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How to Create a Volunteer Handbook Your Volunteers Will Use

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If your organization relies on volunteers, even just a little, you need a volunteer handbook that spells out expectations, policies, and procedures. A volunteer handbook gives volunteers the information they need about the organization and its mission, and answers any common questions they may have.

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How to Write an Effective Nonprofit Mission Statement

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Whether your nonprofit is an enterprise-level organization or a team of one , your mission statement serves as the heart of both your cause and your fundraising strategy.

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3 Donor Acknowledgement Ideas & Implementation Tips

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Today’s article dives into a vital topic for nonprofits – letting your supporters know how much they’ve impacted your cause and how much you appreciate them.

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Using Inkind Donations To Help You Grow Your Nonprofit

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The best gift a nonprofit organization can receive is unrestricted cash, but an inkind donation of something your organization needs and would have otherwise purchased is also a high-value gift.

When and How to Pay Yourself a Nonprofit Salary

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As the founder of a new nonprofit, you are probably doing everything yourself and working for free instead of taking a nonprofit salary. . I get it. Everything seems important and you really, really want to get your new organization up and running so you can do the work of changing lives.

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How to Win the Game of Facebook Fundraising

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Facebook fundraising makes it easy for supporters to show their support of your mission with a quick donation. It is easy to post a link to a crowdfunding platform or to your website’s donation page, but letting supporters give directly through Facebook makes it even easier to capture impulse donors.

Debunking 7 Common Myths For New Nonprofit Professionals

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You’re ready to save the world, right? Chances are, you’re not starting work with a nonprofit with that level of naivete, but you do want to make a meaningful difference for a cause you care about.

Best Practices When Running a Product Fundraiser

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It would be nice if a product fundraiser miraculously raised money on its own, right? You offer something for sale that benefits a nonprofit, and people scoop it up! Alas…they don’t.

How to Send a Nonprofit Appeal and Get Results

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Direct mail is a valuable fundraising strategy, but figuring out how to send a nonprofit appeal can be confusing. It seems like it should be simple. You’re just mailing a letter asking for a donation, right? But there are dozens of ways it can go wrong.

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How to Form and Use an Advisory Board for Your Nonprofit

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A nonprofit Advisory Board can be a great way to engage key supporters with relevant professional skills, life experiences, and networks. But many Advisory Boards sit idle, with members not knowing their role and organizations not knowing what to do with the Board they created.

How to Convert Your Nonprofit Website Visitor into a Donor

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Every nonprofit website visitor is a potential donor. And we all want more donors, right? By telling the right stories in the right way, you can lure visitors to your donation page and inspire them to give. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. The challenge is grabbing your visitor’s attention.

Nonprofit Fundraising Videos Inspire More Giving

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Nonprofit fundraising videos bring your organization’s work to life in a way that written stories just can’t. Videos show as well as tell. They speak to supporters with authenticity and display your story in a way that easily grabs the viewer’s heart. In short, videos make an impression.

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20+ Nonprofit Tools You Need to Get Your New Nonprofit Up and Running

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Building an organization from the ground up is a challenge, but with the right nonprofit tools, the heavy lifting gets easier. There are SO MANY nonprofit tools out there, all promising to make your work easier as you grow your new nonprofit. The key is to find the right tool for the right task. .

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Create a Successful Volunteer Program that Inspires Volunteers to Follow Through

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The key to a successful volunteer program is follow through. Maybe you’ve been there: Someone contacts your organization eager to volunteer. They enthusiastically sign up for several upcoming events and offer their professional assistance in creating a marketing plan. You’re thrilled!

Analyzing Budgets and Saving Money at a Nonprofit

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A penny saved is a penny earned. Organizations are always making miracles happen on tight budgets. So, it’s hard to imagine cutting additional costs at a nonprofit. The best leaders understand two things must happen to sustain a nonprofit: SAVING money and RAISING money.

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Is the Google Ad Grant Right for Your Nonprofit?

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The world of nonprofits is diverse. Organizations all over the country do their best to make the world a better place. While some nonprofits have secure resources, most are keenly aware of the perpetual cycle of securing the materials they need for success.

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How to Move Facebook Followers to Your Nonprofit Email List

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Facebook is a powerful marketing tool for small nonprofits, but the real gold is in a robust nonprofit email list. You might be surprised to learn that email is a more reliable way to reach your supporters and build relationships with them.

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5 Website Features All New Nonprofits Should Know and Use

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Your website is vital to keep your nonprofit running by enabling you to connect with donors, volunteers, and members that provide needed support.

