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Make the Most of Mother’s Day

There’s no better way for your organization to get the attention of your supporters and prospects (and the media) than by piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking about this stuff, making them far more likely to connect with your campaign than at other times.

That’s “right thing, right now” marketing, and I’ve seen some fantastic Mother’s Day models from nonprofits like yours in recent years.

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Happy Friday!

Link Round Up

Here’s what caught our eye in the world of fundraising and nonprofit marketing this week:

National Volunteer Week is coming up! Wild Apricot has ideas for how you can celebrate and resources to help improve your volunteer programs.

We love John Haydon and all his wise words on social media for nonprofits. Here’s another gem from him: 7 Deceptively Simple Ways to Promote a Fundraiser on Facebook.

Joe Garecht from the Fundraising Authority wants you to step out of your comfort zone and ask your donors the most important question you probably aren’t asking.

During the Association for Fundraising Professionals’ international conference last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy asked fundraising pros to share what they wish they had known when they started a career in fundraising. The video is definitely worth three minutes of your time!

Kivi and Kristina over at NonprofitMarketingGuide.com have some great tips for you when it comes to leveraging hashtags to promote your cause.

If you’re in the DC area, grab your 3D glasses (they have extras if you’ve misplaced yours) and head over to the M+R event showcasing what they learned from their annual Benchmarks Study. And if you can’t make it to DC, you can still get the highlights from a webinar they’re hosting in May.

I’m a fan of Maeve Strathy’s blog, What Gives Philanthropy? It’s always clever and on point. You must check out a recent post from guest blogger Kimberly Elworthy: 11 Things I Learned About Fundraising/Philanthropy When I Fell into the Field Temporarily. It’s rich with GIFs and will make you chuckle.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend and share your best resources in the comments below!

Nonprofit Spotlight: Campus Pride

Network for Good works with so many amazing nonprofits and we want to introduce you to them and the great work they are doing! We’re rebooting our Nonprofit Spotlight series this week and I want you to meet one of my favorite customers, Campus Pride.

Meet Campus Pride  Campus Pride

In his elevator pitch, Steve Windmeyer, Campus Pride founder and executive director, will tell you that his organization builds future leaders and safer campuses. What won’t make it into the conversation between the first and second floors is all of the dynamic ways Campus Pride does this. Through leadership training, advocacy workshops, on-campus climate studies, and college fairs, Campus Pride is making a tangible difference in the lives of LGBTQ college students.

Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part 1)

Wow! I’m amazed and delighted by the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here). We finally have a much-needed guide to engaging these prospects who are influencing change across organizations and generations.

When I finished reading the Playbook, I was thirsting to know even more, so I asked to interview superstar author Kari Saratovsky.

Kari Saratovsky

Nancy Schwartz: Kari, why did you dig into this topic?

Kari Saratovsky: I’ve spent the better part of the past five years trying to understand the complexity of what is now the largest and most diverse generation in our history.

What I’ve learned is that while organizations are on an endless search for the silver bullet to engaging Millennials, there is no magic wand to engage the broad range of Millennial perspectives and backgrounds. Alas!

However, Millennials will be the recipients of a $41 trillion transfer of wealth. This presents nonprofits with a huge opportunity to build relationships today that will deepen over time. When NFG recognized that its community was struggling to engage this younger donor cohort, I jumped on the chance to craft this guide.

Increasing Your Monthly Gifts

The Recurring Giving Challenge is in full swing and our top contenders are on the leaderboard. Check out the campaigns in the lead to get inspiration for your own monthly giving program. The challenge runs through April 30, so there’s still time to join!

Monthly donors are so valuable because they give more over the course of one year vs. one-time donors, and they’re more loyal, with retention rates of 80% or higher. They’re also more likely to build on their investment once they’ve seen the impact their gift can have. The good news is that by upgrading monthly donors even by just a few dollars per month, you can raise 20-30% more from per sustainer each year.

So, how do you do it? Here are four tips on increasing monthly gift amounts from existing recurring givers:

1.  Have a solid stewardship plan in place. Before you even think about asking a monthly donor to upgrade, you must have regular communications going out to thank your sustainers and tell them how their gift is being used. In addition to a great thank you letter, celebrate your monthly donors in your newsletters and reach out to them to show them how they are helping you accomplish your mission. They need to know their gift is making a difference before they’ll give more.

2.  Illustrate the impact. Be sure to answer the question “What for?” in your upgrade appeal. What more will be accomplished if they increase their contribution? How many more meals can you serve or patients could you treat with the additional contribution? Remember: be specific and show the human impact that will result from the increased amount.

3. Show your social proof. Donors are more inclined to take action if they see that others doing the same. Let your donors know how many others have already upgraded and offer a testimonial from another donor who has increased their gift. You’ll establish a social norm that signals to the donor that the action you want them to take is one that is seen as the right thing to do.

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Round UpYeehaw! Another Friday, another great round up to finish out the week. Here’s what caught our eye in the world of fundraising and nonprofit marketing:

Network for Good and storytelling rock star Vanessa Chase have teamed up for a look at the state of storytelling in the nonprofit sector. We want you to be a part of it! Please take a few minutes to share your experiences in our quick survey. We’ll share the results with you in our white paper, coming out later this spring.

Participating in a giving day this year? Joanne Fritz shares smart tips in this list of 10 Ways to Make a Giving Day Work for Your Charity. via About

Are you a one-person communications department? Consider an informal nonprofit employee champion program to help you get more out of social media. via Beth’s Blog

The Women Give 2014 study finds non-religiously affiliated younger women give approximately two times larger amounts than their counterparts. via Think Advisor

Going Viral: A Small Nonprofit Gets National Attention

Estella's Brilliant Bus

How does a small nonprofit go viral and capture attention on the national stage? I set out to learn the answer from a Network for Good customer that has achieved the biggest exposure opportunity any business, organization, or individual could hope for: a commercial spot during the Super Bowl.

