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


  • Major gifts programs can become a money-raising machine for your wonderful cause. Here are 3 secrets that will dramatically improve your results from your fundraising activities and events.
  • Emma Coates, a story artist at Pixar, has listed 22 Rules of Storytelling that help explain why the studio tells great stories so successfully. There's a lot here for writers in any medium, but some of these are particularly adaptable for fundraisers.
  • Some interesting and useful observations on the Obama '12 email fundraising machine, from M+R Research Labs. For example, segmentation based on donor behavior is really the only segmentation worth doing.
  • Scientists discovered and recently reported that smiles reduce stress. Who knew? Sometimes the scariest part of the job is picking up the phone to ask for a major donor visit. Keep smiling and sure enough it will increase your success rate.
  • While most people generally dislike ads, they do have a profound effect on people’s purchasing behavior. Companies make ads work by targeting the right ad at the right audience. When was the last time you saw a Red Bull commercial during a Golden Girls marathon? Here are some thoughts about nonprofit segmentation.


  • These 4 steps—clear and doable by every organization—have the potential to absolutely transform your organization. 1) Formal and ongoing marketing training for all employees, leaders and others who touch your organization’s supporters.
  • Future stories (a.k.a. vision statements) can be very powerful but are rarely told. Read how future story power brings to life—in a tangible, visible, visual and personal way—what is most frequently left as a vague, abstract and overly-wordy concept.
  • For many nonprofits, search engine marketing is an important part of your online acquisition strategy. Find out the right and wrong way to use Google AdWords.


  • A recent report presented by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative found that 60% of nonprofit organizations that engaged their board in their fundraising efforts reached their fundraising goal for the year. Here are some simple, yet empowering, ways board members can become more involved in fundraising.
  • If you’re like many nonprofit organizations, you don’t have board retreats as often as you should. Or maybe you have them annually and focus on strategic planning. Read how to have a board retreat with major giving in mind.
  • Last spring, the Levi’s community engagement team decided to get attention by getting dirty. They launched the #gowaterless challenge and asked employees to wear the same pair of jeans every day for a week without washing them to raise awareness about the company’s water conversation initiatives. Find out why it was so successful.

Social Media / Online

  • Your website is the face of your organization online.  Learn some key tips to keep your nonprofit's online content fresh.
  • Enough already of Facebook and Twitter strategy! Better be thinking about YouTube, which just hit the mark of 1 billion monthly users! That’s almost 1 in 2 people on the internet. What's your nonprofit's YouTube strategy?
  • If you’re confused about Facebook’s terms for promotions and contests allowed on your page, you’re not alone.  Find out the dos and don’ts of hosting a Facebook contest.
  • We all love watching a good video clip. In the last couple of years we’ve been captivated by the likes of charity: water, Kony, and now the zillion versions of the Harlem Shake. Video presents both an opportunity and a threat for fundraisers. Here are some ways video can help effectively share your story.
  • Are you using engagement on social media channels with a purpose? This article will help you measure that engagement.

Nonprofit News

  • Foundations with assets under $50-million increased their giving by 9 percent last year, according to preliminary findings of a recent study of 700 small and midsize grant makers.
  • Attend the Engaging Customers and Community Through Social Technology Symposium in May! This conference dives into a wide array of different social tools that can create and enhance measurable benefits and support your organization's mission.
  • One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. Read more about this research.