4 Online Marketing Tips to Boost Your Fundraising Campaigns

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Since the start of the pandemic, and even before that, nonprofits have turned to virtual fundraising to boost revenue and engage supporters in their mission.

Make A Good First Impression Online

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Did you know that most donors check out your website before they make a gift ?? And if your website doesn’t make a good first impression, you’ll lose the donor and the gift faster than you can say ‘goodbye online donation.’. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, the simpler, the better. It just needs to look professional, clean, and inviting. If it looks out-of-date, hard to read, or uninteresting, people will click away, which is the worst thing that can happen.

The difference one can make

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One person can make a big difference in the lives of others. You know that. You see it every day in your nonprofit. Today I want to share a story about being on the receiving end of the difference one person makes. If you’ve followed me for very long, you know I live on a little farm with horses in my backyard. We LOVE our horses. They’re part of our family and we spend time with them every day (even if we don’t ride nearly as much as we’d like).

4 Keys to Raising the Money of Your Dreams

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Raising money can be easy or it can be hard – it’s your choice. There are two things that make fundraising easy: knowing (and doing) what works, and believing you can be successful. If you’re using tried and true fundraising and marketing strategies, you will raise money. More importantly, if you believe in your cause and you’re passionate about the work your nonprofit is doing, you will raise BIG money.

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The top 3 attitudes of wildly successful Fundraisers

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Many people are being wildly successful in fundraising these days. After working with several, I’ve noticed that share a few things in common. The are passionate about their cause. They believe deeply in the work their nonprofit does and they love seeing loves changed. They are willing to do whatever it takes to see their nonprofit organization succeed. If that means working long hours, they’ll do it. If that means dealing with problematic Board members, they’ll do it.

Why traditional newsletters don’t work anymore

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You know that saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, it’s time to fix what’s broken with your newsletter. Yep, without even seeing it, I can tell you that there are very likely some things you need to change with your print or email newsletter. I’ve heard from many donors that they don’t even look at newsletters anymore, even if it comes from their favorite nonprofit. You know why? They’re boring and self-serving.

Why traditional newsletters don’t work anymore

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You know that saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, it’s time to fix what’s broken with your newsletter. Yep, without even seeing it, I can tell you that there are very likely some things you need to change with your print or email newsletter. I’ve heard from many donors that they don’t even look at newsletters anymore, even if it comes from their favorite nonprofit. You know why? They’re boring and self-serving.

9 steps to a powerful fundraising plan

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You know you need a fundraising plan, but if you’re like most, you don’t know where to start. . Although planning can seem overwhelming, it’s not really a difficult process, yet it makes all the difference in the world in the success you will enjoy in raising big money. You want that, right? Let me make it simple for you and share the 9 steps to creating a powerful fundraising plan. Step 1. Start where you are.

Are you fundraising on purpose?

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Are you fundraising on purpose? That may seem like a silly question. But it’s one that needs to be answered. So I’ll ask it again. Are you fundraising on prpose? Or are you just taking whatever comes along? There’s a big difference. When you’re fundraising on purpose, you have a plan. You’ve put some thought into what you want to do to raies money and which groups of donors and prospects you want to approach, and how you’ll do it.

Help your donors feel warm and fuzzy and watch what happens

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Jerry Panas is a guru amongst gurus when it comes to fundraising. Recently, I read this in one of his emails: We find that donors who give continuously for four years will continue giving if shown the proper appreciation and applause. You need to celebrate the gift. They will not break the chain. . The problem is that if they give the same amount for four years, four out of five are likely to give that amount again and will not increase. .

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Help your donors feel warm and fuzzy and watch what happens

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Jerry Panas is a guru amongst gurus when it comes to fundraising. Recently, I read this in one of his emails: We find that donors who give continuously for four years will continue giving if shown the proper appreciation and applause. You need to celebrate the gift. They will not break the chain. . The problem is that if they give the same amount for four years, four out of five are likely to give that amount again and will not increase. .

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How to Get Started with a Major Gifts Campaign

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I bet you have more needs at your nonprofit than you can shake a stick at. You have programs that need to be funded, special projects to undertake and maybe equipment or vehicles you’d like to have. Sometimes you can get a foundation to fund those particular needs, but most of the time, the most effective and efficient use of your time is creating a major gifts campaign to raise that money. Yep, I’m talking about getting face-to-face with a donor, telling them the story, then asking for a gift.

How to Get Started with a Major Gifts Campaign

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I bet you have more needs at your nonprofit than you can shake a stick at. You have programs that need to be funded, special projects to undertake and maybe equipment or vehicles you’d like to have. Sometimes you can get a foundation to fund those particular needs, but most of the time, the most effective and efficient use of your time is creating a major gifts campaign to raise that money. Yep, I’m talking about getting face-to-face with a donor, telling them the story, then asking for a gift.

