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GuideStar Blog

Nancy Schwartz

Recent Posts by Nancy Schwartz:

This ONE Thing Will Transform Your Marketing and Fundraising in 2014

The opportunity you have right now is SO big, that it's a bit overwhelming. ... You have a blank canvas of a year in front of you, and the marketing and fundraising actions you take right now will have a huge impact on 2014 results.

Memorable Nonprofit Messages: What’s Crucial but Unknown?

Connect First—Your Marketing Magic Bullet

Use the Power of Three to Reach Your Goals

Sleepy or Scintillating?

Nancy Schwartz

Craft Calls to Action That Get You to Goal

Believe me. Your audiences so often see nonprofit campaigns that lack any call to action so, no matter how compelling the issue or message, they have no idea how to get involved. I know, because I see them too.

Testimonials Spur the Confidence & Actions You Want (Case Study)

Get Personal to Get (and Stay) Relevant

Getting personal in your communications is the first step in building strong and long-term relationships with donors—current and prospective.

Here's how to do it...

Personal Is a Two-Way Street

Typically, we think of getting personal as a one-way street. Your organization learns all it can about the folks you hope to engage to move your mission forward, and uses those insights to:

  • Personalize communications to bond by integrating the first names of your community members in salutations, subject lines and the like
  • Customize communications to increase relevance by:
  • Segmenting your list, breaking out members by special interest, wants, location or any other combination of selections
  • Using this understanding to deliver focus, content, frequency and tone that's the best fit with each segment's profile

Take It One Step Further - Get Personal Personally to Get More Relevant

It's been proven time and time again that sharing some of oneself speeds relationship-building.

Think of a recent conversation you had -- doesn't have to be work related. When you share something of yourself -- an experience related to the topic of conversation, for example -- that strengthens your growing bond. Your conversational partner gets that you get it (and her)!

Here are some quick ways to put this strategy to work:

  • Unleash the power of your first name: Sign emails and other communications with your first name (as long as your full name is in your email signature).

*Also, consider including a graphic of your signature in bulk emails. No one else's is just like it!

  • Include your name in your email "from line" when you're publishing organizational emails. It's a must for advocacy and fundraising emails; optional for e-newsletters. It's good to know that there's a human there on the other end, and this simple change will make your emails more recognizable in the daily onslaught. (Caveat: Let list members know if you make this change.)
  • Share more of yourself than you currently do, in keeping with the culture of your organization and the preferences of your community. For examples, feature something about your passions or family in your professional bio, and make sure your colleagues do the same (more on strong organizational bios here)

How are you getting personal, and is it helping strengthen your ties with donors and prospects? Please share your story in the comment section below.

Nancy Schwartz

The preceding is a guest post by Nancy Schwartz, Speaker-Author-Strategist, Nancy helps nonprofits like yours succeed through effective marketing. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update at

Are Your Marketing and Fundraising Goals Easy to Reach… Or A Stretch?

Nancy Schwartz

How to Share Photos for Maximum Persuasion Power

The following is a guest post by Nancy Schwartz, Speaker-Author-Strategist,