All Articles by Liz Ragland

Liz Ragland's avatar

Senior Content and Marketing Associate, Network for Good


2015

August

Ignite Action with a Powerful Data Story

[Editor's note: Today's post comes from Lori Jacobwith, founder of Ignited Fundraising. Lori is a fundraising culture change expert and master storyteller. Be sure to register for tomorrow's Nonprofit 911 webinar to hear Lori tell you all about how you can change your nonprofit's data story.] As a master storyteller people...

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#GivingTuesday Success with a Staff of One: Q&A with CASS

Last year, Network for Good customer Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) had a great #GivingTuesday campaign and won our prize for Best Social Campaign. The organization raised more than $17,000, came in fourth on our leaderboard for number of donors, and exceeded its original goal by 43%. Because I experience and...

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An Inside Look at The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations: Q&A with Author Lynne Wester

Today, donor relations expert Lynne Wester will join us for a free Nonprofit911 webinar: Donor Retention Isn’t Speed Dating. You don't want to miss it! Register now! Lynne is not only an expert on donor retention; she has spent her career in donor relations and is known as the...

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Nonprofit Love: A Music Playlist to Inspire You

Sometimes nonprofit fundraisers and marketers need to take a deep breath and then...rock out. Ok maybe not "rock out," but listening to music can help spark creativity, help you relax, or pump you up. I reached out to some of my nonprofit friends on Twitter and asked them what...

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July

Your Fundraising Jargon Cheat Sheet

It’s 2015 and, yes, online fundraising is mainstream. However, many terms surrounding online marketing and fundraising can trip up nonprofits. When you’re making decisions about which software to use or campaign strategies to test, we want to make sure you and your colleagues aren’t confused when you come...

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Watch this Brilliant Second-by-Second Storytelling Masterpiece

After Caryn’s webinar on Tuesday, Storytelling with the Emotional Brain, I came across this video in my Facebook feed. It was posted last year, so you may have already seen it. Watch it now: Wow. I mean… WOW. Doesn’t it hit you hard? This is storytelling to the...

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Fundraising Data That Keeps on Giving: The IDB Report Is Back!

Editor’s note: This post was written by Heather Yandow of Third Space Studio and founder of the Individual Donor Benchmark Report. What is the fundraising potential for small and mighty nonprofits? How can organizations expand their individual donor programs and see increased success? For nonprofits with budgets under $2 million,...

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Peer Pressure for Good

After I read this article in Chronicle of Philanthropy and this one in the Huffington Post, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. “Under pressure…” Queen’s lyrics aren’t really describing the type of pressure featured in either of these articles, but the main theme is...

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June

Making Meme Magic: Q&A with Smile Train

Isn’t the Internet a magical place? We sure think so. And it just got even more magical thanks to #seriousbaby, a new campaign recently launched by Smile Train. In the campaign, you meet baby Walter. Walter is standing in solidarity with kids who have unrepaired clefts and can’t...

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What Should Go On (and Off) Your Donation Page

When a potential donor lands on your donation page, you want to make it extremely easy for them to give. But if your donation page has a complicated form, too many ways to leave, or doesn’t keep the donor in the emotional act of giving, you could be missing...

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Why Are You Sending Donors This Email?!? A Lesson in Segmentation

I’m a monthly donor to a nonprofit I love a lot. They use a membership model to boost monthly giving. However, I noticed that during their seasonal membership drives, I continued to get emails asking me to become a member. At first I ignored this, thinking maybe they incorrectly...

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Nonprofit Link Round Up

What are your fundraising pet peeves? Joe from the Fundraising Authority has three big ones. My pet peeve has more to do with word usage than fundraising: I have a co-worker who insists on calling monthly gifts “reoccurring” donations. I correct him from across the office, “It’s recurring!” One...

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All Your Board Questions Answered: Q&A with Rachel Muir

If you missed our webinar with Rachel Muir, vice president of training at Pursuant, I highly suggest you download the archived version and get ready to take lots and lots of notes. Rachel gave us some amazing insights on how to motivate your board and how to turn them into...

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Social Media Content Is Sitting Right in Front of You

Content for your social media channels is sitting right in front of you. Really! Your website, donor appeals, and newsletters are just waiting to be translated into a Facebook post, tweet, or YouTube video. Repurposing content can take some time, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll...

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May

Half of Your Email Subscribers Are Ignoring You

New research from the 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study tells us that, on average, almost half (45%) of small nonprofits’ email subscribers are inactive. Yikes! Inactive could mean different things to different organizations. Many organizations define inactive subscribers as those who’ve gone one year with no activity. (These don’t necessarily...

