Last Friday was Black Friday, perhaps you’re familiar with it. It’s a day dedicated to saving money. (As a nonprofit officer you’ve probably made an art of this.) While I stayed out of the stores, it did get me thinking. What are some more ways nonprofits can save? Like where I’m headed? I thought youContinue reading How to Save Your Nonprofit Money with Plannual Giving
Hard to believe we’re two days away from Thanksgiving. Your office chatter, like ours, has probably temporarily turned from planned giving to potlucks. Whether you’re enjoying goodies or tying up plans for Giving Tuesday: Press pause and give thanks to those who support your nonprofit’s works through every season. We’re not talking anything big hereContinue reading [FREE IMAGES] Last-Minute Ways to Thank Your Donors
Today we welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to provide us with steps you can take to collect IRA proceeds. Naming a charity as a beneficiary of an IRA is easy… Collecting the proceeds is harder. Charitable organizations often highlight the ease and flexibilityContinue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] How to Collect IRA Proceeds
Have you heard? The kindness is catching, and it’s going global. Knowing you, my planned giving friends, you’re already committing random acts of kindness daily. It’s who you are and what you’re inclined to do, especially in the realm of nonprofit work. The good news is that we’re taking it to the streets: World KindnessContinue reading 3 Ways to Thank Your Supporters on World Kindness Day
Let’s face it, planned giving has a spooky side. As fundraisers, you may have your share of nonprofit horror stories. But being prepared, makes things a whole lot less scary. SCARY TRUTHS OF PLANNED GIVING Gift planning isn’t easy, and it can be confusing. Bequests, CGAs, DAFs—these acronyms can overwhelm your donors. That’s why you’reContinue reading Scary Truths About Planned Giving
This year, Giving Tuesday lands on November 27. Is your calendar marked? More importantly, does your nonprofit have a plan in place? If you’re still in the “planning to plan” phase, don’t sweat. It’s never too late to put together a Giving Tuesday strategy. (That being said, it’s never too early to start organizing aContinue reading How You Can Make the Most of Giving Tuesday
Is mailing in December a nonprofit do or don’t? Traditionally, sending direct mail in December has been viewed as less-than-ideal in the nonprofit industry. The logic behind this was simple. Donors most likely just donated their year-end gifts—not to mention the added financial strain of the holidays. The assumption: No one wants to think aboutContinue reading Why You Need to Hit Your Donor’s Mailbox First Thing in 2019
Did you know that most of us receive over 100 emails a day? With a number like that, getting your donors to read your emails seems like a daunting task. So how can your nonprofit cut through the clutter? We gathered some of Stelter’s experts last week to help us answer this question. Our DigitalContinue reading How to Make Your Donors Want to Read Your Emails
We get a lot of questions about using social media to promote planned giving. “How should we be using it?” “What’s the real opportunity?” We know that fundraising is all about doing more with less. To help you reach your social potential with ease, we’ve compiled some social media do’s and don’ts. Don’t: Create aContinue reading Get Social: A Simple Guide to Improve Your Social Media
“It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.” The person who coined this phrase must not have been referring to nonprofit work. As I see it, if we are to continue “doing business” successfully for our nonprofits then we have to make it more personal, especially in how we connect with donors and supporters. Today, it’s notContinue reading Dear Sir/Madam: Your Marketing Needs to Be More Personal
Today we welcome back a special guest to the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to share 3 ways you can grow your CGA program. One of the key takeaways from the American Council on Gift Annuities Conference held earlier this year was that rapidly growing planned giving programs shifted fromContinue reading 3 Tips to Grow Your Charitable Gift Annuity Program
I’ve been thinking about two stats all week: Only 22 percent of Americans over the age of 30 say they’ve been asked for a planned gift. (Stelter Donor Insight Report: Donors On the Move) An estimated $59 trillion in wealth, with $6.3 trillion in charitable bequests, will be transferred through 100 million estates from 2007-2061.Continue reading Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Planned Giving Program
Ready or not, the end of the year is upon us. With half of nonprofits receiving a majority of their annual donations from October through December, we all know that the months ahead can be the most hectic, challenging and rewarding. We are here to help lighten the load a little this year. Here areContinue reading How to Plan the Most Successful Year-End Campaign Ever
Quick stat: Ninety-one percent of U.S. consumers check their email daily. For nonprofits, this means countless opportunities to connect with “our people” in meaningful ways, through their inbox. Rise above the other 120 emails office folks like you and I receive every day—and reap the rewards—with these 5 tips. 1. Let’s be clear, here. AboveContinue reading How to Make Email Campaigns Work (So They Actually Get Read!)
