Communication

Three Short Takes to Get You Thinking This Fall

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Foundations | 0 comments

Three Short Takes to Get You Thinking This Fall

Short Take #1 – Crafting newsletter headlines and email subject lines “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” – David Ogilvy   In a blog post from last February, Claire Axelrod listed five ideas for writing more effective headlines and email subject lines. I suggest you read the entire article, 5 Proven Content Strategies to Convert More Nonprofit Customers to Donors, but here’s the gist: Testimonial – use a direct quote from a donor or a landowner to draw the reader into the article or email. “I just couldn’t imagine condos there”...

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The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | 3 comments

The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

If you’re smart, you won’t wait until November to write your end-of-year appeal. If you’re really smart, you will have already written it. OK so most of us aren’t that smart. But the fact still remains that it’s not too early to get a good start on it for 2017.     It’s fall! Time to give. So, here’s my general advice for approaching the task of getting to that first draft of the appeal letter: Start with a story. Return to the story at several points in the letter. List your board members down the left-hand side of the first page. Use 1.25” margins, 13pt type, and double space...

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Educating about Protection

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Educating about Protection

Last week, I wrote about how two words – “educate” and “protect” – are used by land trusts in describing what they do but that serve to further distance themselves from the some of the same people they wish to serve – or at least partner with. (See Othering.) In response to the post, Carol asked, “Great article but what’s the solution?” This week’s post will help answer that question. One alternative to the word “educate” was offered by Lisa in another comment, “We use the term ‘engagement.’ How do you engage with your members, with your volunteers, with the public? It’s a two-way street. It...

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Pick Them Up – Change Your Donor’s Perspective

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured | 2 comments

Pick Them Up – Change Your Donor’s Perspective

Quick – you’re off to meet with a donor and you can take one and only one prop with you. What do you take? Answer: A map. People love maps, and they love them because maps help place conservation projects in a landscape context. “Here’s where we are right now. Here’s where you live. And here’s the project we’ve been talking about. See? It connects this protected land to that protected area. That means that the [fill in the blank: moose, ocelots, brown bears, or whatever] have a “migratory corridor” to move in between protected areas.” So, what’s even better than a map? A flyover. When I...

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Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Picture this: Small land trust organization, but large enough to have staff. Executive Director is terrific but does everything and lives some miles away. Sometimes works from home and is often out of the office. Part-time Administrative Assistant (AA) – 15 hours a week. No other staff. AA picks up the mail twice a week from the post office and separates out the envelopes that obviously contain checks. Those envelopes will need to be opened in the presence of a second individual. They go into a locked file drawer. Most weeks, on Friday, the AA is joined by a volunteer. Any checks not...

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The Trouble with Transactional Giving

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | Comments Off on The Trouble with Transactional Giving

The Trouble with Transactional Giving

A core part of my major gift training session is that there are three different kinds of giving decisions: Annual (or more often) gift decisions based on loyalty and belief in mission, Major gift decisions based on supporting a singular and limited program or project, and Planned gift decisions based on longevity, commitment, and desire to leave a legacy. The point in the training sessions is that these gifts are differentiated by how the donor makes the decision – NOT by the denomination of the gift. For example a planned gift can be $5,000 (or even less). A major gift can be $1,000, while...

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