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Nonprofit Link Round Up

A recent study from Dunham+Company reported that only 42% of U.S. churches give congregants an option to tithe online. But, 70% of non-church nonprofits offer online giving options. As our recent Digital Giving Index reported, and Dunham+Company's research confirms, online giving is outpacing overall giving. Have you made an...

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April

Your Storytelling Questions Answered: Q&A with Vanessa Chase

Last month, Vanessa Chase, founder of the Storytelling Non-Profit presented a Nonprofit911 webinar on how to incorporate storytelling in email appeals. The webinar was amazing, and I highly recommend you watch the archived version. Because so many people listened in, there were tons of great questions, but we didn’t...

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What Is Social Fundraising Anyway?

Social fundraising is empowering your supporter base to fundraise on your behalf. Social fundraising is also known as peer-to-peer fundraising, P2P, or personal fundraising. Think beyond the walkathon When you think of social fundraising, you probably think of a walkathon, dance marathon, or another event that social fundraisers will...

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Nonprofit Link Round Up

I hope you celebrated National Volunteer Week. Did you do something to make your volunteers feel special? I got a sweet card and gift in the mail from an organization I've been volunteering with for many years now. It really did make me feel appreciated. Even if you just send...

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Nonprofit Link Round Up

Happy Friday! Here’s what caught our eye in the world of fundraising and nonprofit marketing this week: National Volunteer Week is coming up! Wild Apricot has ideas for how you can celebrate and resources to help improve your volunteer programs. We love John Haydon and all his wise words...

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March

Nonprofit Link Round Up: #15NTC Edition

We have had a blast at the 2015 Nonprofit Technology conference in Austin, Texas! Today’s Link Round Up features links we’ve collected this week at #15NTC: Want to see an organization that really rocks at encouraging monthly giving? Check out Share Our Strength’s website, donate button, and donation...

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February

The Most Valuable Data Discoveries for Small and Mighty Nonprofits

When Heather Yandow of Third Space Studios presented an insightful Nonprofit911 webinar earlier this year she shared some data collected from nonprofits to create the Individual Donor Benchmark Report (IDBR). Our ears perked up: a well-researched report documenting individual donor benchmarks for nonprofits with a budget size under $2 million?! We...

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An Inside Look at The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations: Q&A with Author Lynne Wester

If you aren’t familiar with Lynne Wester’s work in donor relations, you are missing out. Last year she presented an amazing webinar (one of our highest attended!) on donor relations and ever since then I’ve been hooked on the topic of donor relations and Lynne’s wise...

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Delight Donors: Thank Yous + Donor Relations Wins

Last month’s post, 10 Thank Yous That Delight Donors, sparked many conversations about how to thank donors. Because this is such an important topic (and the first step in creating a positive long-term relationship with your donors), I wanted to offer even more ideas on how to thank your donors....

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January

The Ultimate Donation Page Guide Sneak Peek

I’m excited to announce that we’ve just published our most comprehensive resource featuring all of our best practices and helpful tips for building successful online donation pages. The Ultimate Donation Page Guide is 27 pages of helpful tips and best practices that guide you through the process of building...

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Link Round Up

We love reading amazing content from across the sector. Here are a few nonprofit marketing and fundraising resources that stood out this week: We're big fans of the crew over at GrantStation and their 5 quick tips for launching your grantseeking in 2015. (via Guidestar) If you are a Google Analytics user,...

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Next Frontier of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector

Editor’s note: This post was written by Vanessa Chase, founder of The Storytelling Non-Profit. You can check out more thoughts on storytelling on her blog. Or, if you’re in the mood to watch a webinar on storytelling, you can download the archived version of her Nonprofit911 webinar. Storytelling...

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A Familiar Face on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List

In the 2014 Forbes 30 Under 30 list there was a familiar face on the list: Julie Carney from Gardens for Health International. Julie, and two other young women, co-founded Gardens for Health International in 2010 to promote agriculture as part of the solution to large-scale public health challenges. Since then, they’ve helped...

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10 Thank Yous That Delight Donors

Year-end is over! Now what? First, take a deep breath and give yourself a few moments of calm. Second, start showing those donors some love with a thank you. A basic thank you letter is a perfectly acceptable way to show a donor some gratitude. But if you want to...

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Blogging Lessons from Make-a-Wish America

Wish Nation is the official blog for Make-a-Wish America. Justin Schmid and Jennifer Parsons, Wish Nation collaborators, have learned a lot since starting the blog over a year ago. I had the chance to chat with them about the success of Wish Nation and what they’ve learned since the...

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2014

December

Our Top 10 Posts from 2014

Here at Network for Good, we’re reflecting on 2014 and planning for the upcoming year. We’re locking down webinar topics and presenters for next year, putting the finishing touches on some incredible—and free!—fundraising eGuides, getting posts queued up for this blog, and brainstorming ways to help nonprofits...

