Stop Approaching Public Relations Like It’s 2007

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

The photo was taken in June 2007 — less than 8 years ago. Yet many nonprofits are still approaching public relations like it’s 2007. Peter Panepento. I am very excited to welcome Peter Panepento to our distinguished list of regular guest bloggers.

7 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Storytelling

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Want to inspire more people to give to your cause? To be a more effective fundraiser, you need to learn to tell your story -- any story. You might be thinking, "We don't really have a cool or interesting story," and you're wrong. Or, more likely, you just need to adjust your thinking a bit.

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10 Tips for Writing Your Nonprofit Story

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We''ve said it before: stories are powerful tools for nonprofit communicators. That said, a story will fall flat if it is not written or presented well. Follow these simple guidelines for finding and writing a story that is not only engaging, but also improves how your message is presented to the world. Identify the good story. Not every event at your nonprofit is a story. A story shouldn''t be about everything your nonprofit is doing.

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5 Necessary Attributes for a Nonprofit Call to Action

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Any successful nonprofit fundraising campaign has an effective call to action. Your call to action is the actual spot where you ask somebody to do something -- volunteer, donate, sign a petition, subscribe. Nonprofits can improve results with how they market and communicate your call to action, but when it comes down to the call to action itself, there are five key attributes that can transform any run-of-the-mill pitch into a fundraising dynamo. Be highly specific.

Change the Way You Look at Fundraising

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Simple tweaks in the way you think and what you say can affect how people look at your cause or your organization: There are only three reasons for a nonprofit organization to exist. Those are to save lives, transform lives, and change lives. It''s all tied to helping other people. It''s what you are doing everyday, and it is driving your existence. Think about which is the most important to you, and communicate that to your supporters.

Sample Online Fundraising Plan

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This is a sample plan for an imaginary local animal rescue organization called Save the Animals (STA) which is trying to take their outreach efforts online to become well known in the community. While the specifics of your online fundraising plan will be unique for your organization, the overarching themes will likely be similar. This intensive plan calls for a relatively high budget but you will likely want or need to dedicate much less.

Four Questions to Answer in Every Appeal

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To grow your donor base and total donations you need to have an appropriate "Call to Action" in every appeal. The problem is that many nonprofit campaigns lack that. Hence the problem of the "Call to Inaction." " It's great to state who you are and what you do, but if you never clearly ask for money and never appeal to potential donors correctly, your results won't amount to much. To do that you need to answer the following four questions every time you ask : Why me?

Cause Marketing Outside Its Credo?

Cause Related Marketing

Earlier this year Outside Magazine offered a challenging cause marketing promotion that I only just came across. For the April ‘Green Issue,’ when you bought the magazine at newsstands, Outside made a $1 donation to the Conservation Alliance up to $50,000.According to a press release issued in January, the issue would:“… explore and deliver the concept of ‘green’ in a proactive, relevant, bold.

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Evaluating Your Cause-Related Marketing Campaign--Nonprofits

Cause Related Marketing

So the campaign is over (or at a pause) and it’s time to evaluate. How do you do that?I’ll I’ll tackle the question from the perspective of the nonprofit today, the agency on Tuesday and the sponsor next Thursday.NonprofitsIf your nonprofit is like most of your peers you probably put everybody who was even remotely connected to the project in a room and hash it out until everyone’s eyes bleed. However.

Cheap Tricks I.I

Cause Related Marketing

In what may be a case of over-promising and under-delivering, I'm going to have to postpone the second half of this post until next Tuesday. I've been 'under the weather' as the expression goes and haven't had the chance to finish the second posting.Instead, as a sort of a bridge, I want to share a letter from Aaron W. a reader in Toronto who asks if his two ads his group has produced serve to

Multicultural Cause-Related Marketing Part I

Cause Related Marketing

New reader Gabriel Q., who works for a prominent multi-cultural consultancy in California, asks if I’ve ever posted on the topic of multi-cultural cause marketing, specifically cause-related marketing targeted to Hispano/Latino audiences.It’s s an interesting topic to be sure, but I had to confess that I have never written on the subject and I don’t recall ever seeing any studies with regard to.

Walgreens and the American Diabetes Association

Cause Related Marketing

Scared PointlessWhen it comes to cause marketing the disease charities have potential conflicts of interest that other causes probably don’t. For example, if the American Heart Association does a cause-marketing campaign with Bayer’s 80mg ‘baby aspirin’ then there’s an implied endorsement of both Bayer and the 80mg dose, whether or not the AHA offers an explicit endorsement of either or.

3 Ways to Improve Your Next Fundraising Appeal

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One of the major obstacles you can run into while fundraising online is sending out the wrong message. This is known as the "it's all about us" disease. Many nonprofits fall into this category, where all of their communications read like an "About Us" page.

