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Resources – Articles

Here you’ll find articles I’ve written myself, plus articles from other nonprofit industry experts. And if I didn’t write it myself, I have permission to publish the article on my website and the source is listed right after the article title.

In addition to all the articles listed below, you'll find more helpful tips and articles on my blog as well as the news archives page. Topics include: online direct marketing tactics; donor cultivation; sources of idea generators for fundraising appeal letters and special events; public relations for nonprofits; and so on it goes.

Go here to check out my blog, or visit the news archives.
 

 
Articles by Karen Zapp
Donor Cultivation Goes Mobile - This article appeared in the September 2010 issue of The Journal, published by the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF). You'll find numerous examples and ways nonprofits (charities AND associations) can use mobile technology. Specifically, I believe one of the most powerful uses of mobile technology by nonprofits is cultivation. In other words, use mobile to cultivate and nurture your relationships with donors, members, volunteers, prospects, advocates … everyone.
How to Boost Usability of Your Nonprofit Website - There are several content, design and navigation elements to consider when developing or revamping a website. But I've identified 4 low cost fundamentals that will ensure you meet the most pressing needs of most visitors. I present the fundamentals in the form of questions that are in the minds of your visitors. And you've only got 3-5 seconds to answer them correctly or else they'll likely abandon your site.
Nonprofit Website Usability in Detail - Part 1 - Part 1 begins by outlining the different audiences your website must satisfy. And I recommend which audience your design probably ought to focus on. Then you'll find features and strategies for your home page to boost your online donations - in fact, they just might double! There's a ton of helpful information in this article and many changes do not require expensive re-design.
Nonprofit Website Usability in Detail - Part 2 - Part 2 includes an example of a not-so-good website and a pretty darn good one. And because it's so vital your design and copy is written for your audience . . . I contrast poor, confusing terms with terms that are clear to your donors. And I wrap up with 6 more tips and features a solid nonprofit website with great usability ought to have. And remember, many of these changes do not require expensive re-design.
Emails, Tweets, Facebook content, PPC ads, etc. that promote a special event or project should all link to a unique landing page - When you send out an announcement that includes a link to your website for more information . . . visitors will only give you one or two seconds after hitting the landing page before they decide to stay or leave. That means you better have the right content boldly displayed. Find out what that content ought to be if you want better response and more conversions.
Great Donor Cultivation Strategies will Increase Donor Retention and Total Funds Raised - In fact, just 10% higher retention can increase lifetime donor value 200%!

A recent study revealed that for every six donors gained, nonprofits lose five. This is costly. And I doubt you can afford to operate this way for long. In addition, trends show that the average number of donors per charity is dropping; and this is partially due to poor retention. Find out more on the connection between cultivation and retention and how it can impact your financial bottom line.
How to Prepare for Conducting a Great Interview - Why is it so important to be able to conduct an interview? Because the odds are that the best stories for your fundraising appeals will come from a successful interview. This is often the only time you’ll get the magical and heart-warming details that are so crucial to a story.
Creative Fundraising and Public Relations using Special “Observances”– The possibilities for dynamic and compelling appeals are unlimited. Combine your imagination, your great nonprofit mission, and your copywriting into fundraising success. Read the detailed example of how these observances can be turned to your nonprofit’s advantage.
Thank You Letters - A Fundraising Courtesy Fundamental – Old school courtesy can benefit your nonprofit organization’s bottom line. And it’s certainly the magic key to effective donor cultivation. Here are the key elements of a strong thank-you letter that will help you increase revenue.
WHY You Must Send Thank-You Letters – The Missing Link in Fundraising Appeals – You’ll read about how your nonprofit organization will benefit with this vital element as part of your complete fundraising strategy. And you’ll see how devastating it can be to your fundraising efforts if you don’t properly thank your donors. Included are guidelines on how quickly to send out thank-you letters, and what segment of your file you might possibly be able to not send these letters to.

Know Your Donor and Boost Response with Psychographics - Powerful Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations – Copy that inspires larger donations, motivates more advocacy, or spurs greater response of any kind begins with knowing your donor. Strong copy is based on more than mere demographic or geographic data. A skilled fundraising copywriter creates copy based on psychographics to resonate with donors. This is a fundamental key to increased response. Included are several tips to reveal donor psychographics for your nonprofit organization.

Major Donor Recognition – Use National Philanthropy Day To Spotlight Your Major Donors – This "holiday" gives you a perfect reason to call and thank your major donors who are key to your successful nonprofit fundraising. They deserve some red carpet treatment. Use the simple verbiage provided to have a friendly chat and breeze through the calls. Also included are a few ideas to help you easily recognize your volunteers and "regular" donors too.
I recommend you check out my blog as well as the complete news archives for more valuable tips and articles.
Articles by other consultants and service providers
Multi-Corporate-Culturism, provided by FineLine Solutions – This white paper answers the questions: How can multiple corporate cultures co-exist happily and profitably in one organization? And how can they be a continual revenue and innovation opportunity?

 

 

 

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Copywriting for Nonprofits

Copywriting for Nonprofits

Do you struggle to write copy that helps your nonprofit do a better job of fundraising and cultivation – both online and in print? Then I encourage you to invest in this self-study program published by AWAI.