Cold calling major donors to arrange appointments doesn’t work— but this method does


I devised the engagement call as a result of our own ineffectual experience with outbound telemarketing here at MarketSmart. Our cold-calling wasn’t working! Here’s how it works. Then let me know how it works!

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Craft a Positive “Page Not Found” Experience

Getting Attention

These two approaches work well: Sorry, we can’t find the page you’re looking for ( Animal Sheltering, HSUS ).

Trending Sources

How to Raise Your E-Newsletter Open Rate [Results from Our Experiment]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

At the same time, we started experimenting with shorter subject lines, often just two or three words. And it worked. What’s worked for you? I’d love to hear about your experiments! Trying to improve the open rates for your email newsletters?

Wow Experiences and Liquid Content


“ It is a wow experience. With Coca-Cola Journey, you experience the Coca-Cola brand, its story and vision within a context that invites you to participate. Prioritize the user-experience. What barriers are working against you?

Work Our Audience-Driven News Climate

Getting Attention

How YOU Can Work this Trend to Benefit YOUR Organization. Experiment with new ideas, and learn from the results. Thanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.

How MarketSmart Works With Partners


People often ask me, “How does MarketSmart work with partners (allies) to help nonprofits lower costs and increase revenues?” So, today I thought I’d explain how we work with consultants, consulting firms, direct marketing agencies, CRM software companies and others. But we need consultants to use their experience and smart thinking to come up with new ways to enhance what can be achieved with our platform. Do you work for a CRM or other software company?

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Fixing The Donor Experience

The Agitator

not specifically the donors to his own nonprofit), says: “Over the course of 28 years working in local nonprofits — with 22 years in fundraising roles — I’ve developed a growing awareness that donors may not always realize their importance and value to the nonprofits they support.”

Nonprofit Annual Reports – Advice for You Regardless of Your Experience

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

While we’ve organized the site by topic for some time (under the “What are you working on?” ” section of the homepage ), we will now further break down that advice based on experience level, making it easier to find the right advice for you.

Chunking Out Your Time: What Works for You?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Read virtually anything on productivity, and you’ll come across the concept of chunking out your time: working on one specific thing at a specific time. I’ve tried them all, and for me, a combination of day themes and Pomodoro seems to work best. What works for you?

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Nonprofits And The Customer Experience

The Agitator

In the commercial marketing arena, there’s heaps of chat about the ‘customer experience’ and how to improve it in the interest of retaining and up-selling customers. Nonprofit marketers who watch that space are probably a bit dismissive, because few of us have stores, physical products, services, complex transactional websites, call centers and so forth where it’s obvious the customer experience plays out for better or worse.

Marketing Your Cause to Millennials—What Works

Getting Attention

Guest blogger, Chapin Cole is a proud Millennial who works in nonprofit development in the California Bay Area. Yes, I’m a proud member of Generation Y, and I often talk about my experience in the context of my age, but I won’t be pigeonholed. What has worked for you?

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Charity Newsletters – Extraordinary Experiences … for the Rest of Us

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Simone Joyaux calls them “extraordinary experiences.” ” personal experiences that draw your donor deeper into your organization. Donor newsletters: Extraordinary experiences … for the rest of us. Tom Ahern.

10 Shocking Scary Secrets of Working in Fundraising

Wild Woman Fundraising

Another thing he saw over and over again was nonprofit boards assuming that everyone who worked at the nonprofit was an idiot. I HEARD THIS from other people when I worked at this nonprofit, both the board and the CEO thought staff were STUPID! Is this true, in your experience?

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5 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Raise Money Like charity:water

J Campbell Social Marketing

Take the advice of the incredibly talented and enthusiastic Paull Young , past Director of Digital at the organization, currently at Instagram working on Strategic Partnerships. Inspire – Activate – Experience. What is your donor experience?

Make Your Nonprofit Website a Positive Experience -- Even When Things Go Wrong

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Save the Children has made getting an error a positive experience with this humorous, adorable and on-brand message that appears when you attempt to access a page that doesn't exist. Are you making this experience one that helps visitors to your site feel good about your organization?

Spread the work around

Get Fully Funded

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. People don’t have to be Board members to serve on a committee for your organization, they just have to care about the work your nonprofit is doing, and be willing to give their time and talent. . Make sure they have the time and are willing to do some work.

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Why the #IceBucketChallenge works

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Look to Christopher Olivola’s experiments from The Science of Giving. This provides a common experience and goal, which helps build momentum and community. Are your social networks full of friends being doused in icy water? You’ve witnessed the #IceBucketChallenge.

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Reader Questions: Does adding extra stuff your appeal mailing work?

Wild Woman Fundraising

You can include other things like postcards and bookmarks, but you have to test and see if these work for YOUR donors, not just take someone’s word that they work for ALL donors. What is YOUR experience?

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Three Fundraising Lessons from a 365-Day Experiment

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

When Marta Lindsey, the communications and development director at TransForm , told me about her experiment to see what she could learn about fundraising from all the charity solicitations that arrived in her mailbox over one year, I immediately asked if she would share the story with you.

[FNAME] Never Works

The Agitator

Here — in [FNAME] Never Works — is his core message and question: “There is a fine line between marketing brilliance and having to walk into your boss’s office and explain a poor customer digital experience that went viral. Axciom is certainly one of the top bananas when it comes to database marketing. These folks breathe data.

