What to do instead of the crusty old estate planning seminars you run hoping to generate planned gifts?


Instead, why not invite longtime donors, volunteers, board members (or any other group) to participate in a focus group? . That’s an offer that focuses on your supporters’ emotions rather than the transactional aspects of their legacy gifts. Then you should be transparent about the purpose of the focus group. And, finally, give them a survey after the focus group to see if they are interested in making such a gift.

The 3 Buckets of Donor Engagement


Author and consultant Susan Howlett says, “We spend too much time asking people for money and not enough time engaging people deeply in our work.”

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How a Little Communications Research Can Yield Big Results

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Our team blends methods from cultural anthropology, such as in-depth interviews, with analytics and traditional marketing and PR methods – think focus groups, media analysis, and message testing. Beth Hallowell.

A Honey of a Cause-Related Marketing Campaign

Cause Related Marketing

Try as I might I can’t imagine the focus group that suggested Haagen-Dazs’ fun and creative campaign cause-related marketing to save the American honey bee.You’ve probably seen it.

When To Give Up On A Donor?

The Agitator

From too many donor focus groups, I’ve carried away the observation that a startling number of donors don’t even know they’re donors — that is, donors to the specific cause or charity that has them under the lens that particular evening. I’ve had two experiences that make me question when to give up on a non-responsive donor or member.

What Russian Troll Farms Can Teach Nonprofits About Social Media Marketing

J Campbell Social Marketing

On Facebook alone, an estimated 126 million Americans may have been exposed to material the group produced! There is no question of the despicable, evil nature and intent of the Internet Research Group. 2) They were laser-focused on message.

Vote on the Topic of the Next Free Webinar

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

July 12: Focus Groups and Surveys: Easy, Affordable Research for Nonprofit Marketers. You can pick the topic of our next free webinar. There are four choices, and here is the current leaderboard: Creating a Quick and Dirty Marketing Plan (39%).

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USF Field School on Social Marketing

Social Marketing and Social Change

Class sessions will combine didactic presentations with group discussions and in-class exercises. Focus Group Research Strategies with Dr. Richard Krueger. This course is an intensive overview of focus group procedures in the public and non-profit environment. Attention will be placed on question development, moderator skills, analysis strategies and planning critical logistical details of focus group interviews, and analyzing results of focus group interviews.

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Audience Research: Where to Find Polls and Survey Data

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Now’s the fun part: learning more about the groups of people who really are most important to your success. You can and should do some original research via surveys, interviews, and informal focus groups with people on your lists (which I talk about in Chapter 3 of my book ). You’ve accepted that “the general public” is not a target audience. Congratulations!

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How to Plan a New Website Without Your Head Exploding

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We did most of the research internally to save money, including focus groups, SEO/keyword research, etc. Once that is done, we’ll be able to see the site as a whole, make adjustments from there, test internally and with focus groups, and when ready, move on to launch.

How to destroy your fundraising program in 45 minutes with little more than a one-way mirror and sandwiches

Donor Power Blog

Here's my column in this month's FundRaising Success magazine, Nonprofit Fun With Focus Groups. Teaser: This [piece of direct mail] is stupid and ugly. Nobody’s going to respond to it. Anyone who would is a philistine, a terrorist and a traitor to America. I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to a fight! Right here and now

4 Easy Ways to Get Closer & Boost Action

Getting Attention

These insights enable you to focus in on what’s important or interesting to both of you, and how best to keep in touch via a commonly-used channel (social, mobile, text, mail) at a receptive time.

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Why people give

Get Fully Funded

They want to belong to a group. You can do this in lots of different ways like using a written or online survey, a focus group, or simply asking in person. People give for all kinds of reasons. Most new or inexperienced fundraisers believe that people give for the tax benefit. Usually, that’s one of the last reasons why someone gives. Here are some of the most common reasons for giving: • They want to help someone. They feel moved by someone’s story.

Marketers from Mars

The Agitator

To put it another way, marketers must avoid being a focus group of one. At the same time, we also caution about being a “focus group of one” Make the effort to understand where on the adoption curve your audience is. I just read this report from ExactTarget — Marketers from Mars — which underscored for me how marketers, including fundraisers, can get too far out in front of their audiences.

14 Tips for Making Your Nonprofit Email More Effective

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billion email sets from MailChimp , ran three focus groups, and did a survey to come to his conclusions about the best email marketing practices. " Zarella found from his focus groups that people tend to think of email as "homework" and set up a schedule to handle it.

Coming Up Next in the Webinar Series

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

July 28 : Focus Groups and Surveys: Easy, Affordable Research for Nonprofit Marketers, featuring Sarah Durham (registration opening soon).

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The Empathy Link in Social Marketing

Social Marketing and Social Change

The struggle I often see in social marketing research is over how many questions can be fitted into an interview session or focus group guide. As it turned out, this young woman had met the age eligibility for the focus group but was a ninth grader.

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Want Better Payoffs From Your Donor Communication? Start Customizing It

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Lapsed donors with a high giving history need more attention through personal letters, phone calls by senior staff or Board members, and if time permits, personal visits and focus group study. Somya Qureshi.

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Get Involved in AFP

A Small Change

These kinds of groups have been a great encouragement to me when the economy makes work more difficult, or just to chat about everyday frustrations and joys in fundraising. If you are already involved and are not benefiting from networking or connecting with fellow professionals join a committee or focus group. Do you have the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in your community?

Mixed Links for Nonprofit Marketers

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

July 12: Focus Groups and Surveys: Easy, Affordable Research for Nonprofit Marketers. Another Friday, another round of Mixed Links – good stuff for nonprofit communicators! Let me start with a little request. I need your help deciding the topics for our fall schedule.

