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What Your Donors Really Want: The Simple Truth

Sometimes we spend so much time and effort and energy trying to get all of the systems and materials and research and processes of fundraising right that we plumb forget the most important things.

The Simple Truth about Donors

Your donors—no matter who they are or how much they give—want two things.


6 Blogging Best Practices to Write Content That Will Actually Rank

When it comes to ranking number one in Google search results, which do you think is more important?

  1. Technical SEO—things like getting meta tags, alt descriptions, and heading text right?

    or

  2. Writing really really really really useful content?


How to Democratize Fundraising for Nonprofits and Donors

The idea of democratizing fundraising and philanthropy is not a new one. Everyone has the desire to help others, and millions of people support causes they believe will effect change. It’s the goal of nonprofits and fundraisers to bring these causes to the forefront, and to make them accessible for the everyday donor. But for nonprofits with lean budgets or minimal marketing capabilities (and even those with extensive resources), finding and acquiring ideal donors can be difficult.

On the path to democratizing fundraising and making it easy to support causes, it seems a step has been missed: nonprofits don’t always have tools that help them bring their causes to the public at large. And as online fundraising becomes much more popular, nonprofits are now juggling more marketing platforms, fundraising channels, and methods of donation than ever before. But if the end goal is to make it easy for people to support causes they care about, nonprofits and fundraisers need access to the tools—and data—that attract donors.


Sustainability through Innovation: Taking a Fresh Look at Old Problems

Sustainability through Innovation: Taking a Fresh Look at Old ProblemsDon’t you hate it when you have donors (or potential donors) who are not supporting your efforts to the extent you believe their passion would indicate?  They’ve expressed support, maybe even enthusiasm, for your mission, and yet their financial gifts don’t reflect the same level of engagement.


Don’t Be Afraid of Your Mega Donors

In my years working with nonprofit and development directors, I’ve noticed a certain underpinning fear of major donors. This is not a monster-under-your-bed fear (or maybe it is for some of us). Rather it’s a reverence, awe, caution, and wariness that permeates the relationship and all interactions with the donors. 

And this makes sense. Your mega donor is literally the epicenter and foundation of charitable giving to your organization. And even I, an advocate of crowdfunding and the power of micro-donations, still realize that the majority of your monetary support will be generated by major givers. 

But sometimes this reverence and fear can lead to unhealthy practices. 


New Report: Nonprofits—America’s Third Largest Workforce

Employment in America’s nonprofit organizations continued to gain ground on other major industries in recent years according to a new report just issued by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

Based on projections from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the new report, “Nonprofits: America’s Third Largest Workforce” reveals that as of 2015, America’s nonprofit sector:

  • Has the third largest workforce. The U.S. nonprofit workforce ranks third in size among the 18 major U.S. industries, behind only retail trade and manufacturing.

*Every* Nonprofit Leader Is a Fundraiser and Marketer

I recently happened upon a thought-provoking article: “Note to All Creatives: Marketing is Your Job,” adapted from Ryan Holiday’s Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts. The piece was written with an audience of authors, artists, and start-up entrepreneurs in mind. I firmly believe it applies in spades to nonprofits.

Holiday calls his book a meditation on how to create work that does more than just disappear.


Double Your Donation, Double Your Impact. Celebrate #GuideStarGivingDay.

There is no better time to donate to GuideStar! Why, you ask? Because May 15 is #GuideStarGivingDay, a day dedicated to raising funds to support our mission of providing millions of users with important nonprofit information! And to celebrate, we’ve got something special for you … 

From now until May 15, every dollar donated to GuideStar will be MATCHED by our generous partner, Sage Intacct!


The Crucial Role of Silence When Asking for a Gift

In my book, How to Raise $500 to $5000 from Almost Anyone, I offer a multitude of fundraising how-tos, from identifying prospects to setting a goal to offering meaningful thank-yous. But perhaps the most difficult aspect of soliciting a donor is what I want to focus on here.

By now, we all know the importance of asking a donor for a specific amount—“I’m hoping you’ll be able to join us with a gift of $500.” That’s challenging enough for most of us, but here’s something even harder: asking for a contribution and then remaining silent.


Paradoxical Commandments for the Nonprofit Professional

Hi everyone. Before we begin today’s blog post a couple of things. First, please go write a review of a foundation on grantadvisor. (it’s like a Trip Advisor where you can anonymously review foundations). Second, if you’re an Executive Director or CEO of color, there is a Facebook support group for you, full of amazing colleagues: EDOC—ED Unicorns of Color, which stemmed from ED Happy Hour, which is open to all current and retired EDs/CEOs.

Speaking of amazing colleagues, one of the reasons I love our sector so much is the quality of the people we have. However, I’ve been encountering more and more professionals who have become increasingly jaded and cynical about the work.