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#COMMUNICATIONS: Postal Service Rates To Rise on 27 January

USPS 1stClass2012 132x150 #COMMUNICATIONS: Postal Service Rates To Rise on 27 January

Forever stamps still good after the 27th.

We have managed to put off the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ for a couple of months, but we can’t avoid the changes in postal rates coming in a couple of weeks. Thanks to our fine business partners at Ecoprint in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the heads-up! The US Postal Service (USPS) has been on hard times over the last 5-7 years due to the overwhelming presence of email, social networks, and e-fax services. Moreover, the semi-private/ public service is carrying a striking burden of compensation packages for its executives that, frankly, seem to outweigh the performance of the venerable institution. Be that as it may, be prepared for upticks to many of the services. What’s coming at the end of the month?

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| Category Advice, Campaigns, Civics, Communications, Cross-Post, Direct Mail, Education: General, Marketing, Marketing Budget, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Resource, Web and Print | | 0 Comments

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#PROAGING: Technology Can Encourage Socialization & Longevity

Perhaps the greatest gift of life is the ability to share many its aspects with others. We have communication skills and empathies that can enliven mundane tasks and reinforce the greater joys and tragedies of the human experience. As social beings, we seek out these shared experiences from our earliest infancy to our later golden years. For many aging citizens, though, physical limitations and technological impositions can reduce opportunities for socialization, which in turn has been shown to decrease both life quality and life expectancy.

Most aging Americans want to live in their own homes as they age, but that desire also increases the likelihood of growing isolation and falling life quality. How might recent technological innovations keep seniors connected to their peers and their younger family members?

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| Category Advocacy, Aging, Boomers, Civics, Communications, Community, Grandparents, Healthcare, Independent Living, Major Gifts, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits | | 0 Comments

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#FUNDRAISING: The Holiday Season For Donations Begins Now. Ready?

money tree 99x150 #FUNDRAISING: The Holiday Season For Donations Begins Now. Ready?The pools are open and busy. The grill has cooled down since the July-4th Picnic. The MLB All-Star Game is tonight. It’s July. One of the traditional/old-fashioned ways to disrupt the heat is to hold a “Christmas in July” party, and your nonprofit or charity should be having one. Why? To celebrate the good work you have been doing for the last six months, and to energize yourselves for the critical holiday season of solicitation and fundraising that should hit its peak in mid-November and continue right through the new year. Yep, the groundwork for a successful holiday season needs to start soon, like tomorrow.

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| Category Advice, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Communications, Crowdfunding, Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants and Funding, Major Gifts, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Planned Giving, Planned Giving, Public Relations, Publications, Report, Resource, Social Marketing, Strategic Marketing, Volunteerism | | 3 Comments

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: What Makes Pinterest So Engaging? It’s So Simple.

Screen Shot 2012 06 14 at 10.32.38 300x71 #SOCIALNETWORKS: What Makes Pinterest So Engaging? Its So Simple.Pinterest was released as a private beta in March 2010, which makes it something of a late-comer (or the ‘second generation?) of social networking platforms. Its mission was “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting,” and its modus operandi was to encourage people to ‘pin’ whatever they found interesting online to their own boards (e-bullentin boards, if you will). Within two years, Pinterest claimed over 11 million users, making it the fastest site/service to break 10 million subscribers.

How has use in Pinterest exploded and why might a nonprofit want to establish a presence on the site? The simplicity of administering and advertising your organization’s interests make it well worth the effort. Let us show you how:

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Advocacy, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Dashboards, Design, Fundraising, How-to, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Mobile, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Pinterest, Public Media, Public Relations, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print, Web Design | | 1 Comments

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#COMMUNICATIONS: Is Your Organization Moving At The Speed Of Mobile?

With the rise of the smartphone and its ability to be the computer for millions of people around the world, mobile technology is becoming more powerful and less expensive every few months. And with those technological changes come changes of habit and expectation. One of the changes we and many others have commented on is the rise of text messaging as a medium not only to spread-the-word but also to raise funds for nonprofits and charities. The response to the American Red Cross’s texting campaign to deal with the horrors of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 is usually seen as the watershed event.

