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Here's How Often You Should Mail to Your Donors

I decided to write this post due to the number of times nonprofits ask me “How often should we mail to our donors?” The corollary question is “How often can we ask people to give?”

The answer?

Well… if there was one quick answer I wouldn’t have needed to write a whole article. I’d just have given you a headline with a definitive response!

I know you want a definite answer.

And I could give you one. But it wouldn’t be the truth. Because the truth is different for every nonprofit. And the truth will even be different for your nonprofit at different points in your life cycle.

There are two definitive things I can tell you:

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Clairity Click-it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year-End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

First a Clairity Click-it announcement: I’m deeply honored, humbled and proud that I made the Top 100, and Maximize Social Business (for whom I write a monthly column on social media for nonprofits) made the Top 50, of the Top Content Marketing Influencers on . If you’re not familiar with Maximize Social Business and its founder,…

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How “Because I Said So” Gets Donors to Give to Your Nonprofit

I’m a collector. I collect red and white kitchen memorabilia, flour sifters, tablecloths and fundraising appeals. I also tell my clients to become collectors (but just of the last item on my list!). I ask them to collect only appeals that demand their attention and cause them to give. After all, isn’t that the true measure of a fundraising appeal’s effectiveness?

I encourage them to ask everyone in their organization (other staff, board members, volunteers) to share winning appeals with them. Then I ask them to share the successful appeals with their team and endeavor to tease out what it is about these appeals the recipients find so irresistible.

Figure out what works; then copy it! After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

This is a great exercise for you and your team, and over the next several posts I’m going to suggest some things I find common to the most successful fundraising appeals. Ask these questions of the successful appeals you’re reviewing. Let’s begin!

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What Works; What Doesn't? Nonprofit Year-End Email Appeals

I’m constantly watching my mailbox and inbox to find great examples of marketing communications that really do their job.  Sometimes I find examples that are so horrible I also have to point them out so you’ll avoid making the same mistake.  This week I’ve got a great example of a year-end email appeal. It says “GO!” on multiple levels, and I’m going to tell you why it’s so effective.

Yet it includes one mistake.  You may not think it’s horrible. And I understand why they did it.  But I wish they wouldn’t and wish that all nonprofits would stop doing this.

Ready? Let’s begin.

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Clairity Click-it: Donor Communication; Ethics; Donor-Centered Leadership

We’re fast approaching the giving season. What better time to think about ways we can give back to our donors? If you’re developing a gratitude culture, you’ll do this by being donor-centered with every communication to your supporters. You’ll do it by acting ethically and putting your donors needs first. And you’ll do it by honoring your donors and rewarding them for being the amazing people they are.  Here are some articles to help you be the best you can be.

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#GivingTuesday – How to Be a Winner

In my last post, #Giving Tuesday, Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control I talked about the origins of the day and all the good intentions that went into its creation. Yet I’ve heard from many, many nonprofits that they just don’t have the bandwidth to develop and promote one more fundraising initiative during this very busy time of year. I’ve been there, and I empathize.

Sometimes the newest bells and whistles are simply a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the end.  But rather than reject the notion of #GivingTuesday out of hand, I began to wonder if there were ways to jump on the bandwagon without cannibalizing other types of year-end fundraising.  Or without burning out staff and volunteers. Or without confusing donors who feel like they’re being asked for this, that and every such thing.

I noted that I love the idea of using #GivingTuesday to celebrate and thank our donors. We don’t thank our supporters nearly enough, so why not have a day dedicated to donor love?

I think there’s a way to make #GivingTuesday about both giving and getting. And I promised to share an example with you in my last post.

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Clairity Click-it: Social Media Engagement; Blogging Tips; Creativity; Science of Persuasion

One of my favorite things to do is to raid the halls of business blogs to see what they’re doing that should be applied to nonprofit businesses. Sadly, we still seem to be last to the party when it comes to really thinking outside the box, adopting tried-and-true best practices (I don’t mean the shiniest new object; I mean stuff that’s working super well, creating lots of brand awareness and raising lots of money). So this week I’ve got a bunch of simple and powerful business tips for you… plus some stuff to get you thinking. I hope a light bulb goes off for you!

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How Your Nonprofit Appeal Response Device is Like Cheese

Working on your year-end appeal? Reworking and editing your copy? Thinking about your letter and package design? Great! But what about your reply card or remit envelope?

Have you paid equal attention to this most important element of your fundraising package? Or do you wait until the very last minute, treating it like a nuisance or an unimportant chore?

Way too often I see folks spend endless hours crafting their appeal letter, only to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to the response devise. This is a huge mistake.

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