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What the nonprofit brand means and what it doesn’t Nonprofits talk about brand differently from our for-profit brethren and sistern.  For-profits often talk about brand as the totality of the impressions that customers and potential customers have of a company and its products.  This is its more correct usage. In the hands of some at...
Get what Mick Jagger can’t Satisfaction is often a tricky business for nonprofits.  There is no physical good that you are providing that either gives you five stars of enjoyment or breaks upon opening.  Thus, we rely on a few key things—acknowledgments, reporting back, future solicitations—to create that warm feeling that you hope donors want...
What is blockchain and how could it help nonprofits? by Angel Shi, strategy consultant Many of us have heard about blockchain, or at least its most famous application in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But what exactly is blockchain, and what are its applications for nonprofits? Blockchain made its first appearance in a whitepaper published in 2008...
Messaging out of the nonprofit starvation cycle Overhead ratios aren’t just a suboptimal way of evaluating charities.  If that were the case, you could say stand them being part of the mix as people evaluate nonprofits.  In reality, they are actively negative ways of evaluating nonprofits — to a point, the nonprofits that do the...
The silicon-based fundraiser Deduplicating databases.  Proofing letters.  Selecting the donors who will receive a communication.  Data entry.  Everyone has a fundraising task (or tasks) they wish had been automated by now.  We were promised Rosie the robot maid and hoverboards and things that do the things we don’t want to do.  Or, depending on your...
What business are we in? If you’ve ever watched your local PBS station, you probably also recognize the call letters WGBH.  This is Boston’s PBS member station and it’s been responsible for NOVA, Frontline, The French Chef, This Old House, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, and more.  The GBH stands for Great Blue Hill, the highest point...
Finding your right hype person Google is disrupting education and the workforce.  It’s launching online courses that lead to certificates that it will treat as the equivalent of four-year college degrees.  Except that these certificates cost about six months and $300. For employers, the college degree often acts as an external validator.  If you can’t...
Everything old is new again: the humble petition by Meg Dawes, VP, Integrated Marketing, CDR Fundraising Group The staple of many an advocacy organization’s mail tactics is the request to mail back a petition or survey.  So mail petitions work for advocacy organizations.  But I’m here to tell you petitions work for non-advocacy organizations and...
I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a warm feeling today Are you ready to increase your monthly donations?  Can you wait until two months from now? It turns out that may be all it takes to dramatically increase your monthly giving upgrades. The study comes to use from the Swedish charity Diakonia.  They took...
Tearing down the profanely sacred Perhaps as a direct marketing fundraiser, you’ve had the joy of trying to convince the person in charge of events to allow you to talk to “their donors.”  If your experience was like mine, the negotiations involved blackout dates where you couldn’t communicate with those donors and them having access...

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