SIGN IN

Gratitude in Uncertain Times: 12 Tips to Show Donors They Matter

March 26

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

As we write this from our home offices in Maryland and Virginia, incredible staff at the nonprofits we care about are scrambling to figure out how to continue driving their missions through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are speaking with clients throughout the day to do our best to support them during this difficult time, and to ensure they can still raise the critical funds needed to achieve their missions. Based on these conversations, and important insights from industry veterans who have been through fundraising during the aftermath of 9/11, the 2008 recession, and other global events, we are sharing what we hope will be helpful to you and your colleagues as you weather this storm. One theme of discussion is the importance of ...Read more


The Right to (Data) Privacy: How the Federal and State Legislation Are Addressing Data Privacy Concerns

March 9

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

The right to privacy has been a hotly debated issue for over a century in the United States. As far back as 1890, future Associate Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, along with attorney Samuel D. Warren, wrote that “recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person… instantaneous photographs and newspaper enterprise have invaded the sacred precincts of private and domestic life’” . Brandeis and Warren wrote this article at the dawn of yellow journalism, amidst concerns that newspapers were sensationalizing stories or outright inventing them in order to make a profit sometimes at the expense of an individual’s privacy. Today, we find ourselves ...Read more


Why Retention Matters

February 28

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

We can all agree that donor retention is important, but really how important? Presenters Marie Kosanovich and Courtney Lewis revealed at last week’s Lunch and Learn: Retention and Lapsed Strategies, that acquiring new donors, members, and customers has become extremely competitive due to a crowded marketplace. The abundance of options has resulted in reduced acquisition potential. While overall donor retention is up 2.9%, the number of new donors has decreased by 4%. To answer the question above — having a retention strategy is more important than ever. Nonprofits need to do more with fewer donors, which calls for a strong renewal strategy and potentially shifting investments to retention and reactivation. Introducing your ...Read more


Crisis Communications for Nonprofits in the Digital Age

February 6

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

If you’re like me you might have wondered why at the Annual Business Meeting of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington, our keynote speakers were speaking on crisis communications as opposed to, one might be forgiven for assuming, direct marketing. But, when you dig into the outcomes of a crisis – it is clear that every dusty corner of an organization is affected when a crisis hits. Moments of crisis pull the focus from business as usual and can have significant effects on an organization’s brand. And, all of this affects direct response marketing. Steven Nardizzi and Richard Levick had a rousing and informative conversation on the wide-ranging challenges of large-scale organizational crises. Nardizzi’s crisis ...Read more


A Deeper Dive into Donor Advised Fund Marketing

December 11

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

One of the biggest challenges we face as an industry is the consolidation of billions of philanthropic dollars into Donor Advised Funds. This has been heightened by the 2018 tax reform. For instance, have you ever used a deadline on your Donor Advised Fund marketing for your year-end campaign? I certainly hadn’t. After all, the purpose of Donor Advised Funds is to give donors the flexibility to receive their tax refund immediately, and then take their time deciding how to grant the money. That last aspect creates a problem for us as fundraisers: how to instill a sense of urgency with the donor concerning year-end giving, now that the donor’s year-end tax break has become moot. How to surmount that difficulty became ...Read more


Your Guide to a Clean Bill of Copy Health – Learnings from DMAW’s Copy Clinic

November 19

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Fundraising copy is a tricky beast to master. Breaking through the clutter—we encounter 5,000 brand and ad messages a day!—is a necessary but arduous task faced by fundraising professionals around the world. Thankfully, copywriting experts and accompanying prescriptions are available to treat symptoms like copy fatigue, feverish wordiness and information overload. Similar to the way several “copy doctors” tag teamed the presentation at DMAW’s Copywriting Workshop, we’ve collaborated to share our reflections on the session. Presenters Kathy Swayze, of Impact Communications, and Barry Cox, copywriter and creative consultant, offered a comprehensive lesson in effective fundraising copy, beginning with the top mistakes that ...Read more


Getting Started with Text Messaging: Part II

October 18

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Everyone seems to be talking about text messaging these days! With 95% of Americans owning a mobile phone, more of us are “meeting people where they are” by using mobile (SMS) as a vital component of an organization or campaign’s communications, fundraising, advocacy and field strategies. More and more nonprofit organizations and campaigns are realizing they need to include mobile (SMS) text messaging in their digital and campaign strategies.  There are two types of mass texting that can be utilized by your organization. Here are some important differences to consider when deciding between peer-to-peer vs. broadcast text messaging platforms. Capacity (i.e. How and Who) As explained under the platform section, one of ...Read more


Getting Started with Text Messaging

October 11

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Everyone seems to be talking about text messaging these days! With 95% of Americans owning a mobile phone, more of us are “meeting people where they are” by using mobile (SMS) as a vital component of an organization or campaign’s communications, fundraising, advocacy and field strategies. More and more nonprofit organizations and campaigns are realizing they need to include mobile (SMS) text messaging in their digital and campaign strategies.  There are two types of mass texting that can be utilized by your organization. Broadcast SMS has been around for 10+ years but didn’t begin to be utilized by major organizations and campaigns until after 2012. Whereas Peer-to-Peer SMS made its first appearance during the 2016 ...Read more


Breaking Integration Myths

July 31

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

When it comes to food, people have long worked at breaking integration myths. Take the myth that oils and waters can’t mix. It’s a myth that can be easily broken when you add an emulsifier (egg yolk), force (whisking), and technique (slowly pouring melted butter into lemon juice and water) to create a hollandaise sauce that never separates. Or take a simpler example. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Who can forget the classic ad campaign “Two great tastes that taste great together” that changed the entire world’s perception that chocolate and peanut butter can’t be paired together. At this June’s DMAW Lunch and Learn, 40 marketing professionals gathered to eat and learn about the integration myths affecting ...Read more


Mail Plans – Are They Really Just for Direct Mail and Do I Really Need One?

July 19

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

No and Yes, according to Jessica Harrington of the Harrington Agency during her recent DMAW webinar. She is also a planner at heart as the detailed webinar revealed. When you take a trip, a GPS-enabled device is a must, but you might also print or download a map. In other words, you bring tools to help find the way. That’s the job of a “mail plan” - to provide the map for your organization’s complete donor/constituent journey. It can be used and supplemented by all teams and usually is developed with assistance from partner-vendors. Today’s multiple channels, data sources, segments and modeling tools along with creative testing ideas and budget goals, means the “donor journey” is nuanced and requires a ...Read more