social Media Work for Your Cause

    Seems like everyone these days is either buzzing about the #icebucketchallenge  . . . or they are actually participating in it by dumping ice water on themselves. ALS says it has raised $31.5 million since July 29, compared to $1.8 million in the same period last year. They have added over 600k NEW donors.  Pretty impressive! […]

  • Use the Word “Profit” to Get Your Board’s Attention!

    Who’s making the decisions about fundraising budgets and investments at your organization? Is it the board members? Is it the CEO? Do these decision makers need to understand more about fundraising? Sometimes fundraising staffers can’t get their leaders to consider important strategic investments in fundraising. The problem is that the decision makers look at fundraising […]

  • Do’s and Don’ts for a Great Annual Fundraising Plan

    It’s the slow time of mid-summer, and it’s time to step back from your day-to-day work for a breather. AND – It’s time to look ahead at your fundraising plan for the coming year. I hope you enjoy your down time this summer! (Where are YOU heading for vacation?) But let’s take time now for […]

  • How a Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising Plan Will Bring You Sanity

    July and August are your key time for planning, right? I sure hope that you are taking time to lay down some smart plans for the coming busy fiscal year. You probably already have your fundraising goals set in the budget that was passed earlier in the year. But are your goals really tied to […]

  • Plan Your Capital Campaign: 5 Things To Do Before Hiring a Consultant

    Are you chomping at the bit to get moving on a capital campaign? My advice: Slooooowwww down. Make sure you have done your homework before you start interviewing capital campaign consultants.  Don’t rush to pick up the phone! Today’s post is written by two of us: Andrea Kihlstedt (who wrote the BOOK on capital campaigns) […]

  • Top 10 Major Donor Fundraising Trends for 2014-15

    Fundraising is changing!  Everything is shifting these days. Donors are changing too. Post-recession donors really are different! Are you changing your own fundraising strategies to keep up with donors’ newest attitudes and preferences? Fundraising is recovering nicely now that the recession is over. And since 87% of all gifts come from individuals –either thru bequests, […]

  • What You Need To Know about the New 2014 Giving USA Report

    Hurray! Charitable giving in the US is almost back up to pre-recession levels! Mid-June is always an important time every year when the Giving USA Report comes out. Giving USA is researched and written by the widely respected Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The report gives us a good sense of how well charitable giving is […]

  • Do NOT Make These Mistakes at Your Next Fundraising Event!

    Want to totally ruin your well-planned fundraising event? Avoid these mistakes! I had so much fun seeking out stories of event disasters. You’ll laugh when you read these, but remember, LEARN from them too. Don’t let these true disaster stories happen to you. (And add your own story at the bottom in a comment!) 1. […]

  • Timeline for Planning a Profitable Fundraising Event

    May is Party Month here at Fired-Up Fundraising! And we’re gonna help you create the most profitable – and most fun – events ever. Raising money from events is the hardest money you’ll ever raise. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, fundraising events are here to stay. They are part of the scene for many nonprofits.  […]

  • How to Nail Your Online Messaging to Your Donors

    Kivi Leroux Miller of Nonprofitmarketingguide.com is one of the smartest communications gurus anywhere. What I like about Kivi’s approach is that she cuts to the chase – no fluff, no bull. It’s straightforward advice on how to shape your messages so donors – and the world – will listen up! Today Kivi’s giving us a […]

  • An Appeal Letter Makeover: From “Organization-Centered” to “Donor-Centered”

    Here’s a great lesson on how to convert an appeal letter from organization-centered over to donor-centered. Sometimes writing from the donor’s point of view can be really difficult – because it’s just not intuitive.  It doesn’t come naturally. When we actually sit down to write a letter,  our natural inclination is to remind our donor how […]

  • 39 Provocative Tips From #AFPICON That Will Make You A Smarter Fundraiser in 2014

    The International AFP Conference in San Antonio this week was pretty amazing! This year I didn’t make any presentations – and that meant for a change,  I could sit back and enjoy learning from so many smart fundraising leaders. I was tweeting up a storm! Instead of taking notes, I set down key thoughts in […]

  • How to Secure the Gift: 10 Priceless Tips from Jerry Panas

    Jerry Panas is clearly one of our industry’s greats. I’ve learned so much from him over the years, and I hope you have studied his advice too. Today, I’m celebrating the fact that he’s joining us for Tuesday’s amazing Telesummit on “The Art of Asking: How to Nail the Gift.” We have 5 of our […]

  • Asking as an Intentional Conversation: Six Simple Steps to Nailing the Gift!

    Ok, you are ready to ask for the gift. What do you do? Here is an amazing approach from the very smart Andrea Kihlstedt, one of the masters of our business. Andrea has outlined this very simple, six step process to secure a wonderfully generous gift from your donor. This simple process makes the asking […]

  • Help Board Members Understand: Fundraising is Everybody’s Job

    Whose job is it to raise funds for your organization? It’s everyone’s job to support fundraising – both board AND staff. And there are many ways to support fundraising that don’t even involve soliciting funds. When it comes to your board, you can count on this:  Board members are almost always afraid of fundraising. That’s because […]

  • Stuck with Impossible Goals? Here’s Help!

    It happens all the time. Smart nonprofit staffers come to me and share their secret: the goals they are assigned to accomplish are completely unrealistic. They are in a situation where their operational and performance goals are more than anyone can possibly accomplish. Some of the goals they have been given are not even carefully […]

  • How to Get Your Emails Opened and Read By the Right Person

    We can live or die by email these days. With all the din and clutter in everybody’s inboxes, how can yours get opened? Try these 10 Ruthlessly Practical Tips for Smart Emailing. 1. Show some personality. Show up as cheerful and enthusiastic. Be someone your readers might enjoy hearing from. In on-line communication, don’t come […]

  • Use the MPI Formula To Thank Donors and You’ll Increase Donor Retention

    Here’s a smart formula to use for ALL sorts of donor communications. Send this information to donors AFTER they give. And your donors will love you for it. Try using the “MPI Fundraising Formula” for your thank yous. What’s the MPI Fundraising Formula? Last week I showed you how to use MPI to sharpen and focus […]

  • Strengthen Your Fundraising Appeal With the “MPI” Formula

    Here’s a very smart, efficient way to present your fundraising appeal. I’ve run into this format lately and think it’s extremely effective. It forces you to be crystal clear about the three fundamental parts of any fundraising conversation: How much we want to raise What it will fund What impact it will make These are […]

  • 6 Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Your Donor Retention

    We all know that donor retention is where the easy money is for you, your team, and your organization in 2014. It’s the key to sustainable fundraising for your organization.  Getting current donors to renew is far, far easier than bringing in new donors. Right? So let’s focus here this week! What can we do […]

  • Your Fundraising Calendar for 2014

    It’s planning time for 2014! Here’s a strategic guide to help you get the highest return for your fundraising effort. And, as Donald Trump says, “If you’re going to be thinking, you might as well think big.” Here’s a calendar that will nudge you to keep you on your toes so you can stay ahead […]