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What Nonprofits Can Learn from Salvation Army Bell Ringers

Editor’s note: This post was written by Joe Waters, author of Fundraising with Businesses and Cause Marketing for Dummies. You can also check out Joe’s work on his blog Selfish Giving. I’ve always admired The Salvation Army bell ringers. In addition to donating their time and ringing...

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A post-#GivingTuesday Flowchart

#GivingTuesday is over. Now what? Use this simple flowchart to determine your next steps:  

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Your #GivingTuesday Emails

Tomorrow is the day! You’ve got your donation page up and running, you’ve rallied your staff members, and your thank you messages are ready to deploy. But don’t forget to send your donors (and board members) a #GivingTuesday appeal! A successful giving day campaign includes an email...

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November

Steal this pre-#GivingTuesday Email

I know it’s a short week, and we’re all busy prepping for December campaigns so I’ll keep this short: Have you let your donors know that your participating in #GivingTuesday? If not, now is the time to send them a short message. Use this email template as...

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Why Donors Want to Help One Person but Not Every Person

An NPR story caught my attention this morning. Maybe you heard it too? The story was about a psychologist’s study on what kind of message inspires people to give more. According to psychologist Paul Slovic’s research about how the head and heart can influence how much people want...

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October

The most important holiday for all fundraisers

Thanks to the most-photogenic NFGers for reminding us why it’s important to #beyourdonor on October 24th! Network for Good’s favorite holiday is this month. Although we do love Halloween, October 24this Be Your Donor Day and the reason why we celebrate big this month! Sometimes fundraisers are so...

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July

Simple, Timeless Social Media Tips

As of September 2013, 73% of online adults use social networking sites. If your nonprofit isn’t active on at least one social network, now is the time to get moving! A quick Google search will provide you with tons of best practices and tips for using social media but in this...

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It’s Time to Retire the Reception

Wine and cheese tastings. Fancy dinners. Receptions. What do all these events have in common? They are generic. Any nonprofit can host these events. They are not special to your donors. They are not especially meaningful. To paraphrase Lynne Wester, The Donor Relations Guru, in our popular Nonprofit 911 webinar: ...

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May

4 Things Nonprofits Can Learn from the NBA Playoffs

The Playoffs are like the year-end giving season for NBA players. Just like your nonprofit’s staff in December, during Playoffs, athletes are busy, tired, and they have their eye on the prize. What can nonprofits learn from the 16 teams that are competing for the championship title? Here are 4 takeaways...

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February

How to Get Your Board on Board with Online Fundraising

If you’re a fundraiser who is struggling to get your executive director or board to understand why you should launch an online fundraising program or invest more in online giving tools, try these talking points to help plead your case. Online giving boosts individual giving. You might have experienced...

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January

What are Your Groundhog Day Problems?

Do you remember the 1993 classic film, Groundhog Day?  Bill Murray’s character, Phil, keeps living the same day over and over and over again. Phil tries to break the cycle of endless February 2nds with extreme endeavors including kidnapping the official Groundhog Day groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Can you relate?...

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2013

December

10 ways to thank your donors

Image credit: flickr member nateOneAfter the busy nonprofit year-end giving season comes the often overlooked nonprofit thank you season. Remember to give thanks for donations early and often. Showing constant, authentic appreciation for your donors (new and old) is crucial for retaining supporters. Need to breathe some new life into...

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November

3 Ways to Help Donors Recruit Donors

Our next Nonprofit 911 webinar guest, Darian Rodriguez, is a big proponent of leveraging your organization’s year-end momentum to boost individual giving. Promoting your cause on #GivingTuesday is a great start, but you can take this a step further by empowering donors to promote your work on their own all...

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October

A video to inspire you

The Children’s Hospital at Darthmouth-Hitchcock recently posted an awesome video featuring staff and patients lip syncing and dancing to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’. With over 1.5 million views, so many people have seen the kids at CHaD roaring! This video is a wonderful way to show the staff and patients...

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September

5 Steps to Building Your Generosity Network

In The Generosity Network, authors Jennifer McCrea and Jeffrey C. Walker stress that “[t]rue generosity is rooted in relatedness.” To be a better fundraiser, you have to connect with people and build authentic relationships. Build your Generosity Network by taking action in these 5 areas:  1. Know Yourself Your personal...

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July

A bigger slice of pie: 2 Rules for Getting More Online Donations

Giving USA, an annual publication that reports the sources and uses of charitable gifts in the United States, released some good news this year: Overall, charitable giving in 2012 was up 3.5% over 2011. This is especially good news for nonprofits that have a well-rounded plan to raise funds through multiple channels. But...

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