"Let's Talk Nonprofit" is a blog by Third Sector Consulting that addresses common questions that nonprofits have. Questions about fundraising. Questions about grant writing. Questions about what's going on in the nonprofit sector today. Ready? Great! Let's Talk Nonprofit.

2021 Blog PostsLet's Talk Nonprofit Blog RSS Feed

The Top 10 Posts From the Past 10 Years
After 10 years, this will be the last post on the Let's Talk Nonprofit blog. To mark the milestone, I'm sharing the most-read posts from the last decade. I re-read them all, and they're just as relevant today as when they were originally published. My goal was always to provide information that would help nonprofits grow and thrive. I'm grateful for all of the readers who made these posts so popular. Here's your top 10! (read more)

5 Never-Fail Fundraising Lessons
You have to love a book that's titled "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten." That got me thinking about the simple fundraising truths that I learned early on in my fundraising career. Things that still guide me every day, in every word I write for nonprofits. This post shares 5 of the best pieces of fundraising copywriting advice you'll ever get, from some of the most respected names in the sector. (read more)

Fly Fishing, Fundraising, and the AIDA Formula
What do fly fishing and fundraising have in common? More than you think! To be successful - whether fishing or raising money - it helps to follow the AIDA formula. Even if you have no interest in fishing, this post will tell you why you want to get Attention, keep Interest, build Desire, and drive Action. Follow the formula and you'll get the results you want from your donors. (read more)

A New Way to Think About Board Giving
Does your nonprofit have 100% board giving? If you do, is every board member making a personally meaningful gift? While 100% giving participation is an important goal, how much each board member actually gives is important, too. Everyone can't give at the same level, and they shouldn't. So, rather than suggesting a "board minimum," this post offers a better way for each board member to identify the right amount for them to give. (read more)

The 5 Basic Elements of Successful Fundraising Appeals
Chances are, so__ething is missing from your f_undraising appeals. Here's a formula: simply combine 'you' copy, 'me' copy, and 'it' copy with two envelopes, and you're on your way to a winning appeal. This post explores those three types of copy and the two envelopes you need, using a real-life example from my mailbox. (read more)

How Giving to Another Nonprofit Helps Them and You
Just like April showers bring May flowers, May brings a host of Spring Giving Days. These fundraising events are popping up all over. And it's not surprising, given the success of #GivingTuesday. These events are designed to drive donations, crowdfunding-style. Not only do your donations help other nonprofits, your gifts can actually help you understand and improve your own fundraising efforts. (read more)

Why Bill Gates Isn't a Good Prospect for Your Nonprofit
If you work for a nonprofit, and you're involved with fundraising, chances are someone has said, "What about Bill Gates? He has a lot of money." He does, and he's very generous when it comes to giving it away. But that doesn't mean he'll support your nonprofit. Here's what you need to know before you approach someone like Bill Gates (or another major donor) for a grant or an outright gift. (read more)

5 Grammar Rules That Were Made to Be Broken by Fundraisers
When you think about grammar, you probably think about subject-verb agreement, correct comma usage, and such. The problem is good grammar doesn't make for very good fundraising writing. Of course, there are still rules and best practices that fundraising writers should follow. But other rules were made to be broken. This post addresses the latter. (read more)

Do You Have Tippers, Buyers, Donors, or Investors
All donors are not created equal. You might think that how much they give is what makes them different. But it's really how they give - their motivation - that's more telling. For instance, are the type that likes to attend events, and who love to buy auction items? Or are they truly invested in making the world a better place? This post will explore 4 types of donors and tell you which 2 your nonprofit needs in order to survive and even thrive. (read more)

Looking Back to Plan Ahead - Fundraising Metrics that Matter
They say hindsight is 20/20. So, what does your nonprofit's 2020 data tell you? There are lots of ways to measure success beyond the bottom line. This post explores some of those metrics. The list here isn't exhaustive. But it will get you thinking beyond the bottom line - dollars raised. Looking back at your fundraising successes (or missteps) can help you plan ahead for a bright new year. (read more)