3 Fundraising Appeal Letter Lessons from Tom Ahern’s Book

Insights from “How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money"

It’s that time of year when many of us start working on the final fundraising appeal letter of the year. Are you filled with joy or dread?

Fundraising Appeal Letter

I am filled with both emotions. While I love writing, I’m feeling the pressure to create a letter that will exceed last year’s results. So, to help find my muse and confidence, I turned to the fundraising books that line my office’s bookshelves. After paging through a few, I settled on rereading Tom Ahern’s 176-page book, How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money.

This small-but-mighty book has many brilliant big ideas. This blog post will focus on 3 fundraising appeal letter lessons learned from the book. So, let’s get right to it.


How to Create the Perfect About Page for Your Nonprofit

Make your nonprofit shine with these elements and examples

Did you know one of the most visited pages on your website is your About page? (Go ahead and check your web analytics. Then come back here after seeing that your About page gets lots of views!)

How to Create the Perfect About Page for Your Nonprofit

An About page is so important because it’s the place your visitors go to learn about your organization more deeply. There, visitors might make the critical decision of whether or not your organization is worthy of their attention.

This blog post will focus on developing the perfect About page. You’ll learn critical About page elements to make your organization shine. Additionally, I will give examples of nonprofits doing each element brilliantly.


Awesome #GivingTuesday Tips, Resources & Other Cool Stuff

Everything your nonprofit needs is right at your fingertips!

Approaching its 6th year in existence, #GivingTuesday has become a powerful philanthropic movement. This year, this day of giving will be on November 28th. Are you getting ready for this amazing opportunity?

GivingTuesday Tips Resources

#GivingTuesday is a day where charities, community members, and businesses worldwide come together for a common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

I have a committee meeting this week with my Marketing & Communications team, and I’ve been researching how to make this social-media-fueled day of giving as successful as possible for us. What I found is wildly helpful, so I’m going to share it with you.


5 Unexpected Benefits of Blogging All Nonprofit Marketers Should Know

Plus, grab your Blog Writing Blueprint here!

As a nonprofit marketer, you treasure awareness, engagement, and action. To achieve these goals, you know you need to consistently distribute valuable content via online and offline channels.

5 Unexpected Benefits of Blogging All Nonprofit Marketers Should Know

You may think of your website’s blog as simply one channel of spreading your message.  And, yes, a blog is one means of message distribution, but blogging does so much more than that. When I added a blog to the website of the nonprofit for which I am the marketing chair, I found unexpected benefits of blogging. I’ll share them with you in this post.


14 Blog Topic Idea Starters to Energize Your Nonprofit’s Website [and Freebie!]

I have a question about your nonprofit’s blog: Are you bored of it? If you think your blog is a real snoozefest, chances are your readers think so, too.

blog topic idea starters

It’s easy to get into the habit of writing one type of blog post. Maybe your organization only publishes blog posts around fundraising campaigns, events, or programs. Or worse, you only write when time permits.

I am guilty of this. Like you, I’m pulled in many directions and my time is limited. Completing marketing activities for one initiative and then rushing to the next big thing doesn’t leave much extra space. But if you want to spread your message further, you need to provide valuable and engaging original content to your community.

To get your creative juices flowing, here is a list of 14 blog topic idea starters to help you bring fresh and interesting content to your readers. There’s a freebie at the end for you, too.


How to Write a Rockin’ Blog Post [TEMPLATE]

7 essential elements to be a blog-writing rock star

Is the thought of writing a blog post for your nonprofit daunting? You know you have a lot of information to share with your community, but a lack of time and confidence may prevent you, your staff, or your volunteers from jumping in.

How to Write a Rockin' Blog Post

Over a year ago, I added a blog to the website of the nonprofit for which I volunteer. I naively thought that many others would enthusiastically rush to share their passion for our mission through writing on the blog. (Oops!) The low interest in writing certainly is not due to a lack of passion or ability, but rather a hesitation about where to start.

In this blog post, I will break down the formula I use for blog writing. I’ve refined it over the years, and I know it can help you, too. At the end of the post, I’ll share a downloadable template you can use right away to create an impactful blog post that will rock and roll your mission forward. Without skipping a beat, let’s get right to it!


10 Secrets for Getting Your Blog Post Read

And a handy checklist you can download

Writing a blog post doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. If the idea of writing an article for your nonprofit makes you want to hide under your desk, I’ve got some good news for you.

Blog post writing is not the formal writing you learned in school. It is casual and conversational. It thrives best when the words are simple, the sentences are short, and plenty of bullet points are included. This blog post includes 10 tips that will help you write a blog post that will get read.

At the end, I will give you a freebie! You can download my Blog Writing Checklist to print, save, or share with a friend.


Are You Building Your Nonprofit’s Brand on Rock or Sand?

Before you post again on Facebook, ask yourself this one question

You followed expert advice on building your organization’s social media presence. You dedicated a sizable portion of your marketing team’s efforts to publishing content daily. And then slowly it happened, most noticeably on Facebook.

Without warning, Facebook changed the algorithms. Your organization’s organic reach plummeted, and your posts reached far fewer fans. You felt it was necessary to pay to win more fans. Then, late in 2016, the algorithms changed again, and now you find yourself paying for ads to speak to the very fans you already paid for to like your page!

There’s a lesson to be learned here for all of us. Before you post again on any social media platform, you should ask yourself one question. Your answer to this question may reshape how you view your organization’s relationship with the content assets you own and those you don’t.


How to Develop Audience Personas for Your Nonprofit

[Part 5 in a Series on Launching a Content Marketing Program]

Who is your content meant to reach? When you craft content to support a campaign or program, do you have a specific person in mind or do you write to a general audience?

Writing to a general audience – in hopes of capturing as many supporters as possible – will yield lackluster results. As the saying goes, if you try to matter to everyone, you will end up mattering to no one. In order to reach the people who need to hear your message, you must understand them as much as possible. You need to develop audience personas.


How to be Amazing on Live Video

10 tips for surviving a live broadcast

Does the thought of broadcasting live video make you want to plan an escape route to 1997? You might have reservations about the way you look or sound, or how well you are able to convey a message. I felt that way too until I was smacked with a dose of research and realized how much I enjoy watching live-stream videos.

The research is undeniable. People prefer video to all other online media. By 2021, video will account for an eye-popping 82% of global web traffic. We need to meet our audiences where they want to receive content. They’re more likely to view a video in their Facebook news feed, for example, than to click an article link.

Embrace live video now. You’ll be amazed by how effective it can be for your organization. Recently, I helped plan a fundraiser at my local animal shelter. We streamed a series of live videos in one evening… and raised thousands of dollars while spreading awareness. Imagine the impact live video could have for you. Let’s get started! Here are 10 fun tips to help you win at live video streaming.