Onboarding: The Fierce Urgency of Listening

The Agitator

There needs to be a fierce urgency to learning more about each donor as they come into the organization. . The unofficial motto of Seinfeld, according to Larry David, was “No hugging, no learning.” In short, there would be no growth in relationships and characters.

Improve Fundraising Copy by Adding Urgency

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Convey Urgency. Nearly 50% selected “conveying urgency&# as the most difficult of these four tasks. question in your supporters’ heads by conveying a sense of urgency. You can create this urgency in several ways.

Does Your Fundraising Depend Upon Urgency?

The Agitator

Most fundraisers have been brought up to stress urgency, urgency, more urgency. In the old days of printed newspapers, weekly newsmagazines and network nightly news, ‘urgency’ might actually been something reserved for special events and rare occasions. How many people will die, be imprisoned or tortured, sleep on the street, go without water or food, be denied (something, anything) … if you don’t RESPOND TODAY ?

How to Create a Sense of Urgency for Your Nonprofit Message

Fundraising 123

But it also helps to have a sense of urgency. Here are five simple tactics for building a sense of urgency in your next fundraising appeal, advocacy campaign or membership drive. It creates tremendous urgency. If you don't have a campaign planned, think of how you can leverage seasonal or current events to help create a sense of urgency. Nonprofit marketing and fundraising is about motivating people to do something specific - not just to think about your cause.

If you don’t read this right now, you’ll miss out!


After reading that headline, did you feel a sense of urgency? In other words, they aim their scarcity approaches at premium prospects and supporters (major and legacy gift prospects) while providing them with value, exclusivity, and urgency. Urgency is the key here. Sorry to trick you but I wanted you to see what it felt like when scarcity is employed in marketing. Perceived scarcity generates demand because we are hardwired to be loss averse.

7 things about email subject lines that will help you save the world


” Don’t be afraid to use urgency words like “important,” “hurry,” or “today.” Firstly, email subject lines are actually headlines.

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Matching Gifts: Bonanza Or Sham?

The Agitator

One advances the offer of a 3 for 1 match … another expresses the urgency of a 4 for 1 match … the third breathlessly proclaims a 5 for 1 match plus a pack of free notepads and labels. Every few weeks I wade into the Sea of Sameness that is my pile of unopened fundraising mail. While leafing through the current batch I came across 3 Matching Gift offers.

REPEAT: 31 Phrases To Use in Email Lift Notes, Resends and Reminders

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Write a SHORT, SIMPLE lift note explaining the resend and adding urgency (see the list below for inspiration). Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/79pL7r. p/79pL7r. Want to squeeze more mileage from a great fundraising or advocacy email? Send it again.

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6 Overlooked Ingredients Your Year-End Emails Need

Fundraising 123

A sense of urgency. A sense of urgency will give your donors that extra nudge they need to take action. When creating your year-end email appeals, remember these six key ingredients: 1. An easy to find donation button. Some donors will be ready to give as soon as they open your nonprofit email. Don''t make them hunt for the link to your DonateNow page. Make the donate button big, bold, and above the fold. A specific call to action.

Are fundraising tricks and gimmicks worth doing?


They try to trick them into giving with fake deadlines creating urgency, gimmicks like pennies in envelopes, or myriad other ploys. An old book filled with timeless lessons. I was cleaning out a cabinet last weekend and I came across an old book I read long ago titled Strategic Selling.

You Still Have Time to Try These 7 Giving Tuesday Tactics 

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It’s a start – resend your morning email with a lift note that conveys urgency and updates supporters how the campaign is doing. Giving Tuesday is 12 days away. Are you ready?

Reach Out during Crises: w/Recognition, Respect & Sensitivity

Getting Attention

Emphasize that the recent crises highlights the need for change (and donations or advocacy) and increases the urgency of your call to action. How can our orgs communicate effectively in the middle of two huge crises — 1) police brutality and misconduct in Baltimore, spurring active response by community members fighting for their rights and lives; and 2) Nepal’s crushing earthquake, and the millions whose lives will be impacted for years to come?

