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

  • These 3 Stories Generated Results We are pleased to welcome our new guest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act. By Nancy Schwartz
  • 7 Reasons Why NPOs Should Shift Focus From Earned Media to Owned Media For nonprofits who can’t afford traditional advertising, getting free publicity on TV or in the newspaper for is often a major outreach goal. In fact, some large, national organizations have communications departments wholly leveraged towards traditional public relations tactics, with no resources allocated to content creation. By Steven Shattuck
  • What great writer learned from a great copywriter Here's a great post at Copyblogger about what novelist Salman Rushdie learned while he was a ad copywriter working for the legendary David Ogilvy: What One of the World's Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy. He learned a lot that can help a fundraising writer. By Jeff Brooks

What Others Are Doing

  • Drop the Bucket raises money through comedy The L.A.-based non-profit Drop in the Bucket takes the issue of water scarcity to heart but that doesn’t stop them from having a good laugh. The novel combination of comedy and charity work is nothing new for Drop in the Bucket. Since its founding in 2006, Drop in the Bucket has found creative solutions to help alleviate poverty in Africa. By Veronica An
  • Super Retention Program – Cerebral Palsy Alliance Jonathon Grapsas at Flat Earth Direct in Australia has been working on retention amongst clients who do much of their donor acquisition via face-to-face solicitation. He writes:“Like many developed fundraising countries, face-to-face recruitment of donors is huge in Australia. By Tom Belford
  • How One Nonprofit Is Raising Money and Awareness Online #4Liters There are a few nonprofits doing great work that stand out because they are adapting better to an online, mobile world. Take, for instance, DigDeep , an organization dedicated to making sure everyone has easy access to clean water. By Ken Mueller

Fundraising Planning

  • Have You Killed Your “Annual” Appeal Yet? I just emailed a letter, response form, and list to the mail house. Our base tends to be generous at this time of year. (Yours probably is, too.) Now I nervously await the returns. At my organization, this particular mailing has long been known as the “annual appeal.” No more. I call it the “fall appeal”, because I plan to give it a lot of company. Asking once a year is not nearly enough. By Mary Cahalane
  • Giving Thanks For Your Members – Old and New Since we're celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, we're wondering: are you giving thanks for and staying connected with your members - old and new? By Lori Halley
  • Is your fundraising plan grasping at straws? It’s fall fundraising time, and for most nonprofits, it is the best time of the year to raise money and reach those annual budget goals. It’s also the period of the year that fundraisers leave their well-thought out fundraising plan behind and start desperately grasping at straws to bring in any amount of money as possible. By Sandy Rees
  • What Gives? Study Shows Smaller Nonprofits Struggle to Attract Repeat Donors: Associations Now While overall nonprofit giving was up a modest 2.6 percent in 2011-2012 compared with the prior year, the “2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report” found that for every 100 nonprofit donors gained in 2011-2012, 105 donors were lost through attrition. By Corey Murray

Fundraising Tactics

  • Major Donor Visits: Questions and Ruthlessly Practical Answers Q: What if your donor hijacks the conversation and you lose control? That will certainly happen sometimes! Try to have the donor doing most of the talking! You have to dive in and gently steer them to – “I have something really interesting I need to run by you.” By Gail Perry
  • Donate to Opt Out: The Secret to Smile Train's 46% Increase in Fundraising Before it risked losing a large amount of its contact list, Smile Train did a test campaign with 150,000 households, sending half of the group a letter that said if they donated once to Smile Train, the organization would never ask them to donate again. The response was very promising. By Taylor Corrado
  • 3 Tips for Learning from Your Crowdfunding Failure It's a sad topic, but here's the reality–not every nonprofit crowdfunding campaign has a happy ending. Many nonprofits crowdfunding campaigns fall short of their funding goals. You've worked hard in setting up your site, rallying your friends and family, and pitching the press. By Rob Wu
  • Auction venue problems: What to do when not all guests fit in the space This elegant country club has hosted many PGA tournaments and serves as an attractive venue.  But as you can see in the video, the set-up could present some problems for an auction, depending on the size of the crowd.  By Sherry Truhlar

Online / Technology

  • The New War on Social Media Vanity Metrics If you manage social media for your organization, you probably face incredible pressure to show growth and success. You may use free or paid tools to show numbers such as growth in followers, Likes and shares, RT’s, and sentiment based on secret algorithms by computer programs. But are these stats meaningful? By Allyson Kapin
  • 7 Surefire Options to Drive More Traffic to Your Site If your website doesn’t have as many viewers as you would like, don’t fret. There are a variety of ways to easily drive more traffic to your site without paying for ad space or being too pushy. By David Wells
  • What you need to know about the new Facebook Insights Facebook recently updated Insights with a fresh design given to the reports available to Facebook administrators. In this 4-minute video, you’ll get a quick tour of the Overview, Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts and People tabs within Facebook Insights. By John Haydon
  • How to get people to notice (and love) your emails Recently MarketingProfs reported that Q2 email open rates decreased 8.3% from Q1 levels. Click through rates also dropped slightly. While the referenced study from Epsilon looked at e-commerce email performance, it’s no secret that it’s getting tougher to ensure readers are opening and acting on your emails. By Caryn Stein
  • Bewildered by Social Video? Time to Adapt or Fall Behind Are you wondering why your nonprofit should be using social video such as Instagram video and Vine? If your charity is at all involved with young people, you really do need to get on board with these new tools. Young people love video and would rather watch it online than read an article. By Joanne Fritz

Leadership / News

  • Federal Charity Drive Playing Catch-Up as Shutdown Ends Federal agencies scrambled Thursday to restart their annual work-place charity fundraiser and make up for time lost to the 16-day government shutdown, reports the Federal Times. Via The Chronicle of Philanthropy
  • Unrelated Business Taxable Income – What Doesn’t Count?  Revenues created by business ventures of nonprofits can result in unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) subject to the unrelated business income tax (“UBIT”), but it’s important to understand that not all revenues generated by unrelated businesses are subject to UBIT.  By Gene Takagi
  • Grassroot Nonprofit Funds Delayed Amid Shutdown, So Everyday People Step In Amid the government shutdown, much attention has been paid to funding gaps with Head Start, AmeriCorps and other nonprofits receiving federal resources. But local organizations tackling social issues across the U.S., many of which receive funds from the behemoth umbrella groups, are speaking out as well. By Jessica Prois
  • Grammar of Social Change In this Tedx talk, Dave Oswold Mitchell describes how he and others developed Beautiful Trouble. What is the grammar of social change, they asked. What are the basic units of change? Tactics were the verbs of the language (like a sit-in or flash-mob). Then principles, theories and case studies. By Tom Peterson