Here are last week’s headlines with news, tips, and ideas you can use to improve your nonprofit.


  • The phone is still a great fundraising tool. If your nonprofit has not considered telemarketing, the Pell & Bales series is well worth a read. The company’s most successful individual fundraiser raised just under £3.5 million from 88,000 telephone calls over 17 years of employment.
  • Can the immense amount of research compiled by commercial business on why customers leave be compared to why donors stop their support? 
  • The Big Chill: can we cure donor’s emotional breakdown? The answer is not only a well-executed donor care program and of course finding the right target audience to begin with but it is also the growing emotional gap with our donors.
  • Fundraising GPS: Steering On The Past Or Future? Or Both? The Agitator discusses two recent reports on 2012 US giving. Plus one sophisticated forecast for 2013.
  • Before you can ask for a major gift, you need to focus on gratitude. Stop thinking of your donors as ATM machines and really focus on them as people. Think about what they do for your organization. 
  • If it is time to refresh your events, here are some “before and after” highlights and clips from the Event Manager infographic, as well as some additional thoughts on how this advice might apply to small membership organizations in updating their events.
  • Learn why most every direct response fundraiser eventually comes to the realization that reliance on premiums to boost short-term acquisition response rates is a long-term prescription for poor retention and lousy lifetime value.

Social Media

  • Hat tip to Oreo for its relevant marketing during the 30-minute Super Bowl blackout. Relevance rules! But where were nonprofits? Radio silence on the social channels, ideal for right-things, right-now marketing.
  • Check out The Lazy Person's Guide to Social Media Management, including the three elements of social media success, and the shortcuts for each.
  • A good social media campaign or engagement strategy can help your organization fulfill its mission, and there are many examples of nonprofits using these tools successfully for everything from fundraising and volunteer recruitment to building awareness. 
  • Optimizing your content for social channels does not have to be labor intensive. Many organizations create great content for their web sites or blogs and slightly tweak it for Facebook or Twitter – with a focus on making it visual.

 Marketing  / Leadership

  • To help you focus on what’s really most important about last year, come up with a six-word annual report. Or if you prefer, a tweetable one (under 140 characters).
  • The 12 Most Evocative Words of the English language: You, Save, Money,...
  • Wild Apricot discusses how small nonprofits approach communications differently than larger ones.
  • Three ways to better engage your board: make it easy, work them, show them the good the bad and the ugly.

Nonprofit News

  • Foundations can only help improve education, public safety, the environment or anything else if people understand and are engaged in the issues.  Here are nine insights on taking community information projects from idea to impact.  
  • The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee announced Tuesday that he wants representatives from the charitable sector to testify to the Committee about how limits to the charitable deduction would impact nonprofits.
  • If your nonprofit is applying for 501(c)(3) status, read the IRS changes to 501(c)(3) status effective date for new nonprofits.