All Articles by Nancy Schwartz

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Nonprofit Marketing Expert


2015

August

Master Monthly Giving (Part 2: Expert Interview)

Read Part 1 here I’m thrilled to share more monthly giving mastery with you from my recent interview with leading monthly giving expert Erica Waasdorp. Nancy: Once you have a new monthly donor in the door, what’s the best way to welcome him? Erica: If donor signs up online,...

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Master Monthly Giving: Q&A with Erica Waasdorp

I’m thrilled to share this monthly giving mastery with you, drawn from my fascinating interview with leading monthly giving expert Erica Waasdorp. In her unequaled guidebook, Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, Erica walks you through recurring giving, step by clear-and-doable step. “Historically, U.S. fundraisers have focused on major...

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Bring-’Em-Close Welcome Packs

I just donated to your organization for the very first time. So what kind of welcome am I going to get? Will you respond ASAP with a quick, impersonal email and never be heard from again? Or will I receive that generic email or letter a few weeks or even...

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July

What’s Your Ask: One-Time or Monthly Giving?

Did you donate to the relief effort for victims of the Nepal earthquake a few months ago? I contributed via GlobalGiving, thanks to the on-the-ground guidance of a friend living there. Here’s the donation page I encountered, and I have to tell you, I was confused. Take a close...

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Summertime Shifts: Keep Connecting Through Fireflies, Fireworks, and Family Vacations

Nothing is more important than crafting content that’s relevant to your readers. But it’s challenging when they’re distracted by the delights of ice cream, the beach, and after-dinner badminton. Summer is just different. Even though schooldays ended eons ago for most of us, our focus, attitudes, and...

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Make ONE—and Only ONE—Call to Action (Case Study)

Remember when you were 15 and your mother would tell you to clean up your room, call your grandmother, and come down to dinner all within the same five minutes? Remember how frustrating that was? How even if you wanted to do everything your mom asked—not every teen’s desire,...

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June

No Kitties or Puppies. HELP! (Step Two)

Review Step One Okay, your organization is one of many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers. So what can you do to quickly and effectively connect with the emotions of prospects and supporters? In Step One of this two-part post, I shared...

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No Kitties or Puppies. HELP! (Step One)

View Step Two Ooh! Aah! Who can resist the cuteness of kitty or puppy photos like this one? Don’t feel silly for loving them. It’s human nature. In fact, photos like the one on this page are such tasty emotional candy that every bite takes folks one step...

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May

A Few of My Favorite Tools

Like many of your organizations, my business is basically a tiny shop. There’s never enough time and everything to do. Plus, as a working mom (and daughter of a 92-year-old), I’m multitasking day and night and always have too much on my plate. I think you see what...

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Philanthropy Outlook Rosy, Reports IU Lilly School of Philanthropy

U.S. charitable giving predicted to rise 4.8 percent in 2015. The tide may be turning! Giving momentum is strong and getting stronger, according to research findings recently released by the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy and Martz & Lundy. Here’s more of the good news reported in The Philanthropy Outlook 2015 ...

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More Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part Two)

Read Part One » After my initial sit-down with Kari Saratovsky, author of the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here) I was thirsting to know even more about how to engage Millennials. Here’s the second part of our conversation. Nancy Schwartz: Kari, every organization, company, and...

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April

Make the Most of Mother’s Day

There’s no better way for your organization to get the attention of your supporters and prospects (and the media) than by piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking about this stuff, making them far more likely to connect with your campaign than at...

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Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part 1)

Read Part Two » Wow! I’m amazed and delighted by the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here). We finally have a much-needed guide to engaging these prospects who are influencing change across organizations and generations. When I finished reading the Playbook, I was thirsting to know...

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March

Rich Details for Record-Breaking Results (Case Study)

Image: Roland Godefroy “When the new antenna went live, you’d swear that Dizzy Gillespie was playing right next to you.” I can easily visualize this scene—and hear it. Can you? In fact, this appeal excerpt from WBGO (New York City’s premier jazz radio station) made the listening-enriching...

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More! Build Stronger Donor Relationships Right Now: Ideas from Fellow Fundraisers, Part 2

Read Part 1 here Have two minutes? Please tell us what you’re doing to strengthen donor relationships and/or what’s in your way. Thanks! You have some fantastic fundraiser peers. Kudos to all of you who generously shared your path to stronger donor relationships or boldly put out there...

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February

The Devil You Know: Your Greatest Challenge Lives Inside Your Organization

Surprising, distressing, but all too true! According to findings released in the 2015 Nonprofit Communications Report, one of your greatest challenges to fundraising effectiveness is the difference in priorities and perspectives held by you (a fundraiser) and your key colleagues—your executive director and communications colleagues. Just take a look at...

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How to Build Stronger Donor Relationships Right Now: Ideas from Fellow Fundraisers (Part 1)

Have two minutes? Please tell us what you’re doing to strengthen donor relationships and/or what’s in your way. Thanks! Thanks to these fabulous fundraisers in the field for sharing their right-now paths to stronger relationships with donors and what’s getting in their way! What one fundraiser...

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January

Donor Love Part Two: Get Clued into Stronger Donor Relationships—Recommit to Your Privacy Policy

Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you're doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what's in your way. Thanks! Let me guess! You: Can’t see how your organization’s privacy policy relates to donor loyalty. Rely on your tech colleagues to handle everything related to your privacy policy. Are...

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Donor Love Part One: 7 Ways to Keep Donors Committed to Your Cause

Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you're doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what's in your way. Thanks! Honoring your donors—and prospects—is, hands-down, the most effective approach to building strong and lasting relationships with the folks whose help you need so very much. It’s no surprise...