How has the nexus between cell-phone use and fundraising been strengthening over the last couple of years?

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Boomers, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Crowdfunding, Development, Fundraising, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Mobile, Mobile, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Report, Resource, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits, Volunteerism, Writing | | 1 Comments

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#COMMUNICATIONS: Make Your Next Fundraiser An Online Conversation Too

Twitter Wall 300x300 #COMMUNICATIONS: Make Your Next Fundraiser An Online Conversation Too

A Twitter Wall adds dynamism to even the smallest event

Though weather in the mid-Atlantic continues to flirt with spring while staying surprisingly loyal to winter, it is the season to be planning summer festivals, fundraisers, and rallies. And if you really want to stay on top of your nonprofit’s schedule, start planning your end-of-year banquet as well (and use Tungle). But in this day and age, a nonprofit’s fundraising festival should be but one component of a multi-media plan to engage constituents, volunteers, and supporters both at the event and in the social networks of those attending.

We have recommended ‘Tweet Tables’ in previous posts, and today we draw on a really useful compendium of ideas from Trevor Jonas at Mashable.com.

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| Category Advertising, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Events, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Gala, Geo-Location, How-to, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Media Review, Mobile, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter | | 0 Comments

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#INTERVIEW: Sean Triner, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist of Pareto Fundraising

Sean Triner6 #INTERVIEW: Sean Triner, Co Founder and Chief Evangelist of Pareto FundraisingSean Triner is co-founder and “chief evangelist” of Pareto Fundraising, a direct marketing firm working in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand exclusively with nonprofit organizations. Sean is a frequent speaker and consultant at international fundraising events. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a regular contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: How is your direct marketing model different from the U.S. model?

SEAN: The key difference is volumes. The whole population of Australia is about 20 million. Also, the costs of things are extraordinary. Cars are 40%, 50%, even 60% more here. Petrol is 50% more than in the U.S. With such small populations and such extraordinary costs, to get a direct-mail package out costs literally three times as much. The printing is three times as much. The postal stamp is three times as much. The mailing-list purchase prices are up to three times as much.

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| Category Communications, Community, Copyrighting, Cross-Post, Development, Donor Acquisition, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Fundraising, Interview, Major Gifts, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Publications, Special Series, Storytelling, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#ENVIRO: CBS/EcoMedia Partnership Expands To Bring Revenues To Green Nonprofits

The alliance between CBS/EcoMedia began just last year in an effort to bring advertising dollars directly to nonprofits, and the success of the program is beyond doubt as five more nationally recognized environmental nonprofits have recently joined the ranks. The effort of the partnership is allow corporate sponsors who buy advertising through the CBS conglomerate to direct some of that money toward the nonprofits themselves. According to the EcoMedia mission statement, “We’ve developed partnerships with cities across America, all of which have environmental projects in need of funding. When companies advertise with us, dollars go directly into these projects, thereby turning traditional television commercials, radio spots, online advertising, and outdoor billboards into EcoAds.”

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| Category Advertising, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Environment, Grants and Funding, Greening, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Press Release, Public Media, Public Relations | | 0 Comments

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#INTERVIEW: Joanne Fritz, The About.com Website Guide on Nonprofit Charitable Organizations

Joanne Fritz is the guide to About.com’s “Nonprofit Charitable Organizations” site. A former high school and university teacher, she has also been a senior manager at two nonprofits and two universities. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: Is About.com a blog or something else?
JOANNE: About.com is sort of its own animal. It has close to 1,000 guides. Each guide is an expert in a particular topic area. Each of us has a mini-website that includes a blog. So when you first see, for instance, my landing page, it has the blog, but then over to the side are topics, and those links will generally lead you to articles that are meant to be evergreen information. We typically use the blog to keep up with what’s happening in the here and now. The articles go into more depth and are more like reference materials. We’re constantly creating evergreen content because most of our traffic comes from search, and they turn up on one of our articles. I usually blog at least three times a week. There’s a lot going on about nonprofits these days, so it’s a constant struggle to keep on top of it.

