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

2019 Blog PostsLet's Talk Nonprofit Blog RSS Feed

3 Must-Haves in Every Appeal Letter
Nonprofits want to hear more donors say "Yes!" (Yes? Yes!) So why do so many nonprofits miss the mark in their fundraising letters? Before you send your next appeal letter to the printer, take a minute to see if you can say "yes" to these three simple questions. You'd be surprised at how many fundraisers can't say their letters do these three things. (read more)

From Good to Great - Better Fundraising Offers
Have you heard of the 40-40-20 rule? It has HUGE implications for your fundraising success. For years, direct mail marketers and advertisers have followed this cardinal rule. The "40-40-20 rule" states that the success of any campaign ultimately depends on these three factors: 40% on the audience, 40% on the offer, and 20% on the creative. This post will show you how to turn a good fundraising offer into a great one. (read more)

Fundraising: After the Storm

Fundraising After the Storm
Natural disasters are becoming commonplace. In the last 6 weeks alone, we've seen wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest. Rains triggering massive flooding in the Midwest and Southeastern United States. Record flooding in Japan. More flooding and landslides across China and South Asia. This is not to minimize the impact of Hurricane Dorian. Instead, this is a call to action: to minimize fundraising fallout from storms and natural disasters so your nonprofit can finish the year strong. (read more)

What Nonprofits Can Learn from The Godfather
Even if you've never seen "The Godfather," you probably know its most famous line. Marlon Brando, as Don Corleone, utters "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." Take away the sinister tone, and you have a brilliant piece of fundraising advice. Your "offer" is a key part of any successful fundraising appeal. Yet far too many nonprofits fail to make any sort of offer at all. This post explores "offers," what they are, and how to use them in your next fundraising appeal. (read more)

Focus on These 2 Groups of Donors and You'll Raise More Money
When you keep more donors, you'll raise more money. It's really as simple as that. Yet too many nonprofits focus on "donor acquisition" - or getting new donors. Smart fundraisers know that the money lies in "donor retention" - or keeping the donors you already have. The fact is you won't be able to keep all of your donors. But you can keep more of them. Here's how. (read more)

9 Steps To a Successful Stewardship Plan
Stewardship is what happens after a donor makes a gift. Stewardship is about relationship-building. And that includes how you communicate with each and every donor. Do it right, and you'll create an army of more loyal donors. Loyal donors will stay with you longer and give more money. So, how do you create a successful stewardship program? (read more)

How to Find and Keep Your Major Donors
Every nonprofit wants major donors. But here's a secret: you already have them. This post will reset your expectations about major gifts, show you how to find major donors in your database, and tell you how to keep them - so they'll keep giving and give more when they do. (read more)

Secret to raising more money, Treating your donors differently
Do you treat your donors more like VIPs or more like ATMs? Donors are, indeed, very important people. They are the reason your nonprofit can do its good work. Sadly, too many nonprofits treat their donors like bank machines. Donations are transactions. Thank you letters look and read more like a receipt than a genuine expression of gratitude. This post focuses how you can treat your donors more like VIPs. (read more)

3 Easy Ways to Show Donor Love
Do you know the most important word in fundraising? I'll give you a clue. I've used it twice already. It's "you" - as in "you," the donor. Your donor is the reason you can do your good work. Yet many nonprofits fail in giving their donors this kind of credit. They don't show enough #donorlove in their donor communications. This post will share 3 simple ways you can show more #donorlove. When you do, you'll keep more donors. And when you keep more donors, you'll raise more money. (read more)

Donors Want Outcomes, Not Activities
Fundraising is a cycle: ask, thank, report, repeat. Unfortunately, far too many nonprofits skip the "report" piece. And, the fact is, if you skip the reporting step, you're losing donors. Why? Because research finds that donors just want three things before they'll give again. One is "measurable results on their gifts at work before they are asked for more money." This post explores how you can report measurable results (or outcomes) to your donors. (read more)

3 P's of Better Thank Yous

Three P's of Better Thank Yous
Do you know what donors want? More importantly, are you giving them what they want? When you do, they're more likely to give again and give more when they do. Research tells us that donors want three very specific things. They aren't especially hard to do, yet most nonprofits don't. At least not very well. The first thing donors want is to be acknowledged: promptly, personally, and in a personalized way. This post explores what that means and how can you do it better. (read more)

Are your thank you letters personalized, personal, or both
Are your thank you letters personalized, personal, or both? Putting your donor's name in the letter and referring to the gift amount? That's personalization. Thanking your donor for something specific that they did? That's personal. This post will give you a few examples of how I made some thank you letters personal. Then I'll share some ways you can make your own thank you letters more personal, too. (read more)

Want to Raise More Money Focus on Donor Retention
Does your nonprofit want to raise more money this year? If so, now is a great time to start. Make a New Year's Resolution to improve your donor retention rate. Because when you keep more donors, you can raise more money. While that's a simple concept, it's not easy to do. But it doesn't have to be hard, either. This is the first in a series of posts to help you improve donor retention. Because when you do, you'll raise more money for your nonprofit this year - and every year. (read more)

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