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Member, Association of Fundraising Professionals
Member, American Society of Association Executives
Resources – Newsletter Archive

January, 2007

Welcome to "Karen's Fundraising Tips." January's newsletter
(which you can read in 3-5 minutes . . . tops) includes ideas on how to build awareness and get free publicity for any nonprofit organization.

Happy New Year!

     With regard to my newsletter in general - on the second Tuesday of each month I share tips, news items, and resources all tailored for the nonprofit world and folks directly responsible for raising funds. My goal is to make your job a little easier and to help you increase your donor contributions.

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     What's your biggest challenge? What would you like to see in my newsletter? How can I help you?

     Send me a short note with one or two of your biggest challenges. I'll share suggestions on making them less of a challenge in a future issue. Just send an email to and I'll take it from there.

Did someone say FREE publicity? [498 words]

     Before donors can give they need to know you exist. So how do you build awareness of your wonderful mission without breaking your budget? You and as many people on your staff as possible need to be actively promoting - constantly.

Network with Focus
     Join organizations (e.g., civic & business groups,, trade associations, chamber of commerce, societies, anywhere people gather). Get on their committees and get noticed.

     When someone asks, "What do you do?" How can you grab their attention, set yourself apart, and not sound like a commercial?

     Reply by saying, "I can best answer that by telling a very short story." Tell a 1-2 minute success story (no longer) about someone you helped to powerfully illustrate what your mission does.

     You'll emotionally grab your listener and then end with a simple statement: "That's just one recent example of how the nonprofit organization I work for, [fill in the blank with your org's name] helps people everyday to have better lives."

     Say no more! They're almost guaranteed to ask you a question. Also be ready with your business card. Get their card and promise to send more information. Then do it.

Sizzling Press Release
     Sending your own press releases is powerful. The press is always looking for stories so this is another opportunity to share your mission stories.

     And here's another critical time to have a pro do the writing. There are a number of techniques and nuances to writing a stimulating and attention grabbing press release, but always cover the basics:

  • Use the standard format
  • Make your content compelling news
  • Write it in the third person
  • Keep it short, one page
  • Convey your entire message in the headline

     When could you (I can help you with this!) send a timely press release?

  • If your nonprofit is involved in anything currently in the news, or related to something in the news
  • For special events
  • For a new web site, or a massive revision
  • When you're a brand new nonprofit, or you just expanded your mission

     And a good photograph (interesting and good resolution) sent with the press release will dramatically improve your chances of publication.

     These resources may also be useful: and

More Possibilities

  • Depending on your mission, you may benefit by writing articles in trade journals. An environmental nonprofit, for example, could write articles in science and education journals or magazines. It usually must be a content rich article and not a promotion of your cause. Just include a byline with your website and you'll benefit from the exposure.
  • Ever consider online forums? Again, join forums related to your mission.
  • Similar to trade journals, submit articles to online databases. There are several to choose from. Here are just three:,, and

     Those techniques will put the spotlight on your nonprofit mission at little to no cost. I'll cover even more ideas next month.

     Do something every week to promote your nonprofit organization and you'll have more funds to perform more great work.

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Just for fun - a quote for you

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." (Sir Winston Churchill)

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Hot Tip of the Month - PR Resource

     This book will be a valuable reference for you. I know two of the authors and have tremendous respect for their wisdom and experience. I always study what they have to say. The third and lead author, Eric Yaverbaum, has over 25 years of experience in the practice of public relations. Including 21 years with his on PR firm. He is a terrific subject matter expert.

Public Relations For Dummies, 2nd edition
by Eric Yaverbaum, Robert W. Bly, Ilise Benun
(ISBN 041772720)

     Here's an excerpt from the book description: "This friendly guide combines the best practical tools with insight and flair to provide guidance on every aspect of PR, so you can launch a full-throttle campaign that'll generate buzz - and build your bottom line. Discover how to . . .

  • Map a winning PR strategy
  • Grab attention with press releases, interviews, and events
  • Cultivate good media relations
  • Get print, TV, radio, and Internet coverage
  • Manage a PR crisis"

Feel free to forward my newsletter to a colleague. Plus, here's how they can sign-up to receive it directly:

     1. Just click on this link, In the email message to me, please include the first name and email address of your colleague. I'll take care of signing them up.

Or ...

     2. You can sign them up directly on my website by following this link:

"Karen's Fundraising Tips"

Thanks for joining me and until next time . . . have fun as you increase actions to raise awareness of your nonprofit mission without breaking the bank.

All the best,

Karen Zapp, Fundraising & Sales Copywriter
Perceptive Karen

P.S.  Have a project coming up soon? I'd love to work with you on it.


Return to Karen Zapp’s Newsletter Archive page


Call anytime and we’ll chat about your needs: 800-794-1609
I look forward to helping you prosper.

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