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| Category Blogs, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, eNewsletter, Facebook, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Publications, Social Media, Special Series, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#INTERVIEW: Jeff Brooks, Nonprofit Blogger, Author, and Creative Director

1887339 #INTERVIEW: Jeff Brooks, Nonprofit Blogger, Author, and Creative DirectorJeff Brooks has been working on behalf of nonprofits for more than 20 years and passionately blogging about fundraising since 2005. He writes the Future Fundraising Now blog and is creative director at TrueSense Marketing. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge of being a good copywriter?

JEFF: What most people who are not professional copywriters get wrong is they don’t differentiate themselves from their audience. That’s why most fundraising is just bad. It doesn’t succeed the way it ought to because they say, I’m going to make this please me, and then it’ll please the others and then it’ll work. Well, that’s just wrong. That’s not how you create quality fundraising. You have to know your audience, and reach out to them, and 99 percent of the time, you’re going to hate it. You may say, I wouldn’t respond to this! And you’re absolutely correct, and it absolutely doesn’t matter.

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| Category Blogs, Campaigns, Communications, Copyrighting, Cross-Post, Development, Donor Acquisition, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Fundraising, Grants and Funding, Interview, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Publications Design, Research, Special Series, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#INTERVIEW: Kivi Leroux Miller, Consultant, Trainer and Blogger on Nonprofit Communications

F112667124 238x300 #INTERVIEW: Kivi Leroux Miller, Consultant, Trainer and Blogger on Nonprofit CommunicationsKivi Leroux Miller is a successful consultant, trainer and blogger on nonprofit communications. She leads weekly webinars from her website. She also is the author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: What was your goal when you started the blogging?

KIVI: My goal from the beginning has really been to help the small nonprofit organizations that don’t have the money to hire staff or to hire big consulting firms, but because of the Internet – especially – can do some very powerful things with just a little bit of time and a little bit of creativity. The blog is just a really easy way to get that kind of content out there. On the business side, it’s been phenomenal for my search engine optimization. I say I owe 90% of the traffic to the blog.

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| Category Blogs, Book, Communications, Cross-Post, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Storytelling, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#SM4NP: In Search For ROI, Can We Put A Number On A Relationship?

ROI graphic 150x117 #SM4NP: In Search For ROI, Can We Put A Number On A Relationship?

ROI can bring strong relationships as well as income to nonprofits

Who doesn’t want a high return on investment? Whether that investment is time or money, any business or nonprofit wants to see it put to good use and wants to see some reward for it. With the explosion of social media over the last five-to-seven years, we have watched a kind of bi-polar reaction to the development of an online/social media strategy. One tendency is to believe that with the new website and Twitter plug in, your organization’s work is done. The other is to strive to boost the number of Followers and Friends ever higher, though often be frustrated that each Facebook Friend is not donating each time he or she signs into their account. Perhaps we should envision a sweet spot between such extremes, for ourselves, for our clients, and for our constituents.

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| Category Advice, Blogs, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Communications, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Internal Marketing, Interview, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Media, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Video Interview | | 2 Comments

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#Communications: Postal Rates Raised Last Week – Not For Nonprofits

US Postal Service GuardianUK 150x90 #Communications: Postal Rates Raised Last Week   Not For NonprofitsThe United States Postal Service has been struggling financially for the last few years. The Bush Administration saddled the service with pre-paying its future retiree benefits for a decade (2006-2016), a demand uniquely imposed on the USPS. Bush’s policy meant the service went from profits in the $1.4 billion range in 2005 to one that has laid off thousands of works, closed numerous branches, and still needs to raise postal rates in an effort just to stay open. So what he did to the postal service he did to the country.

This past Monday many postal rates changed. For example, first-class mail went up by a penny and its guaranteed one-day delivery (depending on distance) was removed. Or perhaps you didn’t notice?

