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Three Steps to a Better Performing Website

July 27

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  Why do your competitors’ websites continuously outrank and seemingly outperform your own? It’s a question many organizations may find themselves asking. But thanks to the relative open nature of the Internet, we can grab glimpses of their digital strategies—and see what’s working. In this post, we will briefly examine steps your digital team can implement today for results tomorrow. From a competitive perspective, we can monitor keywords, backlinks and page count.   Keywords On the Internet, keywords describe the content on your site and make it possible for your audience to find you via search engines. They are the natural byproduct of authentic storytelling on a website or landing page. You ...Read more


From Sacred Cows to Successful Campaigns — Real Life Victories

July 18

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What happens after you tip your sacred cows?  In our previous blogs (one and two), we discussed how to identify your nonprofit’s specific sacred cows — those programs, events, campaigns, and practices that you perform religiously, often because that’s the way it’s always been done. Or sometimes our sacred cows are programs that represent too much of our income — leaving behind untapped audiences that could yield even higher results! Or maybe your organization is floating along without clear results, unsure if your programs are even meeting industry-standard benchmarks. Like we said previously, it takes strong leadership in order to change, and sometimes it takes bringing in an outside agency to point out your sacred ...Read more


Identifying the Sacred Cows That Are Holding You Back

July 12

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Let’s say you’re committed to tipping some sacred cows. You are ready to challenge and evaluate everything: your mission, your approach, your revenue. How do you identify your organization’s specific sacred cows? In our first blog of this series, we discussed the various fundraising practices nonprofits perform religiously — often with the only strategy being “it’s what has always worked” — otherwise known as our sacred cows. We determined that it takes a true leader, someone who is committed to questioning everything they think they know, to tip these cows. And if you cannot emotionally separate yourself from these practices in order to take an unbiased look at what’s working and what needs improvement, it might be ...Read more


How Do You Tip a Sacred Cow? Strength and Patience.

June 27

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Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We all tend to agree with this — but do we as nonprofits put it into practice? Particularly in our fundraising work? Echoing this same sentiment, management expert Tom Northrup once said, “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are now getting.” This hits home for me in the world of fundraising, where the same methods tend to get used over and over again just because “that’s the way they’ve always been done.” As a result, these organizations are finding that they only ever achieve the same results or worse, that they are hitting a wall with their fundraising. Frustrated and ...Read more


Nonprofits Must Leverage Millennials to Navigate the Digital Era

June 15

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Digital communications have undoubtedly become an integral part of daily life. President Trump’s tweets instantaneously reach over 30 million people worldwide. Media outlets such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and BuzzFeed routinely use Facebook Live and other digital applications to engage with supporters and share breaking news. Through Instagram and Snapchat, high school students can find and reach out to their favorite musicians, sports teams, actors, and activists with just a touch to a screen. That’s why I was shocked to learn that 62 percent of nonprofits nationwide don’t have written digital programs, while attending the Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s “Upping Your Digital Program ...Read more


You Win Some, You Lose More. Don’t’ Let Your Donors Walk Away: Make Retention Your New Acquisition

Did you know that most nonprofits are not currently measuring donor retention on a monthly basis? Do you know why it matters? According to The 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report in 2016, every $100 gained in gifts was offset by $95 in losses through gift attrition. Let that sink in; for every dollar amount you gain, you are losing regular givers and their future donations at an enormous rate. While we as a sector are doing sort of OK at bringing in new donors, we’re not really doing well at keeping them—nor are we making sure that we are not negatively impacting overall program growth due to donor loss. Donor (and gift) retention have been averaging below 50 percent over the last ten years, according to DonorTrends ...Read more


Sneak Peek on What to Expect at Upping Your Digital Program Workshop

Don’t have a digital program? You’re not alone—more than half of nonprofits and charities don’t take advantage of the opportunities that digital marketing brings to the table. For those organizations and those who are looking to improve their digital programs, DMAW is hosting the Upping Your Digital Program Workshop on June 8th. I had a chance to chat with the chair of this event, Jade Nguyen; about why this event is one you won’t want to miss. Kate: What should participants look forward to at this event? Jade: What I love about this event is that dives deep into a newly released report, covering 530 nonprofits in more than 20 countries, and it’s conveniently a half-day workshop as well, so you are not ...Read more


Fundraisers Face Significant Retention Decline

April 28

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Retention matters. It is sometimes the greatest—but most profitable—challenge you may face as a fundraiser. And it’s getting harder. That’s why DMAW is hosting a Lunch & Learn to provide a Retention Roadmap—answering your top retention questions and putting you on a path to file growth. For the past 10 years, donor retention has been decreasing; only 45 percent of 2015 donors continued to give the following year.* The continued decline of donor retention is alarming, as fundraisers shift their strategy towards ‘Retention Marketing’ and focus more on the profitability of the donors acquired. Data Source:  The Fundraising Effectiveness Project  2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report.Visual:  ...Read more


Data Strategy Forum Brings List Community Under One Roof

April 19

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On May 9th, list professionals will be convening once again, but instead of heading to the List Bazaar, they are all coming down for the new and improved Data Strategy Forum. The name change reflects the changes in the industry. Certainly, for a long time now, we have been working with more than just mailing lists. What we now deal with is information, otherwise known as data. The Data Strategy Forum will address all types of data. The attendees are a nice mix of brokers, managers, agencies, co-ops and mailers. With the name change and the expanded focus, our audience should be larger and more diverse than ever before. For the list community, this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with your clients, peers and future ...Read more


Monthly or Bust: Creating a Sustainer Culture

April 7

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  On his very first day as membership director, Dane Grams strove to make monthly donors the centerpiece to the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) sustainer strategy. Why? Well, as he convinced the HRC development team—and now the audience at the DMAW Lunch & Learn: Sustainer Recruitment and Engagement event—monthly sustainers give the most money over time. During his presentation with National PTA’s deputy executive director Karin Kirchoff, Grams used his experiences at HRC to demonstrate how growing your donor file and retaining them can be accomplished on the first ask—by getting them to sign up for monthly contributions. “[Sustainer givers are] more loyal, build stronger relationships, provide a solid ...Read more