Tuesday May 21, 2013
The last time I did a donating experiment was after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. At that time I donated a small amount to several charities working on disaster relief. I was particularly interested in how they thanked me after my donation.
But, to my surprise, I often ran into difficulties just making a donation. One donation page did not load so I left; another required a registration process before I could donate so I left; and one organization did not have a donation page dedicated to Japan relief specifically, even though it had promoted that very thing.
Big abandonment issues for me on these sites. I wrote about my experience in How Not to Thank a Donor During a Disaster.
Fundraising experts continue to test donation pages and more best practices have emerged.
DonationPay, a crowd sourcing donation site attended the recent NTC conference and presented the 20 Most Important Components of Your Donation Page, using examples of what works on their site.
Monday May 20, 2013
Nonprofit Blog Carnival
Write a Letter to a Nonprofit Board. The Nonprofit Blog Carnival is accepting submissions until May 27th. Erik Anderson, at Donor Dreams, is asking for "Dear Board" letters. What would you like to say to a nonprofit board if you could? Of course, if you have a blog post about best practices for boards, but it isn't a letter, you can send that in too.
- New Study: Low Nonprofit Overhead Does Not = Greater Efficiency - Nonprofit Quarterly. Welcome new light shed on the eternal battle over overhead. Maybe this new info will help free nonprofits from the tyranny of efficiency.
- What a week in Washington! And the biggest issue is all about the IRS and nonprofit organizations. For some insight and background on the 503(c)(4) conundrum, check out these posts:
Wednesday May 15, 2013
I've been reading the most recent book by Jeff Brooks, The Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money (Emerson & Church, 2012).
I'm not surprised that I agree with him about everything.
I follow Jeff's blog religiously, and you should too. It's Future Fundraising Now. Jeff's blog is infuriatingly plain. So is his book. Really, his core advice for direct mail fundraising, "make it plain, make it corny, make it obvious," is a sort of mantra for everything he does and writes.
That's because it works. How does he know? Because he tests everything! That's the difference between someone who really knows what he's talking about when it comes to fundraising and lots of other so called experts who just "theorize."
By the way, Jeff walks the talk. He is the creative director at TruSense Marketing and has been helping nonprofits for over 20 years. He's worked with some of the biggest nonprofit brands.
Jeff says that our biggest mistake in fundraising is thinking that what we like is what works. We're self-centered, rather than donor-focused. And, frankly, we are soooo off the mark.
Tuesday May 14, 2013
There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth when it comes to the subject of nonprofit boards. And it's true that many nonprofits have woefully inadequate boards that don't understand their fundraising duties nor even want to engage in helping with fundraising.
This month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival host, Erik Anderson of Donor Dreams, challenged us to write a letter to our board members (or a fictional board) that expressed all that we ever wanted to say...good or bad...to them.
I am lucky. The boards I've worked with have been pretty terrific, especially that first one when I was new to nonprofit work and was still learning the rules of staff/board relationships.
I have decided to put my gratitude into a love letter to that board for teaching me so much.