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What research can't tell you

Donor Power Blog

If you've ever made important decisions based completely on the findings of survey research or focus groups, there's a good chance you've been stung by the bad -- the sometimes shockingly bad -- information these sources can give. The dumbest thing you can do in a focus group is show direct mail and ask for reactions.

The Sweet Spot of Cause Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

You can also use certain focus groups/ qualitative efforts like sorts and the like and get close. The graphic at left is a Venn diagram that describes cause marketing relationships between the usual three stakeholders; cause, company/brand and the consumer.

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9 Tips for Creating an Editorial Calendar Chock Full of What Your Community Wants

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Conduct a survey, do a focus group and evaluate your analytics. Diane Greenhalgh. Diane Greenhalgh joins us again with some more great ideas on creating content for your nonprofit. Guest Post by Diane Greenhalgh of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Maximizing Your Messaging in Cause Marketing Campaigns

Cause Related Marketing

tagline, but I’ll bet it either tested well with women or came up during a focus group.

How to Define Your Target Audience: Is Your Nonprofit a Match for Your Community?

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Many nonprofits make the mistake of trying to get the people they want to reach to think exactly like them, when they really should focus on getting people to take action by understanding their audiences better.

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4 Doable Ways to Get Closer & Boost Action

Getting Attention

These insights enable you to focus in on what’s important or interesting to both of you, and how best to keep in touch via a commonly-used channel (social, mobile, text, mail) at a receptive time.

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The Gmail Promotions Tab – stop whining and get back to work

Sea Change Strategies

A couple decades ago when I was first learning how to do focus groups, I worked for a think tank that worked on urgent policy issues. During these groups with concerned American, every time we’d be discussing Sandinistas or nukes in Pakistan or the budget deficit, if anyone happened to mention their favorite coffee brand or a movie they saw recently, the group would hurl itself down that conversational side street.

Free Guide: Top Nonprofit Marketing To-Dos for 1st 100 Days.and Beyond

Getting Attention

Surveys, focus groups, ad-hoc advisory board. Nonprofit Marketing Guide Kivi Leroux Miller has just released this free map to the first 100 days of your new marketing job. But don't ignore it if you've been there more than 100 days -- it's full of great advice for every nonprofit communicator. Kivi and her friends in the field outline 100 should-dos for the first 100 days of starting your new job.or the next 100 days. These tips have lasting value.

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Facebook Is Run by Jewish & Chinese Mothers

A. Fine Blog

Did Facebook focus group this [.]. According to Mashable, if you want to deactivate your Facebook account you will get the following guilt-ridden message, “Are you sure you want to deactivate your account, [friend name] will miss you.&# This message is accompanied by five photos of friends who, presumably, would miss you terribly if you were gone.

Concept Testing: The Most Important Step for Social Marketing Research

Social Marketing and Social Change

As I described it in my book , concept testing is the phase of research “in which options for the target behavior and its associated value of benefits are validated among members of the priority group” (p.

Service Design for Social Marketers: A Webinar

Social Marketing and Social Change

Designers strive to develop empathy for the people they wish to serve - to understand their lives beyond the numbers from surveys or the comments from focus groups.

Passing The Plate Among the Religious

Cause Related Marketing

Many individual religious organizations I’ve worked with are shocked when, in focus groups, their donors start talking about how much they give to Juvenile Diabetes, Arbor Foundation, or Red Cross.”

Super Online Fundraising, Step 6

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

The key for a small nonprofit is to focus your resources. – Online discussion panels – think of this as a virtual focus group for particular subsets of your donors. It’s cheaper than a focus group and creates intense cultivation value among participants.

How to Motivate Action with Your Nonprofit Tagline – Case Study

Getting Attention

I’d appreciate your thoughts: Seattle Central fits you – Based in large part on results from student/staff/faculty focus groups we conducted and is taken directly from a student quote. Q: We’re trying to finalize our nonprofit tagline, but need your help. Your nonprofit tagline report has been incredibly helpful. But we’ve been trying to finalize a new tagline here at Seattle Central Community College for over a year now!

Why Everyone Needs Marketing Skills

Social Marketing and Social Change

By being trained in customer analysis, focus groups, and audience alignment, you’ll start to learn how to really listen to what your priority groups and stakeholders want.

Marketing Plan Workshop Early Bird Registration Ends Tomorrow

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

If you’ve been thinking about attending the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop that Nancy Schwartz and I are presenting in October, you’ll save $100 if you go ahead and register now. Workshop registration is limited to a small group (a maximum of 40 in D.C.

How Well Do They Know You?

The Agitator

There are numerous ways nonprofit marketers can gather this intelligence — surveys, focus groups, analysis of donor-initiated contacts and comments (e.g., Just how good, how accurate, how positive (or not) is the perception your donors have of your organization? call-ins, emails, letters, content entered on social media sites, testimonials), and, of course, the acid test — retention rates.

Strategic Communications Planning for Nonprofits—Step Three: Audience research and messages


You do research—either directly with audience members (surveys, interviews, or focus groups) or through online resources (like those listed below) that can help you draw a more generalized picture of your target markets. Flickr/3fold.

What Book Has Changed Your (Professional) Life?

Getting Attention

I’m hosting the May Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and on May 31 my blog post will feature links and summaries to the best of. Here’s the theme, and how you can submit your post. I’m also interested in hearing responses from the Getting Attention community; just share your recommendation here.

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Exercise: Would you pass the bulls eye test?

Sea Change Strategies

These are the groups that you are most loyal to and will give to regardless of economic climate, changes in your professional life or life stage. Now chart out the rest of the groups — and put the groups you are least loyal to further out near the periphery of the bulls eyes. (4) This is an exercise Sea Change frequently conducts during focus groups with donors. Here’s a fun little exercise to try. (1)