Sometimes things move a little quicker than we think they will. After talking about it and thinking about it for two years, two weeks ago Rob and I decided to get serious about looking at houses in southern Indiana. Well, we found one! So now we’re moving full speed ahead to get our house ready for sale and hoping that all the pieces will fall into place. It’s an old house, and needs a lot of painting and TLC, but it’s really cute. I’m looking forward to sharing more information as things progress!

All that to say, sometimes things do move quickly. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder if things will be able to come together. That’s when good friends and the support they can provide are so important. They can help us take a step back and gain perspective. And sometimes too, because they know us so well, they can have some great insight into ways to move forward.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Call a friend. It’s time to take a break.

Article of the week:

Fundraising Planning Overview

Interested in learning more about fundraising planning? This video is the second in a seven-video series about this topic. If you’d like to access the free companion workbook, visit this page to request it. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting all of the videos over the next few weeks!

Quote of the week:

If you associate with turkeys, you will never fly with the eagles - Brian Tracy

Kind regards,


Kirsten Recommends:

Membership in The Nonprofit Academy is an affordable way to get 12 months of training. In April we’ll be covering ways to grow your annual campaign and May is about generational differences. Plus, there are now options to add in consulting help from me as well.

Visit to get more information!

Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please forward this to others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!

Awareness / Communications

  • 3 Visual Storytelling Tools for Crowdfunding Photos and videos have become the king of storytelling in the past few years. With Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and Pinterest continuing to bring in millions of new users to share billions of pieces of media, startups are finding opportunities to take this obsession to the next level. @CauseVox
  • Why Split Testing is Like a Content Marketing Crystal Ball Is split testing really worth all the trouble? Emphatically yes. Split testing gives you insight into where your visitors click most, what they read closest, and how they react. @WrittenbySumer
  • Your 10-Point Checklist for Nonprofit Newsletter Writing Writing, and sending, your nonprofit’s email newsletter takes creativity, precision strategy and even a little finesse. Not only that, but once it's been sent, your newsletter is out of your control. There’s no redo. @Tech_Impact
  • Nonprofit Video Awards Announced For the eighth year, See3, YouTube, NTEN and Cisco, now joined by The National Alliance for Media and Culture and the National Youth Media Network have combined to select the best of nonprofit videos. Each of the winning videos can be viewed here. @AgitatorEditors
  • Your Nonprofit’s Newsletter: You Are Not the Target Audience I’m reprinting my first post here from the BoardAssist blog, which is directed towards board members themselves, but I hope it will be a helpful read to anyone managing communications staff. @kivilm

Fundraising Planning

  • Why don't all donors care about impact? A new report on donor attitudes has just been published by Ipsos Mori. Undertaken on behalf of New Philanthropy Capital, the survey looks at issues of trust, general levels of satisfaction, thoughts on CEO salaries and the importance of impact. @Markyphillips
  • Boomers are turning into their parents A funny thing is happening to Baby Boomers as they age: They're turning into their parents. They now range in age from 50 to 68. They are flooding into the ranks of donors and prospective donors. @jeffbrooks
  • Are You Engaging Donors Effectively? Is your nonprofit effectively engaging donors? If you were surveyed on your donor engagement, would your org fall under the good, the bad, or the ugly? DonorDigital donated to 16 major US nonprofits to learn about their integrated fundraising practices. @Care2Frogloop
  • 5 Lessons Moses Can Teach Us About Fundraising Moses can teach us a number of important things about fundraising. Yes, that Moses, the prophet revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims and other religious faiths throughout the world. @MLInnovations
  • The Next Big Thing in Fundraising: Monthly Giving Programs 75% of your new donors will not give next year. All that effort, time, and money you put into acquiring new donors and 3/4 of them will not come back next year if you’re not engaging them and offering them a reason and easy way to do so. This is where monthly or recurring giving comes into play. @hubspot

Fundraising Tactics

  • The Secret to Securing Monthly Recurring Donors There is one key fundraising activity that might just have the biggest effect on your organization’s retention percentage: monthly recurring donors! The benefits are numerous. @BloomerangTech
  • How to Integrate Email Campaigns With the Rest of Your Marketing Email as a marketing channel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Nielsen, email is one of the most effective methods for mobilizing contacts. @hubspot
  • Strategies for a Strong Grant Proposal Today’s blog post is contributed by Kristal Johnson, who is a member of the Grants Professionals Association and a Grant Peer Reviewer with the United Way of Greater Houston. Your chances of securing funding for your programs dramatically increase if you submit a strong grant proposal that describes your program in descriptive detail. @kirstenbullock
  • Donor Stewardship: More than a ‘Thank You’ Stewardship is undeniably an essential part of any development effort, whether for annual fund, capital, or planned giving support. Much of what is required for good, solid stewardship is simple common sense. @fundchat
  • 10 Tips to Secure the Gift One of the biggest questions and issues on every fundraiser’s mind is “How do I secure the gift?” Fundraising is all about making the connections and “asks” stick to produce beneficial numbers. However, that is easier said than done. Securing the gift can be tough in this economy. @EVENTjournal

Online / Technology

Leadership / Other

  • Imagine Warren Buffett and/or Charlie Munger on Your Nonprofit Board - Huffington Post Buffet and Munger, close partners for 54 years are sometimes described as "being joined at the hip." Two Stanford professors have developed an analysis of Munger's comments on good corporate governance. @HuffPostBiz
  • Just Released: The Digital Giving Index Since 2010, Network for Good has published the Digital Giving Index which looks at online giving trends across the Network for Good platform, including both branded and generic donation pages, peer-to-peer fundraising, portal giving, and employee giving. @Network4Good
  • Why Taking a Break Leads to Breakthroughs According to new research, taking a break can be a crucial step to having more ideas. Over at Harvard Business Review, author David Burkus explains exactly why breaks lead to breakthroughs. @99u
  • Clear Measurement Counts Rigorous performance measurement has become the Holy Grail of the social sector: It’s a lofty goal that inspires a noble yet meandering journey—a journey that features many false paths, and very few signs that might tell seekers whether they are making any progress. @SSIReview
  • Demolishing the Silos — What can YOU do? Remember, those silos that have been created were put up by people; hurting people who felt a need to put up a wall. The good news is that we can reach out to one another and, little by little, bring those silos down. @VeritusGroup

Don’t miss a single edition of Kirsten’s Fundraising Headlines! Sign up at: