Editor's note: Looking for more tips to make your next appeal letter irresistible? Click here to watch our on-demand webinar, How to Write a Winning Year-End Appeal. Huh? I’ve no idea what you mean. If that’s what readers of your fundraising appeals ...

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How to Write Superior Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals: Avoid Jargon and more...

How to Write Superior Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals: Avoid Jargon

Editor’s note: Looking for more tips to make your next appeal letter irresistible? Click here to watch our on-demand webinar, How to Write a Winning Year-End Appeal.

Huh? I’ve no idea what you mean.

If that’s what readers of your fundraising appeals are thinking, you’re sunk.

And that’s what happens when you use jargon.

Jargon is the opposite of communicating for understanding. It’s an internal short-cut; definitely not what you want for external appeal writing.

And “jargon” covers more territory than you might expect.

Jargon is the opposite of constituent-centered writing

Who writes your annual appeal letter? If it’s your executive director or your board chair there’s a very good chance it’s filled with jargon. This (pardon my non-jargon language) sucks.

It’s not your writer’s fault. Most of us use jargon all the time without being aware we’re doing so. It’s the language we speak when we work together in groups. It’s a sort of short-hand. Acronyms. Labels. Terms of art. It pops up all over the place. But, again, when it comes to using it in your fundraising appeals it’s bad news. Yet it’s exceedingly difficult to avoid. Why?


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Our New Power Woman of Tech: Maria Canfora

Silicon Valley isn’t the only hub for tech start-ups these days. The Washington D.C. area is quickly becoming a solid alternative for attracting highly-educated, ambitious and talented people in the technology sector. DCA Live has highlighted a key list of thought-leaders, innovators, and drivers of change in various industries, since 2014. One key group of individuals making an impact on the business community of DC are women, and today, DCA Live is putting out its list of the 40 women under 40 who are driving change.

The Trending 40 Women in Tech includes founders, CEOs, investors, engineers, financial experts, marketing gurus, and others who contribute to the local ecosystem. The New Power Women of Tech includes our very own Maria Canfora, Chief Financial Officer, Network for Good.

In a hi-tech culture that has gained a reputation for being unwelcoming to and biased against women, Maria has made a name for herself. “I absolutely love what I do,” said Maria. “Being a part of a start-up’s culture, the growth, the fast pace is invigorating. The energy is what attracts me to start-ups. And the special culture at Network for Good is unlike any I have experienced. Being a B...

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[Infographic] When Disaster Strikes: How America Gives

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Famines. Wars. When disaster strikes, nonprofits are often the first to respond, coming to the aid communities in need. But they can’t do it alone.

Nonprofits that work in disaster and crisis relief have a tough job. They have to be ready at a moment’s notice to help communities survive, rebuild, and thrive in the face of unforeseen events. And, on top of all of this, they have to find ways to fund their mission.

With the help of our friends at Venngage, we dug deep into our data and created this infographic to show you how donors respond when disaster strikes. We hope that nonprofits can use this information to develop effective strategies to educate their donors and fuel these live-saving missions.

The data below shows that the majority of donations related to a single disaster tend to be given within the first few weeks after the event – but the need is often ongoing. The need to educate donors on the long-term need for relief may be the single most important finding in these results.

The communities affected by the recent 2017 hurricanes still need help – Click here to donate to support hurricane relief.

*Note that at the time we...

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How to Get Your Board to Help with #GivingTuesday Fundraising

Interested in board fundraising techniques? Download our on-demand webinar with Pursuant’s Rachel Muir: 5 Ways Your Board Can Help with Year-End Fundraising.

Who here has a board that loves to fundraise?

If the thought of your board jumping to fundraise fills you with wistful “if only’s” and is neatly filed in your imagination next to unicorns and talking chipmunks, this post is for you.

Believe it or not, your board wants to help with fundraising. They care about your mission, they care about your success, and they care enough to help make it happen.

The real question is; how do you turn a hesitant board member into a fundraising superstar?

First, address their fears. A lot of board members are hesitant to fundraise because they’re afraid. Three common fears are:

  • They’re afraid they’ll sound stupid or do it wrong.
  • They’re afraid to ask people for money.
  • They’re afraid it’s going to take way too much time.

Take time to listen to their concerns, and then give your board members an easy and personalized fundraising plan that removes both tactical and psychological barriers. You’ll transform fundraising-phobic...

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5 Tips to Amplify Your Year-End

Looking for ways to raise more? Here are five tips to up your fundraising game this year.

1. Plan now

The next few months are going to be a whirlwind of opportunity. If you want to make the most of it, you have to have a plan.

Have a unified campaign theme. Set actionable goals. Decide on what channels you will use to spread your message. Write your appeals. Grab a copy of this 2017 Year-End Planner to get started.

As your planning your campaign, remember who your audience is (your donors). The most effective campaigns are the ones that focus on your donors and how they can make a difference. Farra Trompeter talked about this in a recent webinar which you can listen to here.

2. Launch your campaign on #GivingTuesday

With all the hype about #GivingTuesday, how much can a small nonprofit actually stand to gain from participating? A lot, it turns out. Research shows that nonprofits who launch their year-end campaigns on #GivingTuesday raise, on average, five times more during year-end. No matter how small your organization (even if you’re a party of one) you can win big on #GivingTuesday when it’s seen as the kick-off for a month-long marathon of fundraising.

Action Tip:...

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