Recently, we were lucky enough to have Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® join us for our webinar series. He shared his latest research in our webinar Why Cash Is Not King In Fundraising: Results From 1 Million Nonprofit Tax Returns. He uncovered the secret to fundraising growth—and it’s not cash. 3 Things to Think AboutContinue reading This is the Secret to Fundraising Growth
How do you capture the attention of your donors in a world crowded with marketing messages? Writing marketing materials that resonate with your donors is not an easy feat. Whether these messages are print or digital, the challenge and competition remain great. To help you, we’ve compiled some pointers from our editorial team at Stelter.Continue reading 10 Tips to Write Better Marketing Materials
Today we welcome back a special guest to the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to share 6 tips to minimize risk to your charitable gift annuity program. The recent increase in the suggested maximum CGA rates is a win for donors and nonprofits. Annuitants will receive a higher percentage ofContinue reading Minimize Risk to Your CGA Program
Stewardship is the reason people give. It’s often a buzzword in our industry. But how exactly should you steward your donors? Cultivate strong donor relationships by showing— and telling—your donors how much your organization values them and the impact they are making. A handwritten note still goes a long way, but many nonprofits are lookingContinue reading How to Steward Your Donors
As a nonprofit professional, you know that things are changing all the time, from your board to your budget. But what about your planned giving marketing program? Change is hard. Repeating the same marketing program year after year is the easy, safe choice, but it also makes it difficult for your program to grow. AndContinue reading Change the Plan: How to Refresh Your Planned Giving Program
“You never know until you ask,” right? This old saying has never been more relevant than it is today. Just think about it: How many surveys do you receive from your favorite brands? Your nonprofit should be no different. Nearly 30 years ago, Stelter’s first survey hit donors’ mailboxes. A lot has changed with ourContinue reading 3 Dos and Don’ts of Surveying
Today we welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to give us her analysis on Giving USA’s 2018 numbers. Why Now Is the Time to Market Planned Giving Between individual donations, corporate donations, bequests and foundation giving, Americans gave a record $410.02 billion in 2017.Continue reading ‘Giving USA 2018’: Inside the Numbers
Working with my dad, Larry Stelter, has definitely been a unique family experience—one that I wouldn’t change for the world. Growing up, I assumed that everyone worked countless hours and frequently traveled across the country. My dad never slowed down, and still truly hasn’t. When I was younger, I hoped to grow up to beContinue reading 3 Important Things I Learned from My Father, Larry Stelter
410.02 billion dollars. That is 2017’s record-breaking number for charitable giving, reported by Giving USA 2018. As you may recall, in their 2017 report, the Giving USA Foundation stated that 2016 reached new philanthropic heights with an impressive $390.05 billion in charitable giving. 2017, not to be outdone, made history—yet again— with their figure generouslyContinue reading ‘Giving USA 2018’: Banner Year for Philanthropy
In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Impact stories, donor stories—the fundraising industry offers many compelling storytelling opportunities. However, a poor story can cloud your message and take up real estate that could have been leveraged to drive results. The best stories have three qualities: They communicate, they resonate and,Continue reading [Infographic] The Path to a Great Story
In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Done right, an 8.5×11-inch piece of paper manages an incredible amount of work in your marketing communications. Here are a few powerful things a cover letter can do for your fundraising goals…and one thing it can’t. A cover letter IS: 1. PersonalContinue reading 4 Things a Cover Letter Is (And 1 Thing It Isn’t)
A few weeks ago, my brother Jeremy and I met up at the American Council on Gift Annuities Conference in Seattle. Jeremy is Stelter’s director of business development for the Western U.S. and has helped fundraising professionals grow their gift planning programs through research-based marketing strategies for more than 15 years. While together, we talkedContinue reading A Planned Giving Conversation Between Stelter Brothers