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2014

December

Motivate ’Em Messages: What Secrets Can You Share?

When I saw this Facebook post from the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless (ECHH), my smile spread like wildfire. You see, we’ve been working with the ECHH team on year-end fundraising campaigns for a few years, and among the countless things I was surprised to learn when we...

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How Did You Handle…? A Brilliant Change-Up for Your Year-End Campaign (and Beyond!)

Read Part One and Part Two This post wraps up our first topic in the new How Did You Handle…? series—specific how-tos based on your experiences. Here’s the why and how-to behind a change-up likely to be relevant to your year-end prospects (and beyond):Change-Up: Introducing a new...

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How Did You Handle…? 2 MORE Examples of Change Ups for 2014 Year-End Campaigns

Read Part One This post continues our new How Did You Handle…? series—specific how-tos based on your experiences. There’s still time to make productive changes to your year-end appeal! Here are more year-end campaign change-ups, attempted for the first time this year by some of your fundraiser peers ...

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November

How Did You Handle…? 3 Examples of Change Ups for 2014 Year-End Campaigns

This post is the first in our new How Did You Handle…? Series—specific how-tos based on YOUR experiences.Please watch for our requests to share your wins, challenges and recommendations. YOU are the best trainers there are! Year-End fundraising tops most organizations’ “must do, every year” list, but it...

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3 Steps to a Powerful, All-Organization Team of Messengers [Part Two]

Be sure to check out part one of this two-part series on messaging. 3 Steps to a Team of Powerful Messengers Training your staff, leadership, clients partners and supporters is a high-impact, low-investment marketing strategy for every nonprofit, but one that’s frequently overlooked. It’s the ultimate low-hanging fruit for...

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3 Steps to a Powerful, All-Organization Team of Messengers [Part One]

I recently completed an all-new message platform for the largest human services organization in Massachusetts. The platform included a tagline, positioning statement, talking points or key messages at organization and program level, and elevator conversation. This agency is renowned for high-quality service delivery, but even many of the folks who...

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October

There’s More in the Middle: Close Your Giving Gap Now

A huge “aha” bloomed in my mind as I digested the findings on shifts in   giving patterns of rich vs. middle- and lower-income donors recently   released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.* Mash-up this takeaway with that shared a few months ago (by Sea Change Strategies’ Mark Rovner and...

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Love ‘Em Up Now to Boost Year-End & 2015 Support

This final quarter can shine as the time to generate the donations you need to move your organization’s mission forward, if you do it right. In fact, 40% of online donors make their gifts in December, and that 40% to 60% of those gifts are made the last two days of the...

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September

The Secret Sauce of Record-Breaking Year-End Campaigns

Come in close and listen hard. This is a secret I don’t want to broadcast to the entire world. The secret sauce to ensuring year-end campaign success that I’ve seen work time and time again is this year-end checklist. Year-end campaign creation and management is a busy, often...

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Reclaim Back to School: How to Stay Energized, Relevant, and at the Top of Your Game

Our daughter, Charlotte, recently started sixth grade, and the pumped-up energy at school that first morning really got me thinking. “Back to school” is one of the definers of fall as we know it. It’s right up there with apples, the changing colors of the leaves, and Halloween. Here...

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August

Seeking the Killer App? You Already Have It—Your Website

Way back when, when social media was newish—let’s say 2007—I used this classic baseball analogy to illustrate how social media fit into the communications universe. Your website is your nonprofit’s online home base, with email as pitcher (no hits without the pitcher). Core social media platforms (now...

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This Book Could Change Your Life: Great Summer Reads for Fundraisers

When I asked nonprofit experts in a range of fields, from fundraising to programs, to share their summer reading lists, I had no idea what to expect. I was thrilled to hear so many passionate stories about books that have made (or are likely to make) a huge difference in...

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July

Reboot with These 6 Summer Camp Strategies

Our daughter Charlotte’s world right now is probably familiar to many of you. She’s in the middle of a blissful summer at a few different day and overnight camps. At the end of every day, her mind and creativity are stimulated, she’s made new friends, and she...

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8 Ways to Make Social Media Matter

Pressure. You feel it. I feel it. Every nonprofit communicator and fundraiser out there feels it. Social media pressure, that is. Whether the source of this anxiety (Am I keeping up? Do I have a billion Facebook likes or Twitter followers? Is my Instagram strategy driving action?) is your immediate...

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June

Fundraising + Marketing = Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Imagine: You’ve worked long and hard to grow a strong relationship with your communications colleagues (or, if you’re on the communications side, with your fundraising colleagues). You all know that working as a team to solicit, gather, and share insights on supporters is the path to strong and...

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Use the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Strengthen Your Donor Communications

Donor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize, and activate your prospects and donors—are the key to fundraising success. But you already know that. What you may not know, however, is that few organizations do donor communications well. Most have lots of room to improve, as evidenced by the focus...

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May

Use Your Newsletters to Keep Donors Loyal, Focused, and Giving

You’ve seen it happen: When we stop putting energy into relationships with family and friends—relying on past interactions to hold us together—those relationships tend to fall apart. Like your college roommate or that work friend from your first job. Relationships with organization’s donors require the same...

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6 Types of Stories that Spur Giving

[Editor’s note: We’re very excited to announce that Nancy Schwartz will be a regular columnist for Network for Good’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog. Twice each month, Nancy will share her expert tips and insight on communications, marketing, and sector trends. Enjoy!] As a fundraiser, you aim to change...

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