How To Reach Younger Donors

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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

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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?

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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

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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:

Four Important Keys to Successful Fundraising Videos

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Hundreds of nonprofit organizations and religious ministries use fundraising videos to tell their story. It’s a powerful medium, and along with other projects, our team at Cooke Pictures produces fundraising and donor development videos for some of the largest nonprofits and ministries in the country. After years of producing these around the world, we’ve discovered some important keys to creating an impact with the audience. The next time your organization considers a promotional or donor video for your website or to show at a live event, here’s some important principles to remember:

Who’s Accountable for Your Fundraising Mistakes?

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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

If You Were Given $10 Million, What Would You Do?

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I’ve started asking that question to my friends – particularly those in the ministry and nonprofit world. “If a donor suddenly stepped up and offered you a $10 million donation, what would you do with it?” I’ve been shocked at the number of people – even older, more experienced pastors and leaders – who have no idea. They’ve spent decades in ministry and yet can’t really express what

14 Critical Keys to a Successful Fundraising Project

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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?

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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