Text messaging is an important — and largely underused — donor stewardship tool. Advanced fundraisers have been slow to fully embrace text (aka SMS) messaging largely out of fear that they are intruding on their donors. But as texting has become the primary form of communication for many of us, it’s time to move past that fear and embrace texting as a central piece of your larger donor communications strategy. Text marketing has an incredible 98% open rate — and most messages are read within the first 30 minutes of delivery. The average American sends more than 40 texts per
Category: Donor Communications
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Sending annual giving statements to your donors and funders is a fundraising best practice — and an amazing opportunity to show love to your donors. An annual giving statement is also an opportunity to inform your donors about what makes your nonprofit unique. Donors tell me that they look more favorably at nonprofits that provide gift statements. These documents signal that the nonprofit is thoughtful and organized — and it gives many donors timely and highly useful information as they prepare their income tax returns. Here’s a sample gift statement that I like a lot.
By Alyssa Greengrass, MA. “How do we get our donors back?” It’s a common yet distressing question. And it’s one that I regularly hear from fundraisers and executives at nonprofits of all sizes — ranging from large national hospital systems to local food banks. While it seems difficult to win back donors who have chosen to stop supporting your nonprofit, it’s important to resist the temptation to simply focus on closing new gifts. Ignoring your lapsed donor file is cost ineffective and jeopardizes relationships that took time and care to develop. Often, these lapsed donors are devoted supporters of your
By Alexa Strautmanis Seven is a golden number in marketing. As the “Rule of Seven” goes, an individual must see or interact with your nonprofit’s brand at least seven times in the course of a year before they’re inclined to take any action. Following this rule is a best practice when it comes to donor engagement. Through multichannel marketing, these seven touches can be seamlessly woven into your nonprofit’s communications to keep your cause top-of-mind for new donors and deepen relationships with your current supporters. Your nonprofit may already be hitting this magic number. If you mail your constituents quarterly,
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA LAPA blog reader Kennita, who works for a historic preservation nonprofit, writes, “How do I bring equity into our fundraising practices?” Thanks for writing, Kennita, and that’s a terrific question. I hope my answer is useful. It just so happens that a key advanced fundraising trend is to bring equity into your fundraising practices. But what does that really mean, and how do you implement it? For a complete view of 2022 fundraising trends, watch this video. Fundamental Questions Here are two fundamental questions to get you started. What is your fundraising equity approach? The
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A good question is said to be worth more than a good answer! I believe that wholeheartedly. The dawn of a new year is a perfect time to reassess. As fundraisers, investigating our strategies and practices brings us more revenue. The start of the year is a chance to be reflective and to look ahead. It also offers the first opportunity for many of us to take a deep breath and relax after the hectic year-end giving season. This investigation starts with asking the right questions. The most empowering and galvanizing questions create value. They
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Your year-end drive likely features written and email appeals delivered between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. That’s good … but … Before you make your appeals, you have an important opportunity to say “thank you” — and to do so in a way that is fresh and vibrant. Thanksgiving offers you a perfect hook for kicking off your year-end drive through a Thank-A-Thon — a “Thanks Bonanza” that you can start preparing for now. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thanking donors and doing so in ways that do not come attached
By Peter Panepento As the CEO, you write blogs, deliver speeches, and give media interviews because you believe it will help raise more revenue for your nonprofit. This is a worthy goal. Thought leadership content can be incredibly valuable in connecting with potential donors. I’d like to share with you my observations from my years in the field about creating thought leadership content that actually inspires individuals to take action. Mainly I encourage you to be less overt in your attempts to connect your thought leadership with your fundraising. Instead of making your message about yourself and your nonprofit, truly
The questions below were asked by attendees at our “Starting Over” webinar of April 21, 2021, presented by Roger Craver & Laurence A. Pagnoni.
The questions are fascinating, and we hope you’ll find our answers equally so. The webinar focused on the new rules of individual giving fundraising. We welcome your input as well by posting on our blog.