"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.

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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)

The Year In Review Best of Let's Talk Nonprofit in 2018
In case you missed a post (or just want to re-read a favorite), here are the top 5 articles from this past year. Rankings are based on email open rates and social shares. (read more)

What Fundraising Metrics Are Worth Measuring
The new year is a great time to set new goals for your organization. Even if it's the midway point in your fiscal year, you can still set goals - for the fiscal year or this calendar year. Just don't wait until the end of the year to measure your success! Check out these 10 fundraising metrics you might consider tracking and reporting, to help you reach your year-end goals. (And don't miss the 2 metrics that no nonprofit can afford to ignore!) (read more)

What Your Donors Really, Really Want
Donor retention is key to a nonprofit's annual campaign and overall fundraising success. Yet many donors focus on getting new donors, rather than keeping the ones they have. So, how do you keep donors? By giving them what they want. And what do donors want? It's surprisingly simple. Do these few simple things, and you'll drive donor commitment, loyalty and retention - and raise more money. (read more)

Demystifying the Data from 2 Key Fundraising Reports
Fundraising is both a science and an art. And each year, Giving USA and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project give us lots of data and insights to the sector. Once you unlock the data, you can use the science to practice the art of fundraising. Here are some top takeaways from the reports and how you can use that information to raise more money. (read more)

Anatomy of a Stellar Thank You Letter
Here are some simple truths: When you give someone a gift, you expect them to say "thank you." And when a donor makes a contribution to your nonprofit, you should always say thank you. In writing. It doesn't have to be handwritten. It could be a typed letter. Or even email. Whatever medium you choose, your "thank you" should have some basic elements. Follow these four simple steps and you'll take your thank you letters from average to All Star! (read more)

Do You Have An Attitude of Gratitude
Do your donors feel special? I do, and it's thanks to some tremendous work by nonprofits in my adopted hometown of Bozeman, MT. I made 10 modest gifts to 10 nonprofits on Give Big Day and watched to see what would happen. Wow! Here are some of the ways that I've been thanked for those donations over the last 90 days. Steal these ideas and you'll make your donor's day! (read more)

What a 10-Year-Old Can Teach You About Thanking Your Donors
We're taught as children that you always say "thank you" for a gift. Children may be able to get away with a verbal thank you or template-like letters. But your nonprofit can't. If my 10-year-old niece were a nonprofit, you can bet that I'd support her cause. Here are 3 reasons why. Apply these lessons when writing your next thank you to a donor, and you be taking a step towards getting your next gift. (read more)