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| Category Advice, Campaigns, Civics, Communications, Community, Direct Mail, E-Mail, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, Marketing Budget, Marketing Skills, Measurement, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Strategic Marketing, Web and Print | | 1 Comments

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#interview: Tom Ahern — Author, Award-Winning Journalist, and Communications Consultant

Tom Ahern1 300x300 #interview: Tom Ahern    Author, Award Winning Journalist, and Communications ConsultantTom Ahern is the author of four books on fundraising communications, with a fifth on the way. An award-winning magazine journalist, he has written case statements for numerous campaigns and is a popular communications trainer and consultant. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: You’ve written four books. You’ve trained hundreds, maybe thousands of communicators, and by now you’d expect everybody knows what to do. Yet you’re still in high demand! How do you explain this?

TOM: How fast can you actually change the characteristic habitual behavior of communications in an industry as big as the nonprofit industry? At one point there were 1.6 million charities in the United States alone, and we’re not the only mature philanthropic market.) Some of the models that are well entrenched are just, I think, wrong. Yet everybody borrows from each other, they copy each other. And so you’ve got widespread bad practices, not best practices.

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| Category Communications, Community, Conference/Congress, Cross-Post, Design, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Graphic Design, How-to, Interview, Major Gifts, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Publications, Publications Design, Social Media, Special Series, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#Interview: Howard Adam Levy, Principal of Red Rooster Group

HowardLevy1 #Interview: Howard Adam Levy, Principal of Red Rooster GroupHoward Adam Levy is Principal of Red Rooster Group, a New York City-based branding, marketing and design agency for nonprofits. Howard, who began working with nonprofits as a graphic designer in 1991, founded the agency 10 years ago. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

MKC: What is most challenging about branding nonprofits?

HOWARD: Nonprofits face a wide variety of constituents, from clients, referral sources, donors, partner organizations, board members and others. So a lot more is involved in reaching out and developing messages and strategies for each of those audiences.

Businesses, especially small businesses, can make unilateral decisions on their marketing. Nonprofits are typically more consensus oriented. And particularly when it comes to the brand, you really want to get everyone’s input and have a feeling that everyone is contributing to the process of what we’re all about. So you need a process that can build consensus in a politically neutral environment and get everyone feeling really good about the brand and their role as brand ambassadors.

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| Category Blogs, Branding, Campaigns, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Design, Donor Acquisition, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Graphic Design, Interview, Major Gifts, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Publications Design, Slide Presentations, Social Media, Special Series, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Web Design, Writing | | 1 Comments

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#Interview: Michael Stein, Author, Blogger, & Veteran Nonprofit Technology Strategist

Michael Stein #Interview: Michael Stein, Author, Blogger, & Veteran Nonprofit Technology Strategist Michael Stein, Senior Account Executive for Donordigital, is a veteran nonprofit technology strategist whose areas of expertise include online fundraising, email messaging, email list growth, blogging, website content, mobile messaging, and social media. With Nick Allen and Mal Warwick, Michael wrote the groundbreaking 1997 book Fundraising on the Internet: Recruiting and Renewing Donors Online.

The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

MKC: How did you get into this field?

Michael: About 20 years ago, I was working for an environmental group just as the Internet started to emerge. I got in on the ground floor, building bulletin board systems for Greenpeace activists and others tracking toxic chemical emissions around the U.S. I helped build the pioneering Internet provider called IGC.org that trained nonprofits to use the Internet, which then morphed into the first experiments in online fundraising on the Web for Rainforest Action Network. In the mid-1990s, I hooked up with legendary direct mail fundraisers Mal Warwick and Nick Allen, and we started to think about what the future of fundraising might look like with the evolving Internet. Together we wrote the first book about fundraising online.