Stelter’s senior technical consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D., is back to give you an update on the new schedule of CGA rates. The American Council on Gift Annuities has released a new schedule of suggested maximum gift annuity rates for gifts established on or after July 1, 2018. On average, rates will increase from 30 toContinue reading New Charitable Gift Annuity Rates Released
No doubt, Facebook has the eyes and ears of the people you want—and need—to succeed. Count your donors, fans and clients among the roughly 1.4 billion daily active Facebook users around the globe. But with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms and recent Cambridge Analytica controversy, where does that leave nonprofits? How can you capitalize on this massiveContinue reading 5 Tips to Maximize Your Facebook Reach
The 2018 conference season is in full swing! One of the premier conferences we have the pleasure of attending every two years took place last week in Seattle—The American Council on Gift Annuities Conference. My brother Jeremy and I had the opportunity to attend together. We spent most of our time connecting with our nonprofitContinue reading Top 3 Takeaways from ACGA
Today we welcome a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. In her role, Lynn keeps a close watch over tax legislation, research and trends that could affect your planned giving program. I would like to share some exciting news that was announced earlier today at the American Council onContinue reading Charitable Gift Annuity Rates on the Rise
It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in Iowa (at least for the next couple days), and the spring conference and speaking season has fully commenced. This time of year is equally exhilarating and exhausting as I find myself all over the country (from Boston to Seattle and Indianapolis to Dallas…and everywhere in between)Continue reading Conversations at 30,000 Feet
April is National Volunteer Month. For those of you who work in the nonprofit world everyday, volunteers are your lifeline. We can talk all day about targeted campaigns, donor lists and multichannel marketing, but without volunteers to go out into our communities, advocate your mission and support you with their time and service, you’d beContinue reading Stelter’s Volunteers: Helping Our Iowa Community
Recently, I was talking with someone who’s been in planned giving for nearly 20 years. She definitely talks the talk and walks the walk, able to expertly adjust her approach and vocabulary to meet any situation—donor appreciation luncheons to industry Q&A panels. She was describing a meeting with a potential donor in which a teamContinue reading 17 PLANNED GIVING TERMS YOUR TEAM SHOULD KNOW
Today we welcome a special guest to the blog: our own Creative Director, Zach Christensen. Zach inspires and provides vision to Stelter’s creative services team, which serves more than 1,500 organizations nationally. He draws on more than 15 years of experience in marketing and design to produce work for Stelter’s most strategic nonprofit brands. InContinue reading [Infographic] Generational Giving: Do They Differ?
In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker. If you look at your mailing list and consider it just a collection of names, it’s time for a marketing reboot. Knowing your donors—and talking to them personally instead of globally—is the key to marketing effectiveness. You’ll never have a donor raiseContinue reading Marketing to Jane Differently Than Joe
Whether you’re just off the blocks with your fundraising plan or plotting next year’s move, at some point you’ll come up against the question, “Should grants be part of our plan?” The short answer: Yes, but with a caveat and some consideration. Here’s why it’s at least worth starting the conversation: $60 Million: The amountContinue reading 9 tips for writing successful nonprofit grants
Do you ever walk into a place and just feel it—an energy, a buzz, a vibe? Do you think you have it at your organization? 4 Internal Benchmarks That Your Nonprofit is Thriving Before you ask yourself if your nonprofit’s “thrive-ability” emanates from just these four things—is it really that simple?!—realize they’re broad indicators. ButContinue reading Is Your Nonprofit Thriving?