Finding Prospects, Building Relationships, Enticing Investors

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The lifeline of any organization is the people that give their money and their time to support it. You have to find those people, keep them around and encourage them to finally take action. An easy way to find your best qualified prospects are to look at the three P''s: priorities, programs, and projects. Who are the people involved with them and who would be most interested in helping those causes? Set your priorities and have a master prospect list ordered in importance.

Your Supporters Are Your Best Spokespeople

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The best advice I have for people who want to use social media to promote their cause is to make it easy for your supporters to be your advocates. Make them celebrities for your cause. Seth Godin calls this flipping the funnel. Let your supporters hold your megaphone for you and your message will spread farther. Your fans are celebrities among their families and friends, and they can be great spokespeople for you!

Pricing Grant Writers - What Should We Pay for A Grant Writer?

Seeking Grant Money Today

I've written several posts (their links are listed at the end of this post) about how to hire and begin working with a grant writer. The next question is: what is fair compensation for a grant writer? First of all, I've said it before, here, and I'll say it again. Never pay a grant writer a portion of a grant that your organization receives after they write the proposal for it. This is called ' contingency pay', and it is unethical in American fundraising.

Start Up Non Profit? Need Seed Money? Starting Fundraising? Here's help.Part 1 of 2

Seeking Grant Money Today

Getting a non profit off the ground is tough. I know that you don't have any money. If you aren't sure what a start up non profit is, read "Life Cycle of an Exempt Organization" on the IRS website. These are three pieces of good free advice.consider each.

3 Tests to Improve Your Website and Donation Process

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One of the easiest and most overlooked ways to improve your website and your donation process is by putting it through some basic testing. People hear "testing" and often get scared off, afraid they will have to hire some expensive firm to perform weeks of scrutiny. The opposite is true for usability testing; all you need is somebody who isn't already familiar with your website.

Help Donors Find You Through Search Engine Marketing

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You use search engines like Google and Yahoo! every day, and so do your donors. But what happens when a prospective donor types in the name of your nonprofit or your issue area in Google? Is your organization at the top of the results? The good news is that it can be, through Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In a nutshell, SEM is a way to promote your website by increasing its visibility in search engine results. Sound complicated? Here's the good news: SEM is common sense.


Top Ten Grantwriting Tools

Seeking Grant Money Today

Each time that I sit down to write a letter of inquiry or a grant proposal (as a staff member or for a client), I use the same resources. I recommend the following, and while none of them are REQUIRED, I think that as you write more and more grant proposals one finds that you also have a regular pool of resources. If you get a chance, please post a comment sharing the tools that you recommend.

Yet more on percentage-based fundraising - AFP ups the ante

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Just other day I posted an email exchange I had in which my correspondent argued that, contrary to what AFP (Association of Professional Fundraisers) and others may say, there are times when when contingency or percentage-based fundraising fees may actually be more ethical than flat fee or hourly rates.

Two Year Seed Money Grants Available to Programs Promoting Education and Equity for Women and Girls

Seeking Grant Money Today

American Association of University Women Accepting Applications for Community Action Grants Deadline: January 15, 2008 The American Association of University Women ( [link] ) Community Action Grants provide seed money to individual women, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations, as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. Applicants must be U.S

Join the Virtual Discussion on Philanthropy - November, 2007 Giving Carnival!

Seeking Grant Money Today

Maya Norton, author of The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy , is hosting the November 2007 Giving Carnival group blog. Come join us in the virtual discussion. This month's question is "What business practices should nonprofits adopt to maximize their resources?" You don't have to write a blog to respond. Email your response to Maya at mnorton at by Monday, November 26th. If you do have a blog, email her the link to your response.

Why Some Grant Writers Suck.

Seeking Grant Money Today

If you are a consulting grant writer you must work for your clients as if you are a staff member. What does that mean? When someone is a hired staff member, they are working for that organization, daily; meeting certain work requirements and providing an expected quality in their work; they know the business, industry, and their company as required (by their employer and the task required of them); and they are committed and invested.

Visit the October 2007 Giving Carnival! Click Here.

Seeking Grant Money Today

Thank you for joining in the October 2007 Giving Carnival! Thank you, too, to Sean Stannard-Stockton (Giving Carnival founder) and Gayle Roberts (September 2007 Giving Carnival host) for your help! We need a host for the November 2007 Giving Carnival. Here are the October 2007 Giving Carnival responses : 1. For the first four years of his nonprofit’s existence, from 2003 to 2007, my client took charge of writing grant proposals himself.