5 Key Decisions Your Nonprofit Needs to Make Before #GivingTuesday

J Campbell Social Marketing

I love creating and launching online fundraising campaigns , especially ones with built-in international buzz and a sense of urgency. Friendly reminder – #GivingTuesday 2017 is less than 100 days away!

Top 10 reasons major and planned gift officers fail to generate results


Lack of urgency. # Too much rapport building (not enough alignment of organizational needs with donor passions and interests). # Talking too much; listening too little (“ show up and throw up fundraising “). #

10 Specific Ways to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Next Fundraising Campaign

J Campbell Social Marketing

Create a sense of urgency with your asks – “Only need 257 more people to give to unlock a $50,000 matching gift!”. Storytelling Summer School is in session! Haven’t signed up yet? Not to worry! Sign up here and you will get access to all previous and future lessons. .

No Going Back for This Nonprofit After Switching to a Digital Annual Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Being able to edit a digital edition at any time puts a little less urgency on developing content. Sick of me telling you to get rid of your long printed annual reports? Well, I’ll stop when you stop.

Cable News Fundraisers

The Agitator

Tom’s Does Your Fundraising Depend on Urgency posted last week would suggest so. Is there a similarity between cable news and the way some nonprofits operate? In Cable News Seth Godin wonders: “What if the fear and maiaise and anger isn’t merely being reported by cable news… “What if it’s being caused by cable news?” Last January in Better or Worse World ?

Brick wall redux: Practical tips for leading change

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Today, I finished reading John Kotter’s book, A Sense of Urgency *. What I learned was complacency and “false urgency” are the biggest barriers to getting things done. False urgency by contrast comes from failure. True urgency, on the other hand, is a very good thing. Behave with urgency every day: Don’t be content - or anxious. Show the real sense of urgency - fire in the belly for a worthy and clear aim.

Let’s Be Fearless Communicators

Getting Attention

Let Urgency Conquer Fear: With today’s 24/7 new cycle, this may be the most important and relevant aspect of being fearless.

Still-Time Summer Marketing Sizzlers

Getting Attention

And they adjust how they cultivate a sense of urgency during the lazy days of summer. —Lauren Giradin, Marketing and Communications Consultant. Part 1. Dig in a.s.a.p.

How Nonprofits Can Use Text Messaging

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Donors have to feel the urgency of your cause to be moved to give. Alexa Lemzy. Have you tried mobile fundraising or contacting your supporters via text? Alexa Lemzy shares some ways you can get started in today’s post. Kristina. Guest Post by Alexa Lemzy.

Stop the Communications-Program Tug of War

Getting Attention

If a request for an email had all the required ingredients for strong performance (urgency, relevance, emotion, etc.), Are you in a tug of war with program colleagues for control of your communications?

The 5 Most Dangerous Donation Page Mistakes & How You Can Fix Them

Wild Woman Fundraising

the urgency of the need/aka what happens if you don’t get their donation. What about an urgency that goes with the picture? Last week I went to London to speak at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Convention.

Year-End Fundraising Resources for You

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Create urgency in your fundraising posts. Yep, it’s that time of year already. Year-End Fundraising Season. But you aren’t going to wait til the last minute to plan your campaigns this year. This year, you will have all your ducks in a row before you flip the calendar to November.

Using Psychology To Fundraise

The Agitator

Sense of urgency — no explanation required. Back in January I noted an article by Claire Axelrad — 9 Valuable Shortcuts to Influence Nonprofit Donors — in which she described how to use some proven precepts of persuasion psychology to improve your fundraising prowess. Here’s another go at the same theme … this time 15 ways psychology can boost commerce sales from ClickZ provides the tips … with illustrations of each approach at work.

