The following is a guest post by Dale Cooper, Universities UK

Storytelling is not something academics are supposed to do. They pride themselves on objectivity, rationality and use of evidence. Yet storytelling is central to our mental processes for understanding, remembering, and communicating. Stories are an effective tool for conveying messages and there are...Read more

We all know that donor retention is on the skids, and costing nonprofits  millions in donations.  Among nonprofits in AFPs 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Report, retention rates have fallen over the past 7 years from about 50% down to just 39%.  It's estimated that revenue losses from downgraded and lost donors was $735 million in 2012. According to research by industry expert Adrian Sargent, 53% of donors stop contribuiting for reasons related to poor communications on the part of the nonprofit.  The reasons cited are summarized in the below infographic from Bloomerang, where Sargent is a data guru.Read more

As you prepare for year-end, when many charities receive 40% or more of their total fundraising revenues, have you given thought to how you will cultivate and solicit those special few -- the top 1% to 5% of your donors who are committed and capable and will give up to 40% of your goal? All donors are not the same. They give different amounts, for different reasons.Read more

Seize control of your year-end results by owning the three most important components of any fundraising appeal: the list, or donors and prospects to whom you'll send the appeal; the looks, or creative design you'll apply to the appeal; and the language, or actual message you will send them. Some might argue that of all of these, the list is the most important. If you don't have the right list, if you are not targeting those who are interested, engaged, or at least have a propensity to respond, you are wasting your money on the looks and the language.Read more

In case you missed it, Sally Boucher presented a webinar on the basics of slicing and dicing your data from a wealth screening on September 10, 2014.  The gist of the message was that in order to get quick wins from your screening, modeling or data append project, you should plan well in advance.  Boucher broke it into three steps in the webinar.Read more

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