4 More Magic Words that Increase Charitable Donations

In a recent article I gave you the “Holy Trinity” of fundraising success:

You, Because and Thanks.

Those are essential ingredients for any fundraising appeal.

Today I’m going to give you four more magic words:

Small, Immediate, Expert and Support.

Each of these packs a bigger punch than you might imagine, and tends to persuade folks on the fence to jump right off and land in your court.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

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Last-Minute Strategies to Boost Year-End Fundraising

Do you have that year-end feeling? You know, the one many fundraisers get around this time of year?

Kind of frenetic? Anxious? Stressed?

You’re not alone.

The average nonprofit receives 30% of all donations in December. And 12% arrive in the last three days of the year!  So, yeah, it’s really busy.  And a lot is on the line.

I was talking with one of my clients, who apologized for acting so frantic and rushed.  She said:

“Do you remember having that feeling? Did you get it when you used to work in the trenches? That worry that maybe you won’t hit your numbers? That people won’t give as much as they gave last year? That some of your major donors won’t renew. That maybe you’re not sending enough emails? That you’ll wake up on January 1st and be in BIG trouble?”

Oh, yeah. That feeling…

Of course I’ve felt it!  But over the years I’ve learned a few tricks to help overcome that feeling.

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Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss

I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what “Clairification” is all about.

It’s often said that people give to people.  So true.

But people are funny.

People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift, rather than to the people who show them the good that can be gained.

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Thanks(for)giving

Thankful for ThanksgivingThis Thursday folks in the United States will celebrate what I consider to be the social benefit sector holiday of the year: Thanksgiving!

Just think about what it means.  Literally, it’s a day for giving thanks for our blessings.

Who do you count among yours?

I know when we go around the table at my family Thanksgiving, saying what we’re grateful for this year, most folks respond with a people-based answer. Sure, they’re happy about the feast in front of them. But they’re most grateful for caring friends. For loving family. For being together and sharing the warmth of good company.

Who are you grateful to at your organization?

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Little Things You Can Do Before Year’s End to Raise More Money

The biggest fundraising time of the year for most nonprofits inexorably approaches.

It can be stressful.

Don’t succumb to the stress. You’ve got this!

Perhaps you can’t do everything you’d like to do this year, but you can do some things.

Here are 12 things you can do that will pack a big punch.

Some you can do on your own. Some will require support from technical and/or marketing staff.

Here’s the thing:  Often it’s the little things that count. That pack a surprising wallop.

So don’t save all your energy for writing your appeal. Help your appeal along by putting some of the dozen suggestions that follow into effect.  Even just one or two will make a difference.

Let’s get started…

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3-Word Recipe Guaranteed to Raise Money

I consider these three words the holy trinity of fundraising success.

I’ve written about these words before, and do so again as an important reminder. Because you’ve still got time to wrap them into your year-end fundraising appeal. And, if you do, I guarantee you’ll raise more money.

They are simple.

They are easy to remember.

They really work.

Plus, if you wrap them up with some emotional color, you’ve got an offer that can’t be refused.

Let’s take a look.

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How Important is Email to Nonprofit Fundraising? Very!

Here come 15 steps to successful email fundraising.

I’m going to tell you (1) why you should care about this, and (2) what you should do.

Not long ago, I posed the question: Why Aren’t You Doing More Online Fundraising?  I hope it caused you to think and ponder a bit.

Now, as you’re no doubt planning ahead for the most giving time of the year, is a good time to turn those thoughts into action. How big a role is email going to play in your year-end fundraising strategy?

If you’re making your email campaign an afterthought, don’t.

Email is a critically important tool — especially at the end of the year when most of the money is raised,

Don’t worry that your donors will be annoyed. If you do it the right way, they won’t be.  In fact, they’ll thank you for giving them the opportunity to do something that makes them feel good — and for making it easy for them to do so!.

Let’s begin with the “why”.

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Key Issues in Effective Nonprofit Board Decision-Making

Many nonprofits are stuck.

They’re tethered to their early decisions.  Often made by others who came before them.

But times change. Organizations evolve.

Or they don’t.

The organizations that don’t adapt to changing times are often those that fail to make new decisions. They’re the ones who say “that’s not how we do things here.” Or they poo-poo decisions made by new folks who come on the scene, saying “they don’t understand our culture.”

These are the organizations that tend to shrink over time.  They lose their energy. Their once-vital raison d’etre becomes less urgent. And their appeal to donors diminishes.

When organizations fail to make fresh decisions, they become less relevant.

I recently listened to Jerry Panas, one of the most revered fundraisers in our country, talk about what he called the “deficit of mission.” He made it very clear that boards have two critical roles:

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