Trending Articles

Two Examples of How to Cultivate Your Donors (Even When They Aren’t Your Donors)


There’s a theme to major and legacy gift fundraising. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to uncover it. It’s the importance of relationship building. At the root of every major or legacy gift made there’s an intimate and undoubtedly deep connection between a donor and the organization.

How to Write a Nonprofit Social Media Policy

J Campbell Social Marketing

This is a small excerpt from my book, How to Build and Mobilize a Social Media Community for Your Nonprofit in 90 Days, out now! .

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The Nonprofit Email Apocalypse is Coming

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

For the last several years, we’ve blogged and trained nonprofit communicators about the importance of monitoring email engagement – not just open and click-through rates on individual emails, but how many people on your email list have opened at least one email within a set period time, such as the last three months. . It’s not a number that’s front and center in most email service provider dashboards (but should be). Yet it’s incredibly important to whether your emails get delivered to the inbox or to the spam folder. For this year’s Nonprofit Communications Trends Report , we decided to survey the extent to which nonprofits are implementing good email list management practices. The results are not good. In fact, they are downright awful. We at Nonprofit Marketing Guide aren’t “the sky is falling” alarmist types by nature. But we’re pulling the alarm on this one: If nonprofits don’t start implementing email list management and engagement best practices, they will bring on their own personal email apocalypse. Nonprofits that ignore email engagement and list management best practices will soon find that what used to be an effective communications tool has become utterly unreliable and perhaps even useless. Why? Because if you don’t manage your email marketing for engagement, your deliverability will go down. That’s the email jargon for “your emails will go straight to the spam folder.” It’s time to stop worrying so much about whether your subject line sounds spammy and start worrying about how you manage your mailing list. . We aren’t the only ones sounding the alarm. EveryAction’s 2019 Email Deliverability Study estimates that the nonprofit sector could be losing almost $100 million in donations because appeals are going into spam folders. In its 2019 end-of-year fundraising season wrap-up , M+R reported that email deliverability was a big problem, with many nonprofits struggling to get their email appeals into inboxes. In their 2018 year-end analysis , they found that nonprofits who saw their list size drop year-over-year (because they actively managed their lists, dropping the unengaged) also saw better returns: a 26% improvement in response rate and a 2% improvement in email revenue. Email deliverability and engagement are like the climate change of nonprofit communications. Half of the people are unaware or in denial about it and the other half aren’t sure what to do or if their actions will make a difference. Kivi Leroux Miller, Nonprofit Marketing Guide. It’s time (actually it’s past time, right now, in early 2020) to evaluate where you are and what you need to do. If you are already experiencing problems, you can repair the damage. But it takes a lot of time, energy and work to do so (more than managing for engagement in the first place). and the results aren’t guaranteed. And for anyone thinking that just switching to another email provider will solve your problems: think again. The heart of the problem is your list and how you manage it. Transferring bad habits to a new email provider won’t work. Nonprofits Largely Ignoring Email List Management Best Practices. A basic tenet of email engagement and deliverability is to only mail people who demonstrate that they want your content by continuing to open it. It doesn’t take much to be considered “engaged.” While there isn’t a hard and fast rule at this time, most email service providers consider a subscriber engaged if they have opened at least one email in the last 3-6 months. When a subscriber has stopped opening emails after a designated amount of time, you should send them a re-engagement series of emails to try to get them to open an email again. If they still don’t open an email, you should stop emailing them (or at a minimum, limit the number of emails you send in the future.). We found very few nonprofits have adopted these best practices. A little over half of nonprofits are implementing email re-engagement campaigns, although they are often waiting too long to do them. We found that 12% of nonprofits consider someone unengaged at three months or less and therefore ready for a re-engagement campaign. Another 15% set this mark at six months, and 27% set it at 12 months. The remaining 46% of nonprofits surveyed do not send email re-engagement campaigns. Nonprofits Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Emailing. Unfortunately, even some nonprofits who are running re-engagement campaigns stop there and fail to scale back or stop emailing unengaged subscribers. A whopping 77% of nonprofits say that they never cut back the number of emails they send to unengaged subscribers, with 69% saying they never stop emailing, even if the subscriber is clearly no longer engaged. This is incredibly dangerous behavior, thus our apocalyptic warnings. Some nonprofits are trying, of course. But their standards for when to slow or stop emailing are far outside the email industry benchmark of three-six months. Only 4% of nonprofits cut back sending after three months of no engagement, with another 5% cutting back at six months of no engagement. Another 13% cut back at somewhere between one to three years. Removing someone from the mailing list entirely is even harder for nonprofits to implement relatively quickly. Just 4% of nonprofits said they would stop emailing someone entirely if they hadn’t engaged in six months. Eleven percent of nonprofits are using the 12-month mark, with another 16% stopping email at some point between 18 months and 3 years. This is serious. You must stop emailing people who never open your emails. Otherwise, you have no one to blame but yourself for causing your nonprofit’s email apocalypse. . Email List Management Nonprofit Email Marketing