Nearly half of nonprofit leaders left or planned to leave their position within the next two years, according to The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit by The Bridgespan Group. More surprisingly, the major reason for leaving wasn’t retirement. Rather, 12 percent of nonprofit leaders left their positions to go to other organizations—making this the leading reasonContinue reading How You Know Nonprofit Work Is Right for You
Today we welcome back guest blog favorite and Stelter’s Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Katie worked for major international consumer magazines and websites for 12 years before joining our Stelter team as the head of our content strategy and execution. Gut-check time. Let’s peek at your upcoming 2018 communications by answering one simple question: Are youContinue reading The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Program
Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D., is back with another blog on tax law. This time, she is here to answer all of your burning questions regarding the new tax law. (If you missed it, here is her initial blog on the charitable giving implications of the new tax law.) In her six yearsContinue reading New Tax Law: FAQ
Hearts, chocolate, roses—love and sweet things are in the air today. The sweetest notion? Couples really do love … giving together. “Giving is a source of agreement among couples.” —2017 Fidelity Charitable survey A 2017 Fidelity Charitable report found that more than 80 percent of its donors make giving decisions as a couple, including whichContinue reading The Secret to True Love: Giving as a Couple
What is true integrated marketing communications anyway? We are all familiar with the term. For most of us, it means logo consistency and, for larger organizations, centralizing all marketing functions; but this doesn’t even begin to encompass all that is integrated marketing communications. It was a term coined by concept-creator and developer Don Schultz, aContinue reading The Great Integration: Marketing Communications
Today we welcome a special guest: Stelter’s Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Katie worked for major international consumer magazines and websites for 12 years before joining our Stelter team as the head of our content strategy and execution. When it comes to financial decisions in your own life, whose voice do you depend on? For instance,Continue reading Why Their Voice Is Better Than Yours: The Art of the Testimonial
A great corporate partnership can move mountains—or in the case of Lady Liberty, restore her to her great standing. American Express was among the first companies to partner with a nonprofit in the 1980s, in this case, with a group raising funds to restore the Statue of Liberty. Groundbreaking and rewarding for all sides, theContinue reading What Do Companies Want from Their Corporate Partnerships?
Research from The Bridgespan Group shows that demand for effective nonprofit leaders today is as high as ever. While demands are being met by filling executive director and other senior management positions fairly quickly and fairly well, the challenge still persists: How do we find a leader who is not only good at what heContinue reading How to Lead like a Boss When the Going Gets Tough
With each new year comes a fresh start, whether that be for your physical fitness regime or your planned giving efforts: Use it to your advantage. 2017 was a year of learning, growth and—as always—change. Kickstart 2018, and your planned giving program, with these ideas: 1. Targeting vs. “Spraying and Praying”—Use our research to yourContinue reading Planned Giving Marketing Trends of 2018
There’s a bit of a chill in the air. Perhaps you’ve felt it? Welcome to January 2018. Sure, we all shake and shiver this time of year. But do you also feel mentally frozen, about being back to work after the glowing holidays while staring at another 12 months of a full calendar? Instead ofContinue reading How to Make 2018 What You Want It to Be
As another successful year is coming to an end, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights from this past year. As we looked back on 2017, the word ‘growth’ continued to come up time and time again. Growth in the money raised for our nonprofit partners andContinue reading Best of 2017
Today we welcome a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. In her role, Lynn keeps a close watch over tax legislation, research and trends that could affect your planned giving program. As of Dec. 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been signed into law by the president. YouContinue reading Tax Reform and Charitable Giving Implications
From our biannual Stelter Olympics to my weekend soccer league, I can be a bit competitive. Like most of us, I strive to be the best at what I do—especially in the professional sense. I believe this is because the better we are at what we do, the more profoundly we can affect the livesContinue reading How to Be Better at Being You
