November, 2017

7 Planning Steps for a Short Annual Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

One of the beautiful things about a short annual report (think 2-4 pager, infographic or video) is that you don’t have to spend nearly as much time creating the thing. But there is a catch. . . You have to spend more time planning it.

Why you should stop looking for fundraising silver bullets and unicorns.


Many marketers/fundraisers desperately hope to find silver bullets or unicorns. They become enamored by shiny objects that are easy to employ. Usually, these technologies and tactics focus on the top of the funnel, generating awareness or (at best) interest.

Trending Sources

Does 6% Decline In 2017 Giving Thru Mid-Year Spell Year-End Trouble?

The Agitator

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project recently released its Quarterly Fundraising Report covering the first half of 2017. It shows a drop in US giving of 6% below 2016’s mid-year level. Should we worry? Perhaps.

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5 Ways to Thank and Recognize Your Donors Using Digital Tools and Social Media

J Campbell Social Marketing

Donor attrition continues at a startling rate. Some nonprofits are losing as many as 90% of their first-time donors on an annual basis! The average across all types of donors isn’t much better, with about 59% of annual givers dropping off the radar each year. .

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Ep239: Hasbro Expands Online Hub That Teaches Kids How to Stand Up for Others

Selfish Giving

More Trending

Stop Telling Your Donors Who They Are

The Agitator

I fear that most nonprofits will fail to heed the alarm bells sounded in the Vital Signs study we reported on earlier this week. Dramatically increased competition in a time of declining numbers of donors — 23.6% more organizations chasing 7% fewer donors.

How to Coordinate an Army of Nonprofit Social Media Ambassadors on #GivingTuesday (and beyond)

J Campbell Social Marketing

It’s hard to believe, but #GivingTuesday , the international day of giving back, is just 22 days away! If you are planning on leveraging the social media power of that day to ask for donations, you probably know that you can’t do it alone.

Ep240: Zillow Aims to Evict Housing Worries with 'The Home Project'

Selfish Giving

One week, two excellent events: #CbocSocial and #FWD50

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

This post features my key takeaways and notes from two events I attended earlier this month here in Ottawa. 1- Public Sector Social Media (#cbocsocial) – “ Where Canada’s social media leaders gather to discuss the most effective strategies for the most powerful media.”

Are You Skipping Thanksgiving Too?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Back off, Old Man. It ain’t your time yet. How annoying is it that department stores skip over Thanksgiving and go right to Christmas?

Have you ever had one of these horrible bosses?


According to Toni Coleman, interim editor in chief of CASE’s CURRENTS Magazine, there are 4 types of horrible bosses : The micromanager. The disinterested boss. The bully. The abuser. Have you worked for one of them? If so, please share your story in the comments section below. Or, for tips on how to be a better manager, check out Toni’s article here. Related Posts: >>What’s missing from most nonprofit mission statements? >>3

More On 2nd Gifts – Part 1

The Agitator

Tom’s post Why Are 2 nd Gifts Made triggered a number of valuable comments from readers. In turn, I want to devote two posts to digging into the critical subject of Second Gifts in greater detail; going beyond the basic “how to” advice from Jeff Brooks and John Haydon reported in Tom’s post.

How to develop more collective power at work

Wild Woman Fundraising

Do you ever wish you had a more stable nonprofit job? With better wages? Better benefits and more vacation time? But… what can you do, right? Well, what if there WERE something you could do to develop more collective power at work?

Ready for Year-End? Here Are 10 Easy Things You Can Do to Raise More Money


We won't waste your time with a lengthy intro. With #GivingTuesday and Year-End fundraising rapidly approaching, we'll get straight to the point. Below are some quick and easy things you can do to raise more money. Go on, crush your fundraising goals! Say Thanks.

Are You Thankful for Your Donors?

Ann Green

Thanksgiving is coming up and it’s a time of year in the U.S. when we show gratitude to the special people in our lives. Do you extend this same gratitude to your donors? Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.

WEIGH IN, NONPROFITS: Do You LOVE or HATE Twitter’s New 280 Character Count?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I’ll be honest. My first reaction to Twitter doubling its character count – from 140 to 280 – made me all: via GIPHY. I’m not alone: Twitter users herald new character limits with 280-character howls of despair . We all have 280 characters?

You’ve got leads (identified major donor prospects) but are they ‘outreach-ready’?


People and vendors in our sector talk a lot about identifying donors, but getting them ready to meet with you is a different story. The problem is that most donors simply aren’t ready to talk to you yet. This post was inspired by a horrible meeting. Last week, I met with the Vice President of University Relations at one of the biggest schools in the country. During our chat, I told her that most ‘identified’ major and planned gift prospects need to be cultivated before outreach.