The Next Big Thing in Fundraising: Emoji Appeals

We all know that mobile technology is changing the way we communicate, work, and give. It was only a matter of time before the popularity of emojis, those cute little icons you see in text messages and social media updates, made their way onto the fundraising scene. Now, entire appeals are being written just with emojis! Talk about the art of brevity! Check them out:

This dog rescue gets right to the point. These dogs need your love, a good home, and your donation to support their care. Bonus points for the sense of urgency:

emoji appeal 1

Want to give back to your local education group? There’s an emoji appeal for that, too! I love how this organization outlines the option to give via mobile.

emoji appeal 2

Helping to support meal delivery to seniors in the neighborhood has never been easier! This appeal knocks it out of the park by clearly outlining who will benefit and exactly how a donor’s gift will be used:

emoji appeal 3


Pandas need your help now! This emoji appeal illustrates that short and sweet can work when it comes to inspiring donors to give.

emoji appeal 4

Want to reach those Millennial Alumni to help support your scholarship fund? Emojis to the rescue once again! I love that this appeal offers donors options for completing their donation.

emoji appeal 5

Here’s an example of a gala invitation. Who could resist attending a night out, complete with top hat, all to benefit a good cause?

emoji appeal 6


Of course, today is April 1, which means I’m just teasing about emoji appeals! Some things are no joke, though, like:

—  Making sure your appeals are rooted in a compelling story that elicits emotion from the donor.
—  Leveraging strong visuals to stand out and communicate your message.
—  Paying attention to the power of mobile to encourage anytime, anywhere giving.

Thanks for sharing a laugh with us today! We’ll be back with regularly-scheduled programming tomorrow. In the meantime, share your favorite April Fool’s jokes in the comments below.

How I Started My First Monthly Giving Program

[Editor’s note: This week’s post in the Recurring Giving Challenge series comes to us from Sandy Rees, CFRE. ]

I didn’t know much about monthly giving until she called in late December that year.

She was one of my newest donors, and told me her family had just moved here from another state. She had given monthly to the food bank there, and now would like to give monthly to the food bank here. (That would be us).

Oooookay.

I didn’t have a monthly giving program and didn’t know how they worked, but I knew I had to think quickly—I could send her 12 reply envelopes so she could send in a gift each month. It would be simple for her and easy for me. So that’s what I did, and my first-ever monthly giving program was born.

I remember counting out the envelopes, and writing the month on each one. I thought that would help us both keep up with what she had given.

It was a simple beginning.

Looking back at it, I have to laugh. I had no idea what I was doing. I simply had a request from a donor, and was trying to honor it. Little did I know it would turn out to be a great thing for my organization.

I sort of knew how monthly giving worked, and I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it as well as I could. I wondered if there were people already making monthly gifts to us, and I just hadn’t noticed it yet. I pulled a report from my trusty software, and I was thrilled to find six regular givers! How had I never seen that?

Nonprofit Link Round Up

It’s round up time in the NFG corral! Mosey on over and check out this week’s best nonprofit resources and recommended reads. Round Up

Why do donors give? Science has the answer. Most of this we’ve covered before, but these principles are important for all fundraisers to keep in mind. via The Guardian

“Philanthropy is a way for people to experience human love.”  Don’t miss this great profile of Jen Shang, Professor of philanthropic psychology at University of Plymouth. via Third Sector

Want to rock donor stewardship? Try these six secrets to loving your supporters so that they’ll love you back. via Constant Contact

What Our Top Monthly Giving Campaigns Have in Common

I’m happy to share the current campaigns at the top of the Recurring Giving Challenge leaderboard.

There are organizations of every type and size leading the pack of campaigns with the most new monthly donors as well as the largest increase in their monthly giving program.

The one thing that they all have in common?

They’ve made offering monthly giving options and asking for sustaining gifts a top priority.

Monthly Giving basics Need some help making the case for monthly giving at your organization? Download our free Monthly Giving Basics fact sheet which includes a quick checklist on getting your monthly giving program off the ground. Also: time’s running out to join the Recurring Giving Challenge, so be sure to sign up and learn how your nonprofit could be eligible for a share of $10K in Challenge Rewards.

Recurring Giving Challenge Leaderboard as of March 23:

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Link round upWith so many resources to read and review, keeping up with nonprofit marketing and fundraising insight can be a little overwhelming. Never fear, we’ve collected the cream of the crop in this week’s round up.

Could a single point of failure devastate your organization? Mazarine Treyz takes a look at how can your nonprofit become less fragile. via Wild Woman Fundraising

How do you track your donors? Do you love it? Share your feedback in this quick survey. Your input will help Network for Good provide more great resources to nonprofits just like yours!

Search engine optimization can be complex, but David Hartstein shares 7 Easy Fixes to Get Your Nonprofit Ranking Higher on Google via John Haydon’s Blog

Take your email appeals to the next level with the magic of storytelling. Our friend Vanessa Chase will show you how in our next webinar, Telling Stories Through Email: How to Write Appeals that Rock! Be sure to reserve your seat for this one.

Rich Details for Record-Breaking Results (Case Study)

Dizzy Gillespie

Image: Roland Godefroy

“When the new antenna went live, you’d swear that Dizzy Gillespie was playing right next to you.”

I can easily visualize this scene—and hear it. Can you?

In fact, this appeal excerpt from WBGO (New York City’s premier jazz radio station) made the listening-enriching value of the station’s new antenna crystal clear—by showing, not telling.

Compare this with the way another station introduced its new antenna:

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