Communications Assessments: Looking Within to Communicate Out

Communicating to a Group

By David Deschenes

“When you consider our limited staff and marketing budget, we put out a LOT of information – bi-annual fundraising letters, quarterly newsletters, flyers, and an annual report. We also send more than 30 e-blasts a year and have a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s all important, timely and informative communications. But we’re struggling to keep up with it. We rely on other departments to get us at least the starting content for our collateral, and we often can’t get it when we need it. We feel like we’re always scrambling or trying to ‘wing it’ with content that’s owned by others.”

This was one of the primary concerns we heard at our first meeting with a new client who had hired us to conduct a communications assessment – a top-to-bottom audit of all current marketing and communications efforts in practice by the organization. [Read more…]

RETENTION MATTERS

By Sharon Danosky

If I were to give two words of advice to nonprofits and their fundraising teams it would be this: RETENTION MATTERS!

After GIVING USA 2018’s report forecasted a long, hard road ahead for fundraisers, Non Profit Quarterly analyzed the data from last year’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project and noted “The study found that the number of people who gave in 2018 fell by 4.5 percent while the acquisition of new donors fell by 7.3 percent. For smaller nonprofits without connections to wealth, this trend should be considered a warning, especially within the context of slow or flat growth in individual giving overall.” [Read more…]

Professional Development and Support: Oxygen for the Nonprofit Leader

Oxygen

Anyone who has taken a commercial flight is familiar with the routine that flight staff runs through just before takeoff: here are the emergency exits; flotation devices, and in the event of emergency, an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you… If you’re traveling with someone who may depend on you for help, you’re instructed to first apply the mask to yourself – then help the person that’s in your charge – in that order.

It’s pretty obvious why you should take care of yourself first. You’ll need oxygen in order to see your dependent through what could be a life-threatening event. But if you can’t breathe, well…

[Read more…]

Data-Driven Philanthropy Drives Donor Relationships

index

By Sharon Danosky

Most people think of fundraising as an “art”, — the skill of communication, crafting the right story, convincing donors to give to you.  While that may be true – there is a lot more to the story.

Good fundraising begins with data – good data.  To build a solid fundraising plan you need to be firing on all gears – and that cannot be left to the luck of the draw – or some heart-wrenching story.  You need to know who to ask; how much to ask for; what their interests are; what they have given in the past; what they are likely to give in the future and how they respond to different requests.  In short – you need DATA. [Read more…]

Budgeting: Is there a way to make it less painful?

Budgeting 2

By Susan Rosati

I recently learned that the financial consulting I wanted to offer a group of savvy Executive Directors wasn’t exactly what they looking for.  My idea was to come to them with cool tools and colorful fresh ideas that would really impress a board. However, what they really wanted was more simple tangible guidance. In general, my ideas were good but they took a little time to implement. I was painfully reminded that Executive Directors have no time to waste and are pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis. That’s why I keep my approach simple and more practical especially when it came to the budget. [Read more…]