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  • What your donors hear Vs. What you tell them

    By Greg Warner on July 3, 2015
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    I love this cartoon by Gary Larson (Far Side).  If you think you’re getting your message through to your supporters… think again! You’re missing big opportunities if you say to yourself (or to your marketing vendor) “We’re not going to do that campaign again. We already did that.” The truth is… you MUST “drip” your messages over and over and over...

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  • Should your planned giving website include a calculator page?

    By Greg Warner on June 29, 2015
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    Sometimes our new clients get all jazzed about having a calculator on their planned giving website. I guess they feel it’s important to provide a calculator so their donors can calculate their charitable gift annuities or their retained life estates. But I’m not so sure donors really use these things very much. And after reviewing two of our client’s planned giving...

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  • It’s all about the “warm glow”!

    By Greg Warner on June 26, 2015
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    Alaska’s residents are allowed to share in the revenue the state enjoys from investments in mineral royalties. In order to get their dividend they have to apply for Permanent Fund Dividends.   Why am I telling you this? As residents apply for the money they also get asked to donate to help Alaska. So far this year they have raised over $3 million...

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  • Do people prefer when others pay for a nonprofits’ administrative costs?

    By Greg Warner on June 22, 2015
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    I know I know… Dan Pallota thinks charities need a defense council to inform the public that administrative costs are a necessary part of a nonprofit structure. He wants supporters to accept that fact and understand that they must pay for their favorite charity’s administrative costs. If you don’t know Dan he gave us all a jolt in his famous TedTalk in...

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  • Are we sometimes asking donors the wrong questions?

    By Greg Warner on June 19, 2015
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    In Abila’s new donor engagement report the first question they asked donors was “What matters most to you?” Problem is… the answers they allowed were not all that great.  And the results really don’t tell us much. That’s why I think we might be asking donors the wrong questions. What can you possibly conclude from the chart above? What’s the marketing...

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  • Stop swapping your donor lists with other nonprofits

    By Greg Warner on June 17, 2015
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    One thing (among so many others) that I never understood about nonprofits is why they sell or swap lists with other nonprofits. It’s usually done with lowlevel donors because nonprofits figure they can afford to lose them. This strategy could be catastrophic because many lowlevel donors make great planned giving prospects. And in fact many WILL leave their major gift to your...

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  • 12 questions to ask yourself to avoid disrespecting your supporters

    By Greg Warner on June 15, 2015
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    In the for profit world they call it customer service. All of us get frustrated when we feel slighted or disrespected. Yet sadly nonprofits are slighting and disrespecting their supporters every day with poor customer service. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you are disrespecting your supporters. Is your “DONATE NOW” button easy to find? Are...

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  • When Brand Guidelines Trump Donor-centricity You Have a Recipe For Disaster

    By Greg Warner on June 12, 2015
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    “Make the font smaller!” That’s what the brand police told me to do. I reminded them that the supporters we were targeting for the CGA lead generation effort were over 70. But they just didn’t care. “Make it smaller!” they commanded. I tried again. I sent them information to support my claim that our audience won’t be able to read the promotion. I implored...

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  • Die! Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!

    By Greg Warner on June 10, 2015
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    I just saw a video for a nonprofit’s planned giving department that made me sick. Truly nauseated.  In it the fake actor/speaker said the word “die!” six times within 90 seconds. She also said “Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of dying.”  Really? Ya’ think? And finally she said that “Most of us will see the full 24...

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  • Softening Statements: 22 effective ways to ease into difficult conversations with supporters

    By Greg Warner on June 8, 2015
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    Softening statements help you “get your toe in the water” with difficult conversations.  They smooth out the discussion. They help supporters feel at ease. Of course we’re all compassionate people. But sometimes we may accidentally come off as harsh or uncaring. That’s because we’re not using softening statements before we say things that might tap a sensitive nerve during our...

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