The future is here. Between 2017 and 2030, an estimated $1.5 to $6 trillion in charitable gifts will be designated to nonprofits in the U.S. In other words, retiree support will account for half of all giving by 2025. While there’s certainly a greater societal sensitivity to the vital work of nonprofits—and many who supportContinue reading Matures to Boomers: Who You Need to Reach Now and How
“Get in this house right now.” “Stop that.” “Take that out of your nose.” Chances are, you’ve been hearing calls to action since you could walk, talk and squabble with siblings. Moms and Dads, and the other trusted adults who watched over you, were your first exposure to them. They “persuaded” you to take action,Continue reading How to Write Stronger CTAs: Tips from the Pros
End-of-year is here, friends. Not news to you, is it? You’re living it, coming off a weekend of thanks and giving to barely catch a breath before heading into the season of goodwill and a surge in year-end giving. Let’s throw in yesterday’s Giving Tuesday and it’s all a flash before your eyes. Brace yourselfContinue reading How to Use Year-End Numbers to Increase 2018 Fundraising
If you had a chance to read last week’s blog, I shared that our fearless leaders, Peggy Fisher and Larry Stelter, had been selected as the 2017 Outstanding Individual Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Central Iowa Chapter. On Friday, November 17, the Central Iowa Chapter of AFP held their 32nd Annual Philanthropy DayContinue reading Larry Stelter and Peggy Fisher: Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2017 Outstanding Individual Philanthropists
Americans are becoming increasingly philanthropically-focused, and not just today on National Philanthropy Day®. We are a bunch of worker bees in this country, or rather, giving bees. America’s Charities, in fact, estimates that Americans give about $4 billion annually through workplace giving. What’s more, employees say they want their companies to sweeten the charitable pot,Continue reading Philanthropy: It’s What We Do
For decades, the planned giving industry has grown on the backs of the silent generation. But just last year, in 2016, the first baby boomer turned 70. As this new generation becomes more active philanthropically, are you equipped to understand the differences between them and their mature (born 1900-1945) parents? BOOMERS VS. MATURES Baby boomersContinue reading Matures vs. Boomers: Who Should Your Planned Giving Game Plan Focus On?
We have all heard sayings that resonate with us and seem to stick with us wherever life takes us—our personal mottos if you will. Some simple, yet powerful words that I try to live by are “It is what it is.” These five words have helped me navigate some difficult situations. I share it oftenContinue reading Managing Stress: One Motto That Puts It into Perspective
Who in planned giving hasn’t heard this myth before? (If you missed the first two myths in our series, be sure to catch up: Most of Planned Giving Is Just Plain Luck and Don’t Waste Your Time on Donors Younger Than 65.) Our third and final myth is sure to be one that you’re familiar with. ItContinue reading High Net Worth Donors Have Their Financial Affairs in Order
2017 marks the 100th year of the income tax charitable deduction. If signed into law, the current framework for tax reform could change charitable giving as we know it. What will the 101st year of giving look like? Charitable gift planners from across the country met in Washington DC last week to help preserve the full valueContinue reading Charitable Gift Planners’ Day on Capitol Hill
Another NCPP has came and went; and it did not disappoint. As always, it was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the country and to recharge the ‘planned giving’ batteries before the year-end madness begins. Some of my personal highlights included, but were not limited to, the terrific conversations IContinue reading NCPP 2017: Top 3 Things You Need to Know
As you may have already gathered from our social media, Stelter is currently taking over Baltimore at the 2017 National Conference on Philanthropic Planning. We look forward to this event every fall. It’s always such a pleasure to meet new peers, see old friends and—of course—talk about what’s trending in the nonprofit industry. Each year,Continue reading You’re Receiving This Message Because We Are out of the Office
Once again, it’s that time of year for planned giving fundraisers all over the country to take a step back from the day-to-day grind, get out of the office and recharge their batteries—as the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning 2017 begins next week! Constant learning is essential to every person and every profession. NCPP allowsContinue reading Planned Giving Pros Unite
One of the most common myths in planned giving must hold some truth to it, right? Wrong. In fact, basing your planned giving marketing strategy around this outdated myth could prove to be fatal for your program. Here’s why: Just over 15 percent of U.S. adults are over the age of 65. In comparison, 62Continue reading Don’t Waste Your Time on Donors Younger Than 65
Perhaps this is something you’ve heard from a co-worker, your boss or even your board. But could it be true? With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the US, why is it that some nonprofits have more success than others when it comes to planned giving? Contrary to what you may have heard, it is notContinue reading Most of Planned Giving Is Just Plain Luck
