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Identify These Traits When Hiring Nonprofit Fundraising Staff

by Perry Jowsey on Oct 18, 2018 9:50:36 AM

Just as it is crucial to use a criteria-based method in selecting and retaining nonprofit marketing and fundraising consultants, so too it is essential to hire staff with the traits identified with fundraising success.  Get it right and your organization is poised for short and long-term revenue growth.  Get it wrong, and you set your organization back a minimum of 3 years. 

So, what are the ‘must haves’ a development professional should bring to the table that will help build a culture of success?  During my nearly 20 years in this business, I’ve found that a diverse combination of some obvious characteristics as well as some less intuitive ones yields the greatest return.

If you are leading an executive search for a fundraising staff member, the candidate with all the following attributes will provide the maximum return on investment:

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Topics: Nonprofit fundraising staff

Grant Writing for Nonprofits, Building Your Outstanding Grant Team

by Dan Linn on Oct 11, 2018 3:41:57 PM

As you develop your budget and staffing plans for FY 2018, most likely those plans include growing your grant writing team with top nonprofit talent.

Clearly grant writing for nonprofits can be a profitable fundraising enterprise.

A 2016 giving study published by Philanthropy Southwest revealed that 25,611 grants were awarded in Colorado with an average size of $31,049.00.  

Hiring the right people is a crucial step to achieving your mission.

As the job market improves, there are those who believe that the competition for talent is growing more aggressive.

Job seekers do have more choices, in both the for-profit and the nonprofit segments.

But as Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy explains we have entered into a new economic era where top employers are expected to connect people with their purpose.

Today finding a job that is a perfect fit is all about having an impact in society, earning a degree of personal growth and finding the right community.

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Topics: Fundraising, Grant Writing

Hiring a Nonprofit Marketing Agency? 6 Questions to Ponder.

by Dan Linn on Oct 4, 2018 3:07:50 PM

Winston Churchill once remarked that “we build our houses, and then they shape us.”

He was referring to Parliament.

But that statement applies to most of us.

That is, we create and fulfill our own expectations.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in nonprofit marketing and communications.

The demands being placed on communications teams and the requirement for specialized skills is growing rapidly.

Most nonprofits struggle to find talent with diverse capabilities to focus on their endlessly complex set of needs.

For all but the largest and fully equipped nonprofits, hiring a team of specialists in areas like data analysis, market research and UX design simply is not financially feasible.

What should a progressive, forward-looking nonprofit do?

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Topics: donor communications, Nonprofit Marketing

Digital Marketing for Nonprofits. 5 Mistakes to Avoid.

by Dan Linn on Sep 26, 2018 5:28:14 PM

Whether it’s gala events, soliciting donors or selling raffle tickets, nonprofit organizations live and die by their budgets and funding streams.

Finding a steady revenue stream can be vexing especially for smaller nonprofits.

Irrespective of their tenure as nonprofit digital marketers, newbies and seasoned professionals alike, are prone to make mistakes as they execute their programs and campaigns.

Because digital marketing is changing so quickly there’s a tendency to always look towards the next best thing and focus less on the lessons of the past.

But developing an awareness and understanding of past mistakes is one of the best ways to pave a path to future success.

Being aware of the most common nonprofit digital marketing mistakes can help ensure your organization avoids them in the future.

With that in mind, here are 5 of the most common missteps nonprofits frequently make.

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Topics: donor communications, donor personas, Fundraising, buyer personas

Fastest Path to Nonprofit Revenue Growth: Major Donor Upgrades

by Perry Jowsey on Sep 11, 2018 1:38:40 PM

In every nonprofit organization, there is a great deal of focus on bringing in new donors each year. Sometimes, irrational optimism takes hold with offices envisioning a herd of new unicorns marching through the door – first-time donors making five-figure gifts that will transform the agency for years to come. 

Needless to say, such reality is seldom witnessed. More importantly, lost among these dream visions are the single greatest asset to nonprofit fundraising growth – existing major donors. 

