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.

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.

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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?

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.

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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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.

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Branding Your Nonprofit: An Investment in Your Tomorrows

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This article first was originally published on December 13, 2007 based on a December 23, 2004 article in Today''s Fundraiser. In the nonprofit sector, we sometimes market services and occasionally a product, but most frequently, we market "heart." " The by-product of our existence has more importance than any consumer product can muster. The results of our success affect others.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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How to Craft Your Nonprofit Call to Action: Why me? Why now? What for?

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Are you disappointed with your fundraising results? Are your fundraising campaigns and messages getting inside the heads of your prospective supporters and motivating them to take real action? If not, it's time to take a look at your call to action. With a little planning, you can create a call to action that motivates people to volunteer or donate with these four questions. Why me? Your audience needs to care about what you are doing.

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.

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.

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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.

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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

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!

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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.

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.

Interview On Cause Marketing With a Trade Magazine Reporter, Part II

Cause Related Marketing

The second half of an interview with Carol Gustafson, a writer with Western & English Today, a trade magazine to the equine industry.3. What are the secrets to success? The ways to make any CRM effort pay dividends for both the charity and the business.)The The secret sauce is planning and execution.

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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.

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!

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.

Hobby Lobby and Christian Cause Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

billion in 2007. Higher Cause MarketingLet’s try a thought experiment.Suppose you’re a dominant retail player in a fast-growing $30 billion segment. Suppose your founder and CEO was number 242 on the Forbes list of richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of some $1.5 billion. Suppose you had 386 outlets in 30 heartland states. Suppose your sales are expected to come in around $1.8 Suppose.

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

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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

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.

Charity Caveat Emptor

Cause Related Marketing

On Friday, a Federal judge in Minnesota sentenced Cameron Lewis, age 36, and his father Tyron Lewis, both of Monticello, Utah, to 17 and five years respectively for defrauding hundreds of school districts of nearly $40 million using a now-defunct charity called the National School Fitness Foundation (NSFF).The fraud amounted to money laundering; a Ponzi scheme.I know Cameron. Met him the first. Tags: National School Fitness Foundation Aaron Tonkin Charity Fraud Cameron Lewis.

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

A Duck-Billed Platypus

Cause Related Marketing

The other day I got an email commenting on my nostalgic post last June about the old Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Telethon.I spent seven years at CMN, five of the them writing the Telethon. In those days it was 21 hours of live TV that aired on more than 225 TV stations in the U.S. and Canada.In

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Cause-Related Marketing for the Beautiful People

Cause Related Marketing

Mencken, the legendary cynic, wrote, “nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Recently James Surowiecki, in his book “The Wisdom of Crowds” says that’s probably false of Americans (or any group in the aggregate).However,

Dueling Cause-Related Marketing Studies

Cause Related Marketing

Four studies have come out this year that aim to measure either directly or obliquely consumer’s attitudes towards cause-related marketing.All the studies have confidence levels of 95 percent or more.

Limited-Edition Cause-Related Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

Still selling $15 pink hoodies and $28 cosmetic bags to benefit your charity? That’s so 2006!Right Right now is selling limited-edition handbags to benefit the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.


Cause Related Marketing

Today is Thanksgiving in the States, a day when we we watch parades and American football before eating an enormous feast of turkey, 'stuffing,' and mashed potatoes, then chase it down with pumpkin pie.We

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Interview On Cause Marketing With a Trade Magazine Reporter

Cause Related Marketing

Last week I did “email interview” on cause-related marketing with Carol Gustafson, a writer for W&E Today, a trade magazine for the western and English equine industry.She asked me five questions.

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Cheap Tricks II: Getting Your Cause Marketing Campaign Noticed in a Crowded Market

Cause Related Marketing

Kick Up Your HeelsLast Tuesday’s post talked about showmanship in cause-related marketing.These days a lot of causes and their sponsors are doing very similar campaigns. Rather like Gene Kelly and Van Johnson doing the same dance steps in their fine film Brigadoon.So how do you stand out?As

Cheap Tricks I: Getting Your Cause Marketing Campaign Noticed in a Crowded World

Cause Related Marketing

I happened to catch a few moments of Gene Kelly and Van Johnson dancing in the 1954 MGM musical Brigadoon on television the other night.As was typical of Kelly’s choreography, when he and Van Johnson danced together their steps mirrored each other.

Vendor Programs and Cause-Related Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

It’s no secret that cause-related marketing is typically aimed at consumers. But that doesn’t mean that the sales relationship from manufacturer to consumer is direct. The Internet notwithstanding, most manufacturers require sales channel partners.

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Cause-Related Marketing to Your List

Cause Related Marketing

I was in California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) the other day and spied this handcard as the waiter presented me with the bill.The offer is straightforward. Have a party at CPK and they’ll kick back 20 percent of the total sales to your charity.

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'Email a Duck, Raise a Buck' by Munchkin for Susan G. Komen

Cause Related Marketing

Web 2.0 Cause-Related MarketingBack in February I wrote about Project Pink a cause-related marketing campaign benefiting Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation from Munchkin, Inc.Now they’ve added a Web 2.0 twist.“Munchkin Munchkin Inc.,”

'Bake for the Cure' Benefitting Susan G Komen

Cause Related Marketing

Half BakedACH Foods, which owns food brands including Mazola cooking oils, Spice Islands spices, Fleischman’s Yeast, released on Sunday the FSI on the left in support of their campaign for Susan G. Komen called Bake for the Cure.In the campaign, when you buy any of a dozen or so participating ACH brands and submit proof of purchase at the Bake for the Cure website, the company will donate 25. Komen Teri Hatcher

Chili’s and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Cause Related Marketing

I was in Chili’s today and I ordered their “Triple-Dipper,” a three appetizer combo. While I waited for the food, I noticed another kind of combo. Chili’s is doing a full-featured cause-related marketing campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.There was a four-sided laminated table tent outlining the campaign on the table. When the waitress brought the drinks she slapped down Chili’s. Jude Chili's Create-A-Pepper

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Cause Related Marketing

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.But, like any other self-respecting blogger, Tags: Munchkin BoxTops for Education St.