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 / Marketing

  • 6 best practices in making data visualizations Making data visualizations – A survival guide from vis4 Avoid 3D charts, extend bar charts to zero & other key tips. From Socialbrite.
  • Should you sweat the little stuff? Does this sound like anyone you know? Tom Ahern tells a discouraging story of a board member who refuses to let his organization send out any printed material with indented paragraphs. Seems the guy just liked the look of those neat left margins. That board member is a buffoon. He was putting his aesthetic preference over knowledge… From Future Fundraising Now.
  • Better Subject Lines and Headlines: Fill in the Blank Worksheet I get it. Sometimes it’s really, really hard to come up with an attention-grabbing email subject line or headline. Here’s some inspiration to help you get started. From Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog.

What Others Are Doing

Fundraising Planning

  • SPECIAL REPORT: U.S. Trust Study Reveals Disconnects in Philanthropic Conversations Between HNW Individuals and Professional Advisors: Fascinating read! High Net Worth (HNW) individuals and their financial advisors seem to have some challenges communicating. Most important takeaway for me: HNW individuals want their financial advisor to bring up charitable discussions within the first few meetings. From Planned Giving Design Center via AFP.
  • Antibodies View Retention As Disruption There’s little doubt in my mind that, when it comes to ‘retention’, the powers-that-be in most organizations will view any serious efforts to improve donor loyalty and commitment (retention) as disruptive. In turn, they will either deliberately or subconsciously move to subvert any efforts at improvement… From The Agitator.
  • [INFOGRAPHIC] 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project Survey Report On September 16th, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) released the findings from their 2013 survey. For the first time in five years, charity respondents saw positive gains in giving, but still continued to lose donors faster than they gained them. The 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report summarizes data from 2,840 survey respondents covering year-to-year fundraising results for… From Bloomerang Blog.

Fundraising Techniques

  • Fundraising auction tips: The simplest decor idea on the planet Maybe you don’t WANT an auction theme.  It’s not your style.  Maybe it seems like too much work. But still, the idea of nothing on the gala tables or silent auction areas seems UNfestive. What to use? From Red Apple Auctions.
  • 7 Characteristics of an Effective Thank You Letter For the first time in years nonprofits are enjoying gains in giving…but continuing to lose donors faster than the speed of light. Here are some thoughts on making sure your thank you letter helps engage your donors. By Pamela Grow for Bloomerang blog.
  • Three Important Goals for Every Major Donor Visit When you are making a call on a major donor prospect, what are you really up to? You finally have the meeting with Mr. Big. What’s next? Your real goal is NOT money. AND it’s not to make a presentation either. From Gail Perry.
  • How to Launch a Matching Gift Program for Your Nonprofit Did you know that on average one in ten donors is matching gift eligible, and that approximately half of the Fortune 500 has matching gift programs? Matching gifts are the perfect opportunity for your donors to double, and sometimes even triple their contribution to your organization... by Brendan Kinney for #fundchat

Online / Technology

  • Are your donors welcome at your website?  The Engage:Boomers blog reported on this problem recently at There's A Large Elephant In The Digital Room. A recent study showed that while 80% of people ages 18-34 say web sites are designed for them, only 35% of those age 45-54 say that, and 20% of those 55 and older group… From Future Fundraising Now.
  • Study: Photos Generate More Retweets on Twitter Past studies have said that sharing photos on Facebook sparks engagement. According to a new study by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot, sharing photos on Twitter generates significant retweets too. From Frogloop.
  • 4 Do's and Don'ts When Running a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign Here are the top don'ts of peer-to-peer fundraising, along with the corresponding do's for a successful campaign. From FundRaising Success News.
  • LinkedIn for Fundraisers: Your Donors Are Watching If you’re a fundraiser with a LinkedIn profile, it’s important to assume that a donor might look at your profile before they accept a meeting. By Brock Warner for #fundchat.
  • Making Digital Content Work It is easy to get lost in the tsunami of content on the web.  However, many digital writers can and do ride this wave to success. By Hallie Shoffner for Thunderhead Works.

Leading a Nonprofit

  • How Can Boards Help ED’s Thrive? What role should your board play in ensuring your executive director is motivated and energized instead of burnt out and disengaged? From Wild Apricot Blog.
  • Charities Demonstrate Impact of Shutdown Standing in a chilly wind swirling around the Capitol and Congressional offices, nearly 50 United Way leaders then spent the day meeting with elected officials to urge them to end the nine-day government shutdown... From The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
  • An Executive Director’s Guide to Financial Leadership There is an important distinction between financial management and financial leadership. Financial management is the collecting of financial data, production of financial reports, and solution of near-term financial issues. Financial leadership, on the other hand, is guiding a nonprofit... From Nonproft Quarterly via AFP.
  • Aspiration: A Tool for Transformational Change Ambitious – but accomplishable goal – can help achieve lasting change. By Doug Hattaway & Tess Hart for SSIR Articles.
  • Five Essentials of Strategic Planning: Begin at the top; Be inclusive at all levels; Skilled team is essential; It’s a guidebook for decisions of all sizes; Flexibility is critical. By Paul B. Redman for SSIR.