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How to Set a Manageable Social Media Posting Schedule

J Campbell Social Marketing

As a nonprofit marketer for a small organization, you wear many hats. . Between answering emails, attending meetings, coordinating events, and more, who has time to maintain more than one social media account? How can you set and maintain a manageable social media posting schedule for your nonprofit?

Joe Rogan, true crime, and the 2nd podcasting revolution

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

In 2007 I subscribed to and became a regular listener of my first podcast, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation. Since that time, I have listened to thousands of others, spanning a variety of industries and delivery formats ( The Tim Ferris Show being one of my all-time favourites).

Donor Relationships: 5 Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Ann Green

by Steven Shattuck. Donor relationship development is vital for your nonprofit’s retention rate and revenue consistency. Overcome the challenges of relationship building.

How to Write a Collaborative Communications Strategy

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

When Cathy White shared with our Mentoring Program participants the collaborative process she went through to create her communications strategy, I knew other communications directors would be interested in hearing about it too. Cathy White. Guest Post by Cathy White.

More Trending

Facebook in 2020 – What Nonprofits Need to Know

J Campbell Social Marketing

The social media landscape of 2020 looks vastly different from the one in which Facebook entered the market, February 2004.

Fundraising in an age of coronavirus (Covid-19)

Fundraising Coach

If you’re one of my private coaching clients, you’ve already heard me ask: what preparations are you making for the possibility that your fundraising event might be canceled due to the coronavirus (now officially called Covid-19)? The numbers of coronavirus seem to still be low outside of China.

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Is Your Communication Donor-Centered?

Ann Green

Is your communication donor-centered? Really, is it? Because often it’s not. You see countless examples of generic, organization-centered communication that barely acknowledges the donor.

How to Prepare Your Nonprofit for a PR Crisis

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Flickr Creative Commons photo by fotologic. Sometimes, bad things happen to good organizations. Because of this, even the best-run nonprofits need to have a crisis communications plan.

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How to Project Your Planned Gift Potential


“I owe a great deal of thanks to the person who invested in planned giving 15 years ago.”. I was sitting in the crowd at the 2019 ANA Chicago Nonprofit Conference, listening to the presentation titled “Retaining Your Sustaining Donors” when my ears perked up.

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11 Strategic Ways to Grow Your Nonprofit Social Media Followers This Year

J Campbell Social Marketing

Nonprofits use social media platforms every single day to connect with constituents , raise awareness for causes, and collect donations.

Donor Data: 5 Data Tips for More Efficient Fundraising

Fundraising Coach

Each and every interaction your nonprofit has with supporters comes with a data point. Whether that’s an opened email newsletter, a social media comment, or the many digital donations made during your year-end fundraiser , these interactions provide a wealth of information.

Your School’s Strategic Plan Needs Commitment, Courage, and Clarity

Mission Minded

Successful independent schools across the country are, for the first time in decades, watching waitlists shrink and enrollment numbers soften, The post Your School’s Strategic Plan Needs Commitment, Courage, and Clarity appeared first on Mission Minded. Blog Independent Schools Strategic Planning

No Wonder Defining Comms Success is So Hard!

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I am deep into the data analysis for the 2020 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report , which we’ll release next week. For the first time ever, we surveyed nonprofit communications staff on objectives for their work. We asked them to pick their top 3 of 12 choices.

Donor-advised Funds Are Misunderstood, Bound to Be Regulated, and Not Going Anywhere


“Have you read this one?”. “Zach, hold on I didn’t even finish the other articles you sent me yet.” ” I guess I was being a bit overwhelming. Okay, yeah, I’m sorry. It’s just there is SO much out there on DAFs right now. It’s hard to keep up.”.

How to Address Negative Online Comments About Your Nonprofit

J Campbell Social Marketing

Addressing negative online comments about your nonprofit – something that every single nonprofit social media manager has had to deal with at one point or another. .

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Create a system for expressing gratitude

Fundraising Coach

Do you have a system for expressing gratitude? For telling your nonprofit's donors how grateful you are for their support? In my weekly coaching email , Fundraising Kick , we've been looking at systems we use in fundraising.

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How Monthly Giving is a Win-Win for Your Nonprofit

Ann Green

A few weeks ago I wrote about ways to help you become more successful in 2020. One of those was to emphasize monthly giving. I’d like to elaborate on that some more in this post. Monthly giving is a win-win for your nonprofit. You can raise more money and boost your retention rate.

Online Fundraising Success When Surrounded by Skeptics

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

When we were helping Jen Newmeyer brainstorm the title for her new book, as soon as one of us said, “ The Insider’s Guide to Online Fundraising: Finding Success When Surrounded by Skeptics, ” we knew we had it.

Only 43 Percent of Organizations Met Their Major Gift Fundraising Goals in 2019


You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to know that major gift fundraising is of the utmost importance.

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How Nonprofits Should Adapt Their Social Media Strategy in 2020

J Campbell Social Marketing

Watch the recording of my most recent live webinar: How Nonprofits Should Adapt Their Social Media Strategy in 2020. Slides are here.

5 Ways to Keep Motivation After the Year-End Giving Season

Fundraising Coach

There’s no denying that year-end giving is a powerful force. After all, some reports suggest as much as one-third of all annual giving occurs in December alone! However, once the final numbers are calculated and the year-end campaigns end, what happens then?

6 Nonprofit Renaming Tips

Mission Minded

Just because your nonprofit refreshed its brand doesn’t mean that it should change its name. Most often, we counsel our. The post 6 Nonprofit Renaming Tips appeared first on Mission Minded. Blog Nonprofit Naming

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This Thank You Email Gave Me the Warm and Fuzzies

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

One day last month, I may or may not have been avoiding work and was down one of those Wikipedia rabbit holes I so often find myself.

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Looking at the New Year with 20/20 Vision

Ann Green

Happy New Year, everyone! Wow, it’s 2020, and I couldn’t resist the 20/20 pun. Not only are we entering a new year, we’re also entering a new decade. Many people use the New Year to make changes and improvements in their lives. You can do the same for your nonprofit organization. .

5 Habits of Successful Nonprofit Social Media Managers in 2020

J Campbell Social Marketing

In the world of nonprofit social media, the landscape is changing so rapidly, and it’s becoming harder and harder to build community in our hyper-connected world. .

Mailbag: How Do I Get a Corporate Partner to “Pay Up” After an Event?

Selfish Giving

Any suggestions for getting local businesses to “pay up” after an event where we gave permission to use our name/logo in exchange for a set % of sales that day? By no means is this the first time I’ve had to “nudge” for payment. My usual follow-up email works in getting the check.

Simultaneous Strategic Planning and Branding with Sterne School

Mission Minded

If your organization is considering undertaking both strategic planning and branding work, you might consider tackling both simultaneously. Doing this. The post Simultaneous Strategic Planning and Branding with Sterne School appeared first on Mission Minded.

The Difference Between Content Marketing and Permission-Based Marketing

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Permission-Based Marketing and Content Marketing are the two most popular marketing strategies in the nonprofit sector, according to our Nonprofit Communications Trends Report research.

11 Digital Marketing KPIs That Every Nonprofit Should Be Tracking


11 Digital Marketing KPIs That Every Nonprofit Should Be Tracking. by Zoe Allen. Key Performance Indicators allow you to truly understand your nonprofit’s digital marketing success and make educated decisions about future spending. Take the guesswork out of your decision making.

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Newsletter: Sponsorship Sales Advice from a Race Car Driver ; Revealed: The B2B Purpose Paradox ; Why Nonprofit Events Should Go Vegan

Selfish Giving

Here's our first pick for the Social Impact Book Club ! Megan Strand from Engage for Good and I chose Darren Walker's From Generosity to Justice: A New Gospel of Wealth.

Does Your Logo and Visual Identity Send the Right Signals?

Mission Minded

Contrary to common misconception, your logo is not your brand. It’s a powerful symbol for your brand. Think of your. The post Does Your Logo and Visual Identity Send the Right Signals? appeared first on Mission Minded. Blog Nonprofit Branding Nonprofit Design

Forget the Elevator Speeches and Give Your Board Members a Word-of-the-Month

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I was recently contacted by Julianne Buck, executive director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County about the Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts I send.

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Make a Good Impression by Showing Some #DonorLove

Ann Green

Not long ago while I was scrolling through my email, one message stood out. It was a thank you video from a nonprofit organization. A week or so before that I received a thank you card from another nonprofit.

I will never forget John Haydon.

J Campbell Social Marketing

Sharing a laugh with John, Joe Waters, and Julie Seymour Edwards. There are few people in the world that have had the impact on my life that John Haydon had. . It started on a rainy day in early 2010. . I was picking up my infant daughter from her first day at daycare.

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