What impression does your Thank-You letter make?

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You’ve likely heard the saying that you get one chance to make a first impression. The first sentence of your Thank-You letter is your first impression with your donor in acknowledging their gift. Get it right and they’ll read on. Mess it up, and they’re done reading. How do you mess up the first line of a Thank-You letter? Make it boring and predictable.

The Nonprofit Secret: The Six Principles of Successful Board/CEO Partnerships

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I bought this book after hearing author Jonathan Schick speak at a conference in Dallas, and I was delighted. It’s a quick read, and full of nuggets of wisdom. If you’re trying to figure out how your Board and Executive Director should be working together, this book will give you a good idea. Interwoven with the “how to” is an engaging story of a fictitious organization and the leadership issues they face.

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Tips to engage your Board in fundraising

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One of the biggest complaints I hear from Executive Directors and Development staff is that they want more from their Board when it comes to fundraising. They want their Board to not only participate but also get excited about it. Is it just wishful thinking to want that much from your Board? I don’t think so. I believe that with the right training and support, ANY Board can become a fundraising Board.

3 Little Tips That Bring BIG Results

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Usually when I teach a webinar or a workshop, people consistently tell me they love the practical tips I share. They love hearing something they can easily implement and see results from. Today, I have 3 simple tips that may seem really elementary, but trust me, they’ll bring you BIG results. Each one will help you put that little extra touch on your fundraising that will help deepen donor relationships. And after all, good fundraising is ALL about the relationships!

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3 Little Tips That Bring BIG Results

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Usually when I teach a webinar or a workshop, people consistently tell me they love the practical tips I share. They love hearing something they can easily implement and see results from. Today, I have 3 simple tips that may seem really elementary, but trust me, they’ll bring you BIG results. Each one will help you put that little extra touch on your fundraising that will help deepen donor relationships. And after all, good fundraising is ALL about the relationships!

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Spread the work around

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If you working on raising the money of your dreams, you should always be on the lookout for people who can help advance your cause. After all, you can’t do it yourself and many hands make light work. The right people can be infinitely helpful to your organization: they can volunteer, they can donate money or stuff, they can help spread the word, and they can connect you to other people who can be tremendous resources for your organization.

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Fundraising isn’t for Fraidy Cats

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“All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and I promise you something great will come of it.” ” This is a line from a new movie called “We Bought a Zoo.” ” I saw the preview weeks ago and I can’t get that phrase out of my head. Maybe because I’m wretling with a few fears right now and I keep thinking about what difference 20 seconds of insane courage would make.

There’s no such thing as competition in the nonprofit world

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I’ve heard several stories lately about Executive Directors being competitive with one another and frankly, it irritates me. What’s the point? Why waste the energy feuding over service delivery? I remember many years ago working for someone like that. He was so quick to point out the flaws in our “competitors&# and talk trash about them. I was quite uncomfortable with it, but wasn’t sure what to say. After all, he’d been there for years and I was new.

In nonprofit fundraising, marketing is key to success

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Marketing is something that many people think they understand, yet few really do. In nonprofit fundraising, marketing is key to success. Fundraising marketing at its simplest is about finding the those people who are likely to care about your cause and giving them the chance to support you. It’s not necessarily about sales, although that’s one part. And it’s not just about advertising. Marketing can be complicated for the nonprofit.

Big Themes for Fundraising Success

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Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at the Ohio Habitat for Humanity conference. I work with lots of Habitat affiliates across the country and this was a treat to be at an event with hundreds of them! I presented several sessions, and there were definitely some themes among the info I shared. Here are a few of the important ones. First, you must be passionate about your work.

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4 Keys to Successful Fundraising in 2012

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As we look to a new year, it’s time to start thinking about what 2012 might hold for us. Will the new year hold more of the same or will things be different? I don’t think it really matters what the new year brings. The more important question to ask is ‘what will you do?’ ’ Over the past few years, many nonprofits have faced a withering economy, nervous Boards, and more demand for services. The organizations that are flourishing (and yes, some are doing great!)

Don’t Get Caught in the Cycle of Mediocre Fundraising!

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If your fundraising is flat (or worse, declining) there are reasons why. Figuring out what is causing your disheartening results is the first step in fixing it. You may feel as though you’re trying everything you can think of and nothing is really working. You want to bring in big bucks, but the truth is your fundraising results are mediocre at best. You’re at a loss as to what to do next. Would you like to know how to find the problem and fix it? Consider the Cycle of Mediocre Fundraising.