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Why Social Fundraising Works

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

So, why does social fundraising work so well? Our personal experiences and social ties often drive our decision to donate to a cause. The experience of supporting a good cause becomes one that people can have together, which makes it even more powerful

Making It Work – Nonprofits and Pro Bono Creative

Getting Attention

I recently spoke with Patricia Courtois, Principal of Clarke Advertising and Public Relations (based in Sarasota, Florida), about how to make it all work from both sides of the fence. It was a great experience for both, by the way.

Are You Working on CX?

The Agitator

The Agitator and colleagues like Ken Burnett have been writing heaps about customer/donor experience, hoping to establish that how nonprofits engage with their donors is as important to their fundraising success as it is to corporations engaging customers effectively for business success.

How to Work With a Social Media Consultant

J Campbell Social Marketing

Despite your best intentions and great ideas, perhaps you do not know how to begin to work with a consultant or what to expect. I come across this situation in my work, and I want to help. Do you want to work with a large agency or a solo freelancer?

Announcing the Fundraising Career Conference

Wild Woman Fundraising

This goal of this fundraising career conference is to educate fundraisers in how to research and pick good job opportunities and make a more functional work environment. 1pm PT (4pm ET) How to create better boundaries at work (Speaker TBD).

Discovery into the Online Health Experience of American Indian and Alaskan Natives


The study focused on American Indians in the Central Plains region of the United States specifically and provides insight for those working with members in this community. What insights can you share based on your work with AIAN communities? . image courtesy of nattu.

How Does Work Get on Your Plate?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I asked this question on Facebook yesterday about who puts unexpected work on your plate. As you can see, program staff are most likely to surprise nonprofit marketing staff with additional work. ( How does work get on your plate, either in a planned way or an unexpected way?

What Actually Works In Marketing in 5 Sentences

J Campbell Social Marketing

One man asked, “SO, after all this – Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords, blogging – can you tell us, in 30 words or less – What actually works ?” But at the end of the day – What actually works ?

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Might a Rotating Twitter Account Work for You?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Or your volunteers shared their collective experiences week by week working with your nonprofit?

Nonprofits and Consultants: Best and Worst Experiences?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

If you work for a nonprofit, what are your best and worst experiences working with consultants and freelancers? If you are a consultant or freelancer, what are your best and worst experiences working with nonprofit clients? Inquiring minds want to know.

Nine ways you should double check your donors’ experience

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A great 10-minute exercise for today is to walk through the key experiences you provide to your online donors. The experience is often awful, especially after someone makes a digital gift. Work on improving one a week so you’ll be ready for giving season. I’m a big fan of putting yourself in your donors’ shoes. You can uncover all kinds of areas for fundraising improvement.

It Worked Because We Were Ready For It

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Second, we asked our founders to write an op-ed about their experience with a successful IPO that spoke to Facebook employees and encouraged their smart, thoughtful philanthropy. Ultimately, this three-step approach worked well. Robin Dixon of the Firelight Foundation.

Work is a State of Mind, Not a Place

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

A recent survey of business executives concluded that work isn’t really a place any longer — it’s a state of mind. I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments. .

Facebook in 2015 – What Nonprofits Need to Know

J Campbell Social Marketing

No matter where you post your videos, the ones that work best on Facebook are those that entertain, inform or educate on a particular topic. Getting results from Facebook ads is hard work. 8) Facebook at Work will come online. Thanks for this great infographic, ShortStack!

Reader Questions: How can you measure if your mailings are working?

Wild Woman Fundraising

And thank you for telling me about the constraints you’re working under. Here’s Paul’s second article, showing you how this graph could work on a spreadsheet. Do you have any ideas for how to measure if your mailings are working?

Good Works! is a Great Book for Companies & Causes

Selfish Giving

There’s a great new book out for cause and corporate marketers: Good Works! But if you work in the field or follow my blog you know him as the president of Cause Marketing Forum , the #1 destination for business and nonprofit leaders that want to help others and boost the bottom line.

You CAN Have It All

Getting Attention

But about halfway through the conference, I felt totally depleted… I was stressed by balancing my work responsibilities, things back home and the many choices I had before me in Austin. As yet another work email came in, I turned to fellow marketer Kerala Taylor ( Oregon Entrepreneurs Network ), and declared: I need to take our own advice, and do my best to be present here and now. If you’re a supervisor, set the tone of work/life balance for your team.

How to give donors a more personal experience on your site

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A conundrum for many fundraisers is that donors often want to focus their support on specific parts of your work, but you need to raise money for the full gamut of what you do. How can you help people choose the experience they get with your organization

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Success Story: A Shift in Communications Worked!

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We love to hear success stories about the nonprofits we work with. Elexa Liu works with Hope Worldwide in Hong Kong and has participated in many of our training events both online and in person (Yes, she flew all the way to Seattle to take part in the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop I teach with Nancy Schwartz). Again, thank you for sharing/teaching/passing on your knowledge and experience and resources about nonprofit marketing and communication.

I am ignorant, aka Failures of 2012

Wild Woman Fundraising

” “Often we learn more from understanding why something doesn’t work than from why it does. Failure to realize earlier that working a lot for someone was building their business, not mine. Experience things fully, vividly, selflessly. Learn from my failures!

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