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.
I was talking with a friend the other day who’s in a typical nonprofit situation—a one-person planned giving shop. He’s tasked with not only the important job of traveling and meeting with planned giving prospects and donors to close gifts for his great organization, but also managing the marketing efforts and trying to sort outContinue reading Listen and Learn: Using the ‘Tuesday Call’
We tend to stereotype folks in many ways—that’s nothing new. We can probably all think back to our days in middle school and remember being placed in a certain “clique.” I’m sure you know stereotyping can be socially damaging, but did you know it can also cost your organization money? One such stereotype: Older folksContinue reading “Mature” Doesn’t Have to Mean Low-Tech
I was in “road warrior mode” this past summer and fall. I traveled all over—from Texas to New York and many, many parts in between. My travel and time away from my family can be a bit exhausting, but I’m always grateful and re-energized when talking with my nonprofit peers. My most recent trip outContinue reading Engaging the 34% and Educating the 66%
As I sat down to think about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year and what I want my New Year’s resolution to be, I stopped to think…how many people actually achieve their resolutions? With a little help from the ‘Google machine,’ I found that while more than 40% of Americans make resolutions,Continue reading 3 Reasons to Think Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions
As we close out a terrific 2016 and celebrate all that we’ve achieved this year, it’s hard not to already be looking forward to 2017! While no doubt there are personal goals that we want to set for ourselves for the next year, I’ve found this is also the perfect time to sit down andContinue reading 11 Ways to Jump-Start Your Communications Program in 2017
As we approach the end of the year, I always find it a great time for reflection and renewal. But one thing I’m not doing in preparation for 2017 is updating my resume. I’ve been at my job here 16 years. I am passionate about my company, our great employees and this dynamic field ofContinue reading Want to Improve Your Nonprofit? Look for Passion.
Last spring my family and I were fortunate enough to spend a few days at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” That’s right—we went to Disney World (along with thousands of other people). I can report a few things based on our time spent with Mickey and friends: Spring break is perhaps not the best timeContinue reading What Can Disney World Teach Us About Donor Engagement?
We hear about email a lot. We get a ton of emails every day, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. It makes sense—emails are a quick and affordable way to reach supporters of your organization. With email constantly evolving, it isn’t always easy to hit a home-run with your email campaign. Maybe you’re havingContinue reading 4 Simple Ways to Up Your Email Game
This fall I went to Plymouth, Wisconsin with a group of friends to take part in the 2016 Wisconsin Mud Run & Obstacle Race. It’s also known as Tough Mudder. My mission: complete a run through 11 miles of mud with 20+ obstacles unlike anything I’ve encountered; jumping into a dumpster of ice, running throughContinue reading Stuck in the Mud or Teaming Up to Win?
When I was a kid, a Thanksgiving tradition at our house was that we went around the table and took turns sharing at least one thing we were thankful for. We couldn’t start eating until everyone had shared something. (You can imagine how popular that tradition was with three hungry boys!) Now that I’m anContinue reading 3 Tips for Thanking Your Donors This Thanksgiving
Now that the dust has settled—at least a little bit—and the 2016 election is in the books, there’s a lot to reflect on. We had an intense election cycle, and there were many important lessons to be learned. One of the lessons that I learn every presidential election cycle is that living in Iowa isContinue reading 3 Ways to Overcome Skepticism and Build Your Brand
For decades I’ve been among the hoards of die-hard Chicago Cubs fans. My family and I are now reveling in the glory of a shiny World Series trophy firmly in place in Wrigleyville. I still can’t believe I’m able to write that. And the tales I’ve heard of people crying (myself included…see above!)—tearing up becauseContinue reading What Can Nonprofits Learn from the Chicago Cubs?
My son Ben, age 9, came home recently and asked me to donate to a school fundraiser. He had no “pitch” on who it would help or why it was important… he just asked me for money. I explained to Ben that he had to give me more information on why he was raising moneyContinue reading Chocolate Bar Fundraising: You Need to Make It Personal
NACPG stands for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners — a smart rebranding of the former Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, which has represented the charitable gift planning industry for nearly 30 years. Last week, I met up with hundreds of gift planners from across the country at the group’s national conference in Dallas. HereContinue reading Three of My Favorite “Aha” Takeaways from NCPP 2016
Learn how to breathe life into demographic and behavioral data to deliver magical marketing campaigns your donors will love.Continue reading How to Turn Data into Magical Marketing Materials Donors Will Love
Over time, I’ve learned an amazing system to quickly identify four, basic personality types and immediately build trust. It works on five-year-olds and it can work with your donors, too.Continue reading 3 Surefire Ways to Immediately Build Rapport with Any Donor