Five ways to get people to act now

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

But it also helps to have a sense of urgency. Here are five ways to build that sense of urgency. It creates tremendous urgency. My mentor, Bill Novelli, once said to me, “If we’re simply in the business of ‘building awareness,’ we might as well be shoveling pamphlets out of airplanes.” The point is, nonprofit marketing (and fundraising) is about motivating people to do something - not just think something. Channel attention into action if you want to change the world.

Some people find me abrasive. Here’s why.


I have a tremendous sense of urgency. Recently I was told, “Greg, you are one strong cup of coffee.” ” I like that. Here’s why I am the way I am: 1. I believe life is very, very short. Both of my parents died in their 60’s. One of my best friends died last year at 54. I am 47. I think the fundraising sector needs to change, now! I don’t have time to wait. Today could be my last day. I believe I need to get things done now!

10% Battery Life

A Small Change

I mean, there is always urgency in the fundraising game and getting our batteries charged just doesn’t always seem like a priority. I recently saw Big Hero 6 with my daughter at her school’s movie night. It was awesome.

The 4 T’s of Amazing Fundraising Appeals

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Here’s how they add up to a better message that works: Timely: Your appeal needs to have a sense of urgency to move donors to act now.

4 ways to get more clicks on your Donate button

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible. Make your Donate button easier to find. Don’t make donors search or scroll! Make the reasons to give more enticing. Your financial needs are not enough. Create an appeal around the button that is focused on donors, their interests, and what they get in return for their donation.

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Another Great Thank You Video You Need to See

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

After the webinar, I had a fresh sense of urgency to make something that fit what SwimRVA is all about. Gerard Miller. Last October, Kivi presented a webinar on thank you videos.

Does Slacktivism Actually Work?


One camp argues that the messaging around a cause and the urgency of an organization’s ask can be diluted by the rapid, superficial spread of marketing content.

The Secret Isn’t in the Sauce


Let urgency conquer fear. It’s time to take off your floaties and do more than follow your passion. If you’re trying to figure out what career to pursue or how to make the biggest difference in this world, you’re going to be searching for a long time.

Social Media Takeovers: 6 Nonprofits That Gave It Up for Good (PLUS: 6 Tips for Getting it Right)

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It’s the ephemeralness of a takeover that helps give it urgency and energy. Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/dzN6Vp. p/dzN6Vp. Would you hand over the keys to your nonprofit’s Twitter or Instagram account to a volunteer, partner, artist or celebrity? .

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

Wild Woman Fundraising

You might want to include this when there’s an emergency or urgency around your appeal, like all of your arts funding is being cut from the government, or something.

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The Most Important Step in Donor Acquisition

The Agitator

In Fierce Urgency of Listening he outlines why it’s so important to learn as much as possible about a new donors as soon as they come into the organization. #Giving Tuesday 2017 is now in the rearview mirror.

Matching Gift Facts and Insights

The Agitator

It also cross-deployed the match with a test of urgency. Here were the four test conditions: Matching gift with urgency (with a reply device and PS that said things like “NOW IS THE TIME TO JOIN THE FIGHT!”). Matching gift without urgency. Control with urgency. Control without urgency. The researchers found that urgency hurt the appeal in many cases (probably, they hypothesize, because there was no reason given for the urgency.

How the Fundraising Game Has Changed Forever

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

For fundraising and development professionals, this reform can mean less stress and urgency chasing down private donations and grants to fill in the large gaps left unfunded by governments. (Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from our friends at the National Council of Nonprofits.

Negative Versus Positive Framing

The Agitator

Threat, urgency and danger might succeed best (i.e., Think about it … we’d all rather hang around positive — versus negative — people. So why wouldn’t that apply to a nonprofit that’s looking to establish a donor relationship with you or me? Why would you expect a continuing barrage of negative, downer messages to make a donor look forward to your ‘visits’?! That’s the message delivered by this brief article — What Works Best?

Inspire With Video

The Agitator

For many reasons … creativity, often humor, delivery of raw emotion, ‘gotta see it’ urgency, connection. Speaking from a fundraising perspective, I love online videos.