We’re talking with Stelter’s Director of Business Development Michael Hutney. In his nearly 10 years with Stelter, Michael has led product strategy, innovation, emerging media and strategic accounts, while building and supporting strong client relationships nationally. For years now, Big Data has been driving big business. Among a host of other uses, Big Data determinesContinue reading How to Harness Big Data
In the world of fundraising (especially planned giving), we’re in the business of building relationships. Going deeper into people’s interests or intentions and evolving them into purposeful actions, uniting need with source of support, whether as a volunteer, advocate, board member or major donor. It all begins with a question… DO YOU KNOW WHAT ITContinue reading Making the Most Out of Every Ask
Today we welcome a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Katie worked for major international consumer magazines and websites for 12 years before joining our Stelter team as the head of our content strategy and execution. Let’s talk marketing psychology. It’s more than what is in your materials—it’s why. As youContinue reading Your Email is a Magazine Cover (& 6 Other Marketing Analogies)
As many of you know, Stelter works with nonprofits and donors all over the country. In the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, our thoughts and prayers are with the many friends, clients and communities that are attempting to pick up the pieces. In times like these, we are reminded why the workContinue reading Texas Strong
It was an early Tuesday morning when a group of us bright-eyed development folks arrived at our “Mobilizing Board Members to Raise Money” workshop. Only we found ourselves with cold cups of coffee listening to a l-o-o-o-o-n-g morning presentation of chart and stats from someone whose delivery was eerily similar to this fictitious teacher fromContinue reading 3 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit’s Presentations Better
If you’re like any of the other thousands of fundraisers around the country with ‘planned giving’ as part of their job description, you’ve no doubt had the conversation around planned giving ROI with your boss (probably a former major gifts officer), your CFO (the numbers guru), your board (the ‘bottom line’ people) or even yourContinue reading Connecting the Dots: Planned Giving, Metrics and ROI
Every nonprofit has a unique personality all its own. To be clear, we’re not referring to the personalities of the people who run or support an organization, although they can be quite colorful too. Instead, we’re talking about a nonprofit’s personality—its brand—and how, among other facets, it “talks” about its mission and message, gives backContinue reading Shine On! How to Stay On Message and Rise Above
This may be the question you’ve always wanted to ask—but were too afraid to ask. Or maybe it’s been lurking in the back of your mind as a something-to-look-into-when-I-have-more-time idea. What is a landing page, anyway? A landing page is a single web page that people “land on” after clicking a hyperlink in a targetedContinue reading 4 Tips to Make Your Landing Pages Worth Landing On
Every year, our Stelter Wellness Committee plants a small (but mighty) garden behind our Des Moines office. They tend to it, chase away critters and share the herbs and vegetables with the rest of the Stelter crew. Between this little garden and the corn fields that line the back roads in Iowa, summertime always bringsContinue reading How to Plan for Your Nonprofit’s Growth
We’ve all heard “sharing is caring” since we were kids (my daughter still reminds me when we play with her Care Bears). We were taught it in elementary school, and it still holds true in our everyday lives. “The sharing economy” concept has been around for a few years now, and it’s more than splittingContinue reading Sharing is Caring…and Advancing Your Mission
Stelter’s Senior Technical Consultant Lynn Gaumer has been busy keeping up on laws and tax reforms related to charitable giving. A few weeks back, she met with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for a celebratory signing of the proclamation to recognize October as National Estate Planning Awareness Month in Iowa, and recently she also had aContinue reading Special Update: Give Your Voice to the Charitable Giving Community
It’s no surprise that your work in the nonprofit world demands that you wear many hats, and all with expertise and poise. A phone call from a donor might put your afternoon in a whole different direction, while a last-minute presentation may have you running out the door. More and more development departments are beingContinue reading Why You Shouldn’t Try to Be Perfect at Work
“Does this make sense, and does it get us to the right place?” I hope you’ve asked yourself this more than once at work. (Some days, minute to minute?) It’s smart to engage the brakes from time to time, to pause to ensure that organizationally speaking, you’re headed in the right direction, with common causeContinue reading Is Your Nonprofit on the Right Track?