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Blogs, Branding, Campaigns, Communications, Community, Copyrighting, Cross-Post, Database, Development, Donor Acquisition, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Interview, iPad/Tablet, Major Gifts, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Special Series, Storytelling, Technology, Tools, Twitter, Writing | | 0 Comments

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#Finance: Postage Rates For Nonprofits Realigned. Do Yours Go Down Or Up?

The Nonprofit Times has a story we wanted to pass on to our readers about the adjustments to US Postal Rates that will have an impact on nonprofits and their mailing budgets. The news is important, but not dramatic. The story quotes Anthony Conway, Director of the Alliance for Nonprofit Mailers, who was rather sanguine about the rate adjustments:

The changes reflect the CPI for October, so the USPS has every right to increase mailing charges. Nonprofits are now prepared to deal with these increases as they can be predicted based on where the CPI is. This is not bad compared to other increases and at least they are not trying for an exigent increase again.

How will the changes affect your organization’s rates?

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| Category Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Fundraising, Marketing, Marketing Budget, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Publications, Report, Resource | | 0 Comments

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#Interview: Tiffany Applegate, Co-Founder of X Factor Consulting – Enhancing the Sustainability of Nonprofit Organizations

Tiffany Applegate is co-founder of X Factor Consulting, which works to enhance the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. With her marketing degree and MBA, she left the corporate world for the nonprofit sphere, and has been consulting since 2005. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEmedia blog.

MKC:  On your website, you focus a lot on sustainability.  I thought that sustainability was just a fancier word for fundraising, but clearly you mean something broader than that. Can you tell me about that?

TIFFANY:  A lot of people do think that in order to be sustainable they just need money. But we’ve worked with and talked to a lot of organizations that may have an endowment or what they think is a large amount in cash reserves, but things happen and the funds runs out, and since they haven’t focused on sustainability they’re no longer able to survive. We’ve also seen many organizations that have a large government grant, and then when the administration changes,  the focus of the grant program changes,  so they lose their money and the organization is gone,  because they haven’t focused on sustainability.
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| Category Blogs, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Special Series, Sustainability | | 0 Comments

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Marketing: Copywriting and Design Strategies for Better Donor Newsletters

Screen shot 2011 05 11 at 3.05.42  Marketing: Copywriting and Design Strategies for Better Donor NewslettersFundraising copywriter Lisa Sargent and designer Sandie Collette, of S.Collette Design, discuss how copywriting and design go hand-in-hand to make a Dublin-based charity’s newsletter overhaul a success.

Discover the strategies that helped make it happen in this case study of a nonprofit newsletter. Click here for the full article.

Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at donakchin.com

 Marketing: Copywriting and Design Strategies for Better Donor Newsletters

| Category Case Study, Communications, Cross-Post, Crowdfunding, Fundraising, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Publications Design | | 0 Comments

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Communications: Why Some Stories Work Better Than Others

Screen shot 2011 03 16 at 3.44.15  300x111 Communications: Why Some Stories Work Better Than OthersAndy Goodman, a highly regarded communications consultant, reflects on the principle of “the golden theme” that runs through all great stories – then demonstrates how nonprofits can use this principle to best effect. Download “Freerange” — his monthly newsletter on best practices here.

 

Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at donakchin.com

 Communications: Why Some Stories Work Better Than Others

| Category Communications, Cross-Post, Fundraising, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Writing | | 0 Comments

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It’s Not Too Late to Master Message Targeting

Image by National Library of Scotland via Flickr

You can stop kicking yourself about missing my wonderful workshop last week on “Making Your Messages Matter to Multiple Audiences.”  In response to icy conditions, the workshop is opening two weeks late. So yes! you have a second chance! The rescheduled workshop is now happening (weather permitting) Tuesday, February 15, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Baltimore office of Maryland Nonprofits, 190 West Ostend Street, Suite 201. Registration fee is $50 for Maryland Nonprofit members, $100 for non-members.  Do sign up on the Maryland Nonprofits website, or call them at 410-727-6367.

Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at donakchin.com.

 Its Not Too Late to Master Message Targeting

| Category Communications, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Newsletter, Seminar, Writing | | 0 Comments

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