Grant Writers On Commission

Seeking Grant Money Today

A grant writer should never be hired on commission. If a grant writer approaches your non profit organization offering to apply for grants in exchange for a percentage of the grants received - decline the offer. Grant writers accepting contingency pay is considered unethical in American professional fundraising. The foremost national professional fundraising organization in the United States is the Association of Fundraising Professionals ( AFP ).

How Do We Afford Grant Writing?

Seeking Grant Money Today

[Note: This post specifically addresses how NON PROFIT entities can pay for grant writing services or staff. If you are an individual looking for grant money, see my post about Individuals and Grants [link] ] Applying for grant money (especially as a start up non profit or for new programs or new projects) is a great way to raise donations that should not be avoided.

New Charity Widgets May Increase Holiday Giving

Marketing for Nonprofits

Looking for a way to increase holiday giving? Consider adding widgets to your fundraising mix. A widget is a piece of content that you can paste on your website, blog or social networking page. Widgets can contain pictures and text. See GlobalGiving's "Give Love" widget at right. The great thing about widgets is that many sync up with donation platforms like PayPal.

Come Blog About Philanthropy With Us For The October 2007 Giving Carnival!

Seeking Grant Money Today

If you are interested in philanthropy, please join us in the October 2007 Giving Carnival group blog session! For the October, 2007 Giving Carnival (group blog session) I am considering that it is often stated that 'relationships are everything' in philanthropy. Get your response to me by October 15, 2007 to be included in the group session. In September 2007, the Giving Carnival generated 22 posts! WE WANT YOU!

Puget Sound Grantwriters Association's 2007 Conference, and Grant(s) Available to Attending Orgs

Seeking Grant Money Today

Grant applicants can be submitted no later than August 31, 2007 and the grant application guidelines are available at: [link] Lunch is included in the cost of admission and vegetarian meals are available, upon request.

Momentum Wins 2007 McAdam Book Award!

A. Fine Blog

I am delighted to share the news that Momentum won the 2007 Terry McAdam Award that is presented annually by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Here’s the announcement. I’m off to Atlanta to accept the award — here’s hoping I don’t trip or make any other faux pas during my 5 minute acceptance speech

How to Ask For Action

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People aren't signing up or giving money? Maybe your call to action isn't prominent enough Or maybe it's not crystal clear. Or maybe you're not asking for the right thing. Put your materials, web site or appeals in front of you and ask yourself: Is my call to action. Specific? Ask for one concrete action. Telling people to click on a button to donate now is better than asking them to participate in a fundraising campaign.

How Nonprofits Can Use Facebook

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Have a strategy. Remember: Social media isn't marketing, it's a way to build a relationship with your audience. Be sure you're connecting on human level. You have to awaken the heart to arouse the mind. Tell real stories to connect with your audience and cultivate your community. Let those stories tie into your larger marketing and donor cultivation strategy. Make it a family affair. Involve your organization & your supporters -- set some posting guidelines and let them run with it.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Nonprofit Website

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So you have a wonderfully designed nonprofit website: beautiful images, a donor-centric point of view and clear navigation -- all stellar. Now, where are the visitors who would appreciate all of that? As part of your overall marketing plan, include strategies to draw people to your site to learn about your cause and support your mission.

Building Your Nonprofit Email List

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When you're collecting email addresses, you need to focus on both donors and non-donors. Don't neglect one group in favor of the other. It's critical to get the email addresses of your donors so that you can keep them informed of news and information that relates to their membership status with your organization. Also make an effort to collect the email addresses of donors that joined in past years, which you can do at membership renewal time.

Bottom Nine Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Cause Related Marketing

I was contemptuous of a pretty good number of cause-related marketing campaigns and cause marketing ads in 2007. Nine of them make my list for the worst campaigns of 2007. Top Eight' 'Bottom Nine' What Do I Have Against the Number 10?I Read my list of the best eight cause-related marketing campaigns here.]But But only one gave me a visceral reaction. That was an ad in BabyTalk Magazine by American.

Is Wal-Mart Really Turning Green?

Cause Related Marketing

I have watched the plentiful news coverage about Wal-Mart’s green turn and read many opinions both skeptical and convinced. Until now I have withheld judgment.Talk, after all, (mine included) is cheap.But it seems increasingly clear that Wal-Mart is not…as the doubters say… just ‘greenwashing’.How

Mele Kalikimaka

Cause Related Marketing

Every Christmas for at least the last 10 years Late Night with David Letterman has featured the incomparable Darlene Love singing the rockingness Christmas Song ever, 'Christmas, Baby Please Come Home.'That That is until this year when the writer's strike has grounded new shows.So

Charity Caveat Emptor

Cause Related Marketing

Cause-Related Marketing Potpourri

Cause Related Marketing

My email box has been filling up with releases from PR types about various campaigns. A handful are even about cause-related marketing!Here