Internet & Web Fundraising

  • How to Nail Your Online Messaging to Your Donors

    Kivi Leroux Miller of 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 […]

  • How to Craft a Killer Thank You Letter

    You wrote a dynamite year-end appeal.  You raised lots of money! (hurray!) Now it’s time to create some drop-dead thank you letters. You want a thank you letter that will: Assure your nervous donor that she made a wise investment. Make your donor SO VERY HAPPY that she gave to your cause. Make your donor […]

  • When in Doubt, Throw a Party!

    Believe it or not – this is my #1 motto after more than 25 years in fundraising. But let me be clear – I DON’T mean throw another fundraising event! Heaven forbid! But here’s what I really mean: I believe in making everything you do as a fundraiser as much fun as possible. If you […]

  • There’s Still Big Money on the Table for This Year-End

    There is one step, and one step only, that can make the largest difference in your year-end fundraising results. And it’s not too late. A huge amount of annual fund money may still be hanging in the balance. Have your LARGEST DONORS renewed their gifts yet? 1. Followup NOW with your largest donors from last year. […]

  • 7 Things You Need to Know About 2013 Online Donors

    Could 2013 be the Year of the Internet Donor? We all know that Internet giving is expanding rapidly. Yup! This year, I think we are going to be really surprised to see the size and number of gifts that are coming in via our websites. I heard of a $100,000 gift that came in via […]

  • 10 Fundraising Responsibilities of Every Board Member

    What are a board member’s appropriate responsibilities when it comes to fundraising? Here’s my list – of reasonable, realistic, doable activities that EVERY single board member can do. Whether they are wealthy or not. Whether they are connected or not. Whether they are introverts or not. And whether they are afraid of fundraising or not. […]

  • Major Donor Visits: Your Questions and My Ruthlessly Practical Answers

    Visits with major gift prospects can be scary. How do you handle them? What do you say? Here are my answers to all your questions from last week’s webinar: Q: What if your donor hijacks the conversation and you lose control? That will certainly happen sometimes! You have to dive in and gently steer them […]

  • Three Important Goals for Every Major Donor Visit

    When you are making a call on a major donor prospect, what are you really up to? Don’t get confused about your REAL purpose when you finally get in front of Mr. or Ms. Big. Guess what! Your real goal is NOT money. AND it’s not to make a presentation either. Today, in your very […]

  • Increase Your Year-End Fundraising $$ With This Simple Strategy

    Wouldn’t you like to have a simple strategy that will dramatically increase the return from your fundraising appeals? Here’s a tactic that can have a major impact on your donors’ generosity – at the time when it counts the most. This is a key take-away strategy I’ve picked up this week from my interviews with […]

  • Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes In Your Fundraising Appeal Letter

    Don’t make these 5 mistakes in your year end fundraising letter! Your year-end appeal letter just might be missing the boat. I interviewed the great direct mail genius Tom Ahern this week for our 2013 Year-End Fundraising Telesummit. (You don’t want to miss this!) Here are some things I bet you are doing wrong: 1. […]

  • Hope Is Not A Strategy

    It’s your last chance to get organized before the busy fall fundraising season! It’s not too late to lay down some very deliberate plans and get well organized. You might be glad you did. A clear, well-defined, practical fundraising plan can help you raise MORE money than ever in LESS time this year. Do you […]

  • How a Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising Plan Will Bring You Sanity

    July and August are a fundraiser’s time for planning, right? I sure hope that you are stepping back 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 […]

  • How Much Money Can You Really Raise? 5 Ways to Tell

    I had dinner with a fabulous group of executive directors last week in Asheville, NC. Their burning question was: “How much can we really raise?” They wanted a fundraising reality check. They didn’t know what kind of expectations they should have for fundraising. It’s an interesting question. What’s YOUR fundraising potential? If you want to […]

  • Does Your Organization Really Support Fundraising? Take This Simple Quiz

      Many organizations pay lip service to supporting their fundraising team, but end up failing miserably. Your board, your executive director, and your program and admin staff can undercut fundraising efforts easily. And in many organizations it’s happening all the time. And why are development directors fired or leaving their jobs so often? (under two […]

  • Five Clues Your Fundraising is Headed Downhill

    Don’t we all want fundraising that provides reliable, consistent, revenue?   Money we can count on year after year? But that kind of reliable success doesn’t just happen. It takes serious work and commitment. And many organizations have a hard time getting it right. As I travel around the country and work with so many […]

  • How Major Gift Fundraising is Like Being Mother of the Bride

    Being mother of the bride has been an experience in “letting go.” And it reminds me of how I have had to “let go” with some major donor prospects. Because they just wouldn’t, wouldn’t focus on what I wanted them to fund! Let me tell you the story of my MOB (mother of the bride) […]

  • Don’t Make These Mistakes At Your Next Event!

    Do you enjoy putting on your organization’s events? Better yet, do you think your guests like to attend them? Why don’t you focus a bit on the “experience” your guests are having. Because if they are enjoying themselves, wonderful things might happen for your cause. If your guests are NOT enjoying themselves, you just might […]

  • Top 10 Trends: How Major Donors are Changing and What To Do About It

    Major donors have changed a lot in what they want and expect from nonprofits. Ten years ago, you could raise good money with a “spray and pray”  appeal that was boring and generic. Now we have to work harder and smarter. The good news is that we can rely on plenty of research about major […]