More On Second Gifts — Part 2

The Agitator

Thank heavens I didn’t promise you a light and easy read on this subject of Second Gifts.

Going Deeper

Wild Woman Fundraising

Are you frustrated right now? Maybe you’re writing your annual report or appeal letter, but you’re stuck. Or maybe you’re wondering how to connect with a donor and you just can’t seem to get through to them? What could we do to connect better with our donors? How can we help donors feel more connected with us? How do we help them see we don’t just see them as a dollar sign, but someone who is truly a partner in our missions?

Our EveryAction Hero: United Nations Foundation


Created in 1998, the United Nations Foundation links the United Nations' work with others around the world, helping the UN address a range of global issues, including climate change, global health, women’s empowerment, peace and security, poverty eradication, and more. Their impact also carries over to #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year.

Top 5 rhetorical questions - holiday edition


It’s the holiday season. That time of year when things are busier, time seems to move faster, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Fundraising Marketing

Coming Soon: The CALM not BUSY Book Club

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

In just a couple of weeks, my new book, CALM not BUSY: How to Manage Your Nonprofit’s Communications for Great Results will be released.

Why you need to know the difference between your donor’s implicit vs. explicit needs


Too often fundraisers make assumptions about what donors want. Usually, this is driven by top leaders or board members. They decide, for instance, that it would be great to close more retained life estate gifts. So they instruct their staff to go out there and market them.

Flying Blind Fundraising

The Agitator

In Make It About Me and More…About Me , Tom and I emphasize the importance of ‘donor identity’ in answering fundraising’s most critically important question: “Why does this donor give?” ” First, let me begin with the following important side note…. As intuitively appealing as it might seem, we can’t get the answer to ‘why’ by simply asking the donor “Why?”.

Time to Pivot: From Resistance to Renaissance

A. Fine Blog

My new friend, Kiersten Marek, the founder of Philanthropy Women invited me to write a post about where we as women activists and philanthropists go a year since the Resistance began. So, here is my take: From Resistance to Renaissance: Women Must Embrace their Power for Funding Social Change.

Where are you spending your marketing dollars?


If your organization has 10,000 active donors, it’s very likely they’ll be categorized as follows: A small number will generate 80-90 percent of the revenue. Mid-level donors will have a lot of potential for major giving.

Why Are 2nd Gifts Made?

The Agitator

A couple of blog items floated across my screen the past few days regarding how to “Wow” that first-time giver and get the all-important second gift (e.g., Jeff Brooks here ). It seems the conventional fundraising wisdom is that you have zero chance of getting a third gift and building a donor relationship unless you get a second gift. I think that wisdom has been handed down ever since it was discovered that 3 followed 2. [I

A Radical Fundraising Idea

The Agitator

FIRST… A REMINDER : Learn more about 2017 US giving trends. On Thursday, November 16 at 1:00pm EST two experts from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project will hold a Free Webinar about revenue and donor retention in 2017. Join Ben Mille r of DonorTrends and Jon Bidermann of Donor Perfect for this 30 minute session. REGISTER FREE RIGHT HERE.

This week on the podcasts


If you didn’t know yesterday MarketSmart’s Engagement Fundraising podcast released a brand new episode all about how you as a fundraiser can create the Disney experience. Click here to listen!

“But, It’s Not Industry Standard.”

The Agitator

Next time a consultant defends some indefensible recommendation by telling you “It’s industry standard” … head for the hills. Better yet, fire the consultant. ‘Industry standard’ is to new ideas and suggestions that challenge the status quo what garlic is to vampires.

Talking Taxes

The Agitator

fundraisers whose attention last week may have been diverted somewhere between the Special Counsel’s indictments of Trump Campaign heavies and the White House Chief of Staff’s lessons in Civil War revisionist history need to be aware of that a major attempt to re-order the U.S.

How Ethical A Fundraiser Are You?

The Agitator

You can get that answer personally delivered to you in the privacy of your own inbox without anyone else knowing. But first, your help is needed for a research project designed to look more deeply into how fundraisers make difficult decisions in their day-to-day work. As a Board member of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, I’m asking Agitator readers to participate in this project which is being conducted by one of the Centre’s PhD students.

What Will You Do Less of in 2018?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We’re asking that question in the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey. So far, here’s the word cloud of answers from nearly 300 communications pros. See the trend?

Mixed Links for Nonprofit Communicators

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Cosmos. Orange Beach, AL. Good Friday to you all and a special “Hello and thank you” to all you veterans out there! Please join me for some refreshing Mixed Links… If you’ve taken our Annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey, thank you!!