How To Reach Younger Donors


I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:

Why 2015 Will Be The Year of Online Video


A great number of media organizations are touting 2015 as the “Year of Digital Video.” Most of these predictions refer to the broad range of videos, movies, advertising, and other online content that is exploding on multiple platforms. But there’s plenty of reasons that 2015 will be the year of online video for churches, ministries, and nonprofits as well:

In Media Programming, Are Male or Female Narrators More Effective?


I get a lot of questions about using male versus female voices in media productions. Largely because there are some terrific female narrators out there, and yet most videos, commercials, news, and other media seem to be dominated by male voices. Does it matter? I’ve asked many direct response producers, because DR is a genre that needs results right away. That includes infomercials, fundraising programming, donor development media, and most of religious media. It’s a place where you can measure results quickly, and Direct Response writers and producers have always told me

How Non-Profits and Religious Organizations Can Survive A Financial Crisis


I asked a distinguished panel of donor development and fundraising experts about the advice they would give churches and ministries during a financial crisis.  The panel included Mary Hutchinson, Mark Dreistadt, Dale Berkey, and David Holland.  I asked them to send me a couple of suggestions that could help a church or ministry get through a tough financial time.  Here’s their suggestions:

Who’s Accountable for Your Fundraising Mistakes?


I received an email last year with an invitation to “Click Here” to receive a Thanksgiving e-Card from the leader of a major ministry. First, the email was so infantile it made me feel like a 13 year old, and second, the ministry was forcing me to do something to receive it. Neither option was interesting to me. Not to mention that I was supporting the ministry, not the leader. Then I remembered

14 Critical Keys to a Successful Fundraising Project


What many donor development experts call “relationship” fundraising or marketing isn’t complicated, says Doug Brendel of BBS & Associates. Donor relationships work just like friendship. How many traits of friendship mirror your communications with the people who support your church, nonprofit or ministry?   According to Brendel, here’s 14 traits that need to be in place for your fundraising campaign to be successful:

Should Donors Be Upset About The New Crystal Cathedral Owners Removing Their Names?


Now that Pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an

How to Succeed on Kickstarter


To date there have been more than 100,000 projects launched on Kickstarter, but less than 43% actually meet their goals and are funded. What’s the problem? You may be sincere, hard working, and even had a great cause to fund, but without covering these important bases, the odds of striking out are huge. Here’s a good list from our social media expert Bailey Current of what you need to succeed on Kickstarter:

Do You Suffer from Church or Ministry Marketing Schizophrenia?


Direct mail and fundraising consultant Dale Berkey talked to me recently about how ministries and the marketing of ministries need to be intertwined.  Many Christian organizations have a kind of ministry/marketing schizophrenia. Which symptoms from this list can you identify in your church or ministry?