GuideStar Blog

Design Your Fundraising for Older Eyes and See Your Revenue Rise

Life is full of transitions, most of them inescapable.

Like bifocals.

They’re inevitable once you reach a “certain age,” which is somewhere around 40.

Since the vast majority of your donors are even older, you can be sure they have presbyopia. Which is to say, they wear bifocals.


The Offer in Fundraising Appeals, and Why We Should Take Our Cue from Commercial Marketing

Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash

In direct response, whether it’s fundraising or commercial marketing, the offer is one of the most important elements for success. Arguably the most important. And yet it’s often one of the most misunderstood.


Major Gifts = NO Copying & Pasting ... Ever!

People often ask me how I define a major gift. To me, it’s a gift worth the time and money it takes to cultivate and solicit it.


Fundraising Lessons from Freddie Mercury & Queen

Far reach from rockstar superstardom to fundraising glory? Not really! 

Watching Bohemian Rhapsody, I couldn’t help but notice a few standout truths and values from their rise to fame. They apply as much to hardworking fundraisers, dedicated to making the world a better place, as to anyone else reaching for success.


The Donor Pyramid and Marketing Funnel Have Changed

Fundraisers used to focus on the pyramid.

Bring small donors in at the bottom. Move ’em up, incrementally, to the top. What happened was the donors at the bottom didn’t get much attention, leading to a situation where today 79 percent of first-time donors flow right out of your base. In other words, the pyramid’s base is more like a river than a solid block of bricks. Not very strong. A pretty wobbly foundation on which to base the life of your nonprofit.


Is Your Fundraising Appeal Cluttered? That Won’t Do

Marie Kondo is the high priestess of tidying up. The essence of her method, which everybody’s heard of by now, is this: If a thing gives you joy, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you thank it and let it go.


2019 Fundraising Trends—And How to Take Advantage of Them

I view January and February as a test run of sorts, before we really embark on a new year and new resolutions. This may feel especially true as we’re still figuring out what happened in 2018. Last year we saw lower year-end fundraising results. We saw a decline in the number of donors who give in the lower to middle end of the giving range. And whether those developments have anything to do with changes to the tax law remains a question.


8 Tips to Enhance Your Fundraising and Donor Relationships

All of a nonprofit’s actions are interconnected. If you do something to enhance your fundraising, that action is likely to affect another one of your strategies as well. Therefore, make sure you’re thinking through how one decision will affect each and every one of your strategies.


3 Things You Should Not Do When Writing About Your Nonprofit

The importance of storytelling is undeniable. For a brand that wants more exposure, using storytelling in marketing is a must. But how can nonprofits benefit from storytelling, and does it work any differently for them?


How Small and Medium Nonprofits Can Benefit from Using an Automated Dialer

Without actually meeting a supporter or donor, the closest you can possibly get to them is through a phone call. By calling them, you’re ensuring a personal touchpoint for communication, which is a great way to engage people in open-ended conversation.

In fact, several studies prove that phone calls are valuable retention tool for nonprofits:

  • Calling donors to thank them for their gift 24 hours after they’ve donated leads to an 39 percent increase in donations the next time you make a solicitation.

  • Calling donors to tell them how their contribution has positively impacted your campaigns and report your work without requesting additional money increases the amount they contribute the next time by about 41 percent.

But most small or medium-sized nonprofits still go about calling in an old-fashioned way: manually dialing numbers on their phones and using spreadsheets or actual paper to record responses. This is a hugely inefficient way of reaching out to supporters and an unnecessary waste of time. Cue phone banking through automated dialers, which optimizes the whole journey of using phone calls to connect with donors.


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.