A few weeks ago, I shared that it’s time to re-think the self-mailer to get the best results from your planned giving mailings. Today, I’m giving you some insight into a simple but (many times) overlooked aspect of those mailing packages: the cover letter. This is often the first part of the mailing your donorsContinue reading 10 Ways to Knock Your Cover Letter Out of the Park
Been there, done that, right? We’ve all marched through the interview process at one time or another, sitting at the table, suited up or asking the questions, gathering war stories to share. When you’re the one making the hire, what you ask is more important than what you say. Today, we offer a few keyContinue reading Hiring Smart: Strategies for a Better Interview Process
Father’s Day is upon us. So, what do we fondly recall about our dads? And, our moms, for that matter? What is it that sticks in our memory about a parent? The car he drove? Maybe. The job he had? Sure. Perhaps the music he listened to? Definitely! I know this was a driver inContinue reading Being There: A Father’s Day Reflection for Fundraisers
Early on in my career I overheard a well-respected co-worker saying that he considered his day to be productive when he got one big thing accomplished, start to finish. “Just one thing? Easy stuff,” I remember thinking. Then I looked down at my to-do’s and realized that was easier said than done. Turns out heContinue reading Making the Most of Your 1,440 Minutes
Nonprofits have been marketing planned giving for over 40 years with good success, but advances in technology and a shift in consumer behavior to a more ‘self-directed consumer’ have pushed more nonprofits to try and find the “silver bullet” for planned giving marketing. If you’re looking for one in this post, I’ll save you theContinue reading Why It’s Time to Re-Think the Self-Mailer
Psst! Your website isn’t “done” when it goes live. That’s because your organization is ever-evolving, changing. And your website should reflect that change…a fluid story rather than as a static picture. Your donor’s behavior is also constantly changing. In the age of the “self-directed consumer,” it’s critical to ensure your web presence is intuitive, easy toContinue reading Is Your Website Really Up-to-Date?
Return on investment—ROI—is a topic that fascinates, baffles, haunts and exhilarates planned giving managers. As our long-time friend and planned giving champion Katherine Swank of Blackbaud wrote last year, nonprofit leaders want numbers. Yet, a big hurdle in generating that ROI number may be the time lag between identifying a planned giving prospect and theContinue reading How to Measure Your Planned Giving ROI
Here at Stelter, we are smack dab in the middle of one of our busiest conference seasons. We’ve got Stelter representatives all over the country at conferences and events—myself included! At many of these conferences, we’ve been presenting the latest findings and application of our latest research from the 2016 NMI Healthy Aging Database® study,Continue reading Thank You Gift for Following Our Blog: Free Download
In the pursuit of my marketing degree at the University of Iowa (many years ago), I had many great professors and classes. However, my favorite class, and the only class I got an A+ in, was Advertising Theory. My professor always preached the need to reach your target market through multiple channels. Don’t just relyContinue reading Multichannel Marketing: 5 Tips for You to Use
Do you remember ol’ Uncle Bill (or in my case Uncle Jim), the craggy-faced uncle who always seemed to pull a family story out of thin air, like a magic trick? We all had one in the family, it seems. “Your great-grandma,” he might say, “I remember the day she marched down to Mr. Waring’sContinue reading How to Tell a Story Your Donors Will Love
A cautionary note: If you’re just not in the mood to hear any of this “appreciating-your-customer” business, may we suggest waiting to read this post later? Maybe you overheard a cranky customer impatiently waiting for their morning coffee, or you were on the receiving end of a co-worker or donor complaint (gasp!). Whatever the case,Continue reading It’s Get to Know Your Customers (Donors) Day!
