The Impact of Grace and Encouragement

The Impact of Grace and Encouragement

I spent the first 35-years of my life in Arizona. This past week, I had an opportunity to visit Phoenix and Flagstaff to catch up with many of the people who have made a big impact in my life. It struck me, on the drive back to the airport, that there were two characteristics each of these influential, yet very diverse group of people shared: Grace & Encouragement. By grace, I mean these mentors and friends always accepted me for who I was. They were never judgmental of the poor decisions I may have made. Instead, they have always just patiently listened, never asked anything of me and never quick to give advice. Rather, they just encouraged me to keep trying. To not give up. They shared a vision of what could be. In short, they gave me hope. We need to always keep in mind that we have opportunities to share grace and encouragement in every daily interaction. This goes for our fundraising communications as well. Too often, we are solely focused on the calls-to-action about how the donor can help us fulfill our missions. My hypothesis is that if we have the courage to meet the donors where they are, take the time to listen to their stories and encourage them in their own walks through life, the impact our organizations will have over time will be...
The Fundraising Power of Awareness

The Fundraising Power of Awareness

It may seem like a serious “duh”, but in the countless studies we have done on literally 100s of nonprofit organizations, the variable that seems to most accurately predict fundraising success is how well-known the organization is within their market. One would think that, if this is true (and it is), organizations would be spending much more money on promoting their brands through traditional media. The tricky part is that tracking ROI from general advertising is really tough. So, organizations avoid it. But check out this graph we recently created for one of our clients. It shows the impact of all giving in certain markets before and after they initiated a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) fundraising event. In this example, on average, revenue increased an average of 160% the 4-years after the P2P event compared to the 4-years prior to the P2P event. This revenue gain was across all giving channels, not just from the P2P event. I believe this supports how important awareness is to your fundraising. And this demonstrates that one way to build that awareness is putting on a P2P...
The 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make

The 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make

Andrew Olsen has done our whole vertical a service by compiling a list of the most common mistakes that nonprofits make. Whether you are new to the nonprofit world, or have been involved for decades, there is something for everyone to learn in Olsen’s new book. My personal favorite is Mistake #75: Asking at the Wrong Time. Nonprofits now have access to sophisticated algorithms that can really help them know when they should and when they shouldn’t be asking their donors. It’s a mistake to continue to rely on antiquated RFM modeling to choose when your organization should be communicating. Do yourself a favor and order a copy. It’s like giving yourself an instant MBA in nonprofit management. 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make...