Do you work for your non-profit because you believe in the mission of the organization or because it is a good opportunity for you? I do for a combination of both but let me make a brief case for each.

Mission keeps the direction clear and gives you another reason to get out of bed. You have to have at least a little bit of passion if you want to be a fundraiser. People have to be convinced that you really believe in what you are doing. If the mission of your organization really makes you tick that is a great thing. Having mission can clarify and motivate you to do the work that you do.

The field of fundraising has grown a great deal in the last number of years and more and more people are calling their jobs a profession. More and more organizations are paying attention to best practices and strategic fundraising than ever before. For these reasons and more the non-profits we raise money for deserve a tried and true fundraiser. Opportunity means that your organization challenges you and that staff are valued and given the chance to grow. If you feel like your job challenges you and you see new areas of work for yourself it makes you feel comfortable with your future with the organization.

In order for us to be content in the job that we are in we need to have a little bit of both in the very least. I hope we can continue to provide environment for people to learn and make a difference.


Email Merge Secret

by Jason Dick · 0 comments

I wrote earlier about how writing informally can be a great strategy to personalize a donor letter. We all use email and receive way to many mass emails. We have become experts at figuring out what is an email we need to read and what we can delete right away.

If we put in the subject of our email, “December Newsletter,” or “Seeking Volunteers for Such and Such,” people will know we are emailing a number of people and not just them. Often we will try and say way too much in one message. Volunteers and donors will not respond to an email that asks them to do 3 or 4 different thing but they might respond if you ask them to do one little thing.

So here is my secret. Create a spreadsheet and put the first name of who you will be sending the message to in one line, and their email in the other. Use Word and do an email merge. Type a short message asking a specific informal question:
We are having a breakfast for new volunteers on Friday, can you attend?
And then do an email merge with their name and stick your email signature at the bottom.


Mr. Formal or Informal

November 11, 2014

When communicating with donors how we talk with them, especially in mass mailings, is really important. Some people really appreciate formality while others want you to tell a compelling story with simple language. A good general rule is the more that you know someone the more informal your writing can be. When writing a solicitation […]

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Business Before Pleasure

November 4, 2014

Everyone has a different way of connecting with people. Often times you will use a different strategy when you connect with a donor versus a co-worker or a friend. In fundraising because relationships are so important there is quite a bit of time committed to getting to know donors, volunteers, and staff members. But how […]

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Cold Calling or Networking

October 28, 2014

We are all looking for new donors and new partnerships. And how else do you find these relationships without networking or cold calling? Below are a few advantages to each. Networking can work extremely well if you have active volunteers or you have a lot of personal connections. It is always smart to let board […]

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October 21, 2014

I have spent a lot of time with people’s calendars trying to schedule time to meet with them one-on-one. Here are a few tips/tricks that I use: Talk with people about what their typical schedule looks like so you get an idea as to when they are usually free. Ask for two times instead of […]

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The Water Cooler

October 14, 2014

How much time do you actually spend at the water cooler? I’m going to make the case for spending just a little bit more time there. Internal relationships are often the key to fundraising success. If you have the support of your fellow fundraisers and program staff your job will often become a lot easier. […]

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All Talk And No Give

October 7, 2014

A pet peeve of mine is when a development office spends all their time talking about donors and none of their time talking to donors. Has your organization ever fallen victim to this trap? It is important that you do the needed research and you ask in the right timing. And it is also a […]

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Eloquence in Equivalencies

September 30, 2014

An equivalency is an example of what a specific sum of money buys for your organization. I have been really surprised when these numbers are not strategically planned and thought through. If you are going to create statistics please, please use them to upgrade donors. Say things like a gift of $10 will do this […]

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The Fundraising Advantage

September 23, 2014

What are some of the advantages of working in fundraising and in the nonprofit world? Below are a few of my ideas. Feel free to leave some of your own in a comment: Why are you in fundraising? What would be a few advantages that I missed? You have a great opportunity to spend 8 […]

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