For golf nuts, life begins in April, the month of arguably the most prestigious golf tournament in the world: The Masters…Congrats to El Niño Sergio García! If you’re even a casual golf observer (or a self-proclaimed ‘social golfer’ like me), you probably know of some of the traditions of The Masters. The azaleas. Amen Corner. TheContinue reading 3 Nonprofit Lessons from The Masters
“Your nonprofit can’t save the world, but it does have a unique place in making it better.” I came across these words recently, and they got me thinking about the day I heard my high school teacher talking to a kid who was having problems fitting in. “Look, not everyone is going to like you,”Continue reading Why It’s Okay When Not Everyone Likes You
How many of you had parents like mine? Beginning around age 10, for any money they gave me or that I made mowing lawns, my mom and dad made me save some, allowed me to spend some and made sure I gave some to the church offering. I was able to see how savings—even aContinue reading Being Literate with Money…and Giving
We’re celebrating National Puppy Day today with a post that is all about dogs (sorry cat people). We know from our most recent national study* that households with “man’s best friend” are statistically significantly more likely, at 47.2%, to donate more than once a year when compared to other types of pet owners or non-Continue reading Charitable Giving is Going to the Dogs!
When I’m out of the office traveling to meet clients or speaking at conferences, I’ll often add this into my automatic reply: “Don’t worry about me being away from my desk as I’m always plugged-in.” I’m sure I’m not alone. We’re all “plugged-in” nowadays in this digital world. And in the world of planned givingContinue reading 5 Simple Ways to Test in the Digital Age
Years ago, I learned about the “Columbo Approach” and how you can utilize this in prospecting and follow-up phone calls. It’s based on the old TV character Columbo played by Peter Falk and is, simply put, when you ask questions of someone and essentially ‘play dumb’ even though you know the answer. By asking yourContinue reading What Does Detective Columbo Have to do With Fundraising?
The trophies have been awarded…some erroneously (sorry La La Land). The stars have made their appearance (it’s always great to see Marty McFly and his DeLorean). And now we can debate around the coffee pot about who should have won what at the Academy Awards Sunday night. That, and who wore what on the redContinue reading And the Nonprofit Oscar Goes To…
Last week…February 16th to be exact…marked an important day for fundraisers and nonprofits everywhere! On this day, hundreds of nonprofit fundraisers, administrators and advocates from around the country went to Capitol Hill for the ‘100 Years of Giving DC Fly-In’! Why is this important to you? 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the income taxContinue reading SPECIAL UPDATE: 100 Years of Giving!! And Working Towards the Next 100 Years!
Stelter conducted its first ‘donor survey’ nearly 3 decades ago as a follow-up to our Art of Giving newsletter series. There’s no doubt that quite a bit has evolved in 30 years, but one thing that hasn’t changed? A donor’s ability, interest and need to provide feedback. With modern digital tools, surveying your donor baseContinue reading What’s the Real Deal with Surveys?
The great investor Warren Buffett says companies that use excessive jargon and technical models in their communications are companies investors should avoid. “They obviously don’t want me to understand their business,” he said. The Oracle of Omaha has also written much about how he writes his annual reports: “One unoriginal but useful tip: Write withContinue reading How to Talk with Prospects: KISS
I couldn’t get to sleep the other night and while channel surfing I stumbled on Glengarry Glen Ross. I always love to watch Alec Baldwin’s character Blake’s hilarious (yet painful) soliloquy where he drives home the point: “A.B.C. Always Be Closing.” While Blake’s foul language and my laughter didn’t do much to help me sleep,Continue reading We’re Not in the Business of Sales, Here.
It’s no secret that I’m on the road a lot. Most recently I’ve been up in the Northeast, down South and I even got to spend some time bouncing around the Midwest. When I get some extra time on the plane or in the hotel room to just sit back and relax away from theContinue reading Think big. Invest big. Be big.