The prevailing school of thought responsible for this misdirection is the Atlas-complex that deifies giving at a certain level, especially among early supporters.  The thinking supposes that donors just tap out at a certain level and it would be audacious to ask them to do more, perpetuating one of the greatest fallacies in philanthropy.

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Topics: Fundraising, Nonprofit Marketing, Major Donors

How to Build Trust in Donor Communications with Email Newsletters

by Dan Linn on Sep 5, 2018 5:02:42 PM

Email newsletters are one of the most important and least expensive communication channels you have with your donors.

A regularly scheduled email newsletter keeps your audience updated and helps to build trust with subscribers in nonprofit marketing.

Many nonprofits believe that their email open and click through rates are too low.

That said, if your open rate is hovering around 21% and your click through rate is about 8%, your nonprofit email marketing is right on target according to a report released by Constant Contact in April of this year.

How can you create a newsletter that keeps your audience engaged and delivers the results you are looking for?

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Topics: Content Marketing, donor communications, email newsletter

Key Website Metrics to Assess for Successful Nonprofit Marketing

by Dan Linn on Aug 29, 2018 3:45:32 PM

You may have noticed that nonprofit marketing has become increasingly data driven.

These days the modern nonprofit has at its disposal a multitude of digital marketing metrics.

The data geeks in your organization have never been happier.

For others the volume of metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) can be overwhelming.

Finding the most important metrics can be challenging.

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Topics: Fundraising, donor cultivation

4 Ways to Improve Donor Personas and Boost Your Fundraising Strategies

by Dan Linn on Aug 22, 2018 3:28:43 PM

How often have you spent weeks, even months pouring over the details of a new marketing campaign only to have it fall flat?

You were sure that you did everything right.

Even after the monumental effort your team invested in collecting data, doing research and planning, while working against a tight deadline, the results you had hoped for never materialized.

It’s a nonprofit marketer’s worst nightmare.

Year after year, campaign after campaign, nonprofits find themselves asking the same old question; why aren’t we seeing better returns on our marketing campaigns?

The culprit could be your donor personas.

Millions of people use the internet every day.

How can you make sure that the right donor prospects find your site and like what they see when they land there?

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Topics: Donor Retention, Fundraising, donor personas

8 Quick SEO Tips for Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy

by Dan Linn on Aug 14, 2018 1:03:40 PM

Why is SEO for nonprofits important?

The basic goal of Search Engine Optimization is to increase website traffic.

All companies that have a website should want as many visitors to that site as possible.

It goes without saying that any organization could benefit from an effective SEO strategy.

By necessity, nonprofit marketing is fundamentally different from corporate or product marketing.

For profit corporations are interested in selling more product.  

By contrast, nonprofits are primarily interested in raising awareness for the cause they stand for.

What’s the best way to develop an SEO strategy for your nonprofit that will help your cause stand out?

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Topics: Nonprofit Marketing, Call to Action, Inbound Marketing

3 Immediate Steps for Financially Failing Nonprofits

by Perry Jowsey on Aug 6, 2018 4:28:55 PM

Last month I designed an interactive assessment for nonprofit finances, designed to provide an immediate snapshot to help evaluate and monitor nonprofit health.  Taking stock of this sort is more important now than ever before.  According to Forbes in 2016, half of nonprofits are set up to fail – and that was in the midst of economic boom predating current year predictions of a $20 Billion charitable giving decrease. 

Although budgeting with a downward and declining revenue projection is a dominant reality for nonprofits entering 2019, some are far more vulnerable to market forces.  You might be working for an organization where the ‘writing is on the wall’, perhaps through several years of budget deficits and hemorrhaging of cash.  Or, it might hit you out of the blue, like corporate giant Bear Stearns in 2008 – dissolving overnight after posting its first quarter of revenue loss in a more than 80-year history. 

Whatever path has led you here, if you’re among the 10% or so that scored under 20 on my assessment, your organization has a terminal diagnosis. Just as with any diagnosis this severe, the alternatives are to accept the fate and focus on getting affairs in order for the inevitable end, or to fight to the end with optimism and embracing all experimental remedies.  

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Topics: Nonprofit, Fundraising