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Hey there,

Welcome to another Whiteboard Wednesday.

Let’s start this issue by playing a little Springtime Positive/Negative:

Life is just a non-stop process of choosing how we look at things. Hopefully, you’re choosing the positive today.

Here’s my friendly reminder to hit the reply button to give us a comment, effusive praise, or cold hard cash.



Please…I’m begging you!

by Dave Kirby dave@vidarecreative.com

These headlines from respected financial media should be a wake-up call to all of us as fundraisers. Maybe you’ve seen the effects of it already. Some clients are reporting seeing a fairly significant drop in monthly gifts, with donors preferring the “one and done” of a single gift. Recent research also backs up the idea that donors are considering pulling back on their giving, at least in the short term. 

That brings me to the title of this article…

PLEASE, I’m begging you (with all that is in me) to take care of the donors you already have. Replacing them is not a sure thing these days. Back in the good old days, you could get new donors like shooting fish in a barrel. But not at this time, in this economy, in this world.

I have said this many times, and I’ll say it again, there is no fundraising task you can do that’s more important than engaging with your current donors. 

It’s so easy, especially when you’re wearing multiple hats, to get down in the weeds with “busy work,” even with things that are important. But I will say it again; there is NOTHING more important than engaging your current donors.

So here are my top recommendations:

    1. Thank them. Often. And without asking for anything in return. Let them know how valuable they are to the ministry.
    2. Inspire them. Ramp up the stories. Make sure your donors know and are inspired by the difference they are making. They started giving for a reason. Reinforce that in their minds and hearts.
    3. Reward them. Offer them exclusive content they get because they’re a monthly donor. Start small. Just do something to make them feel special. It could even be a birthday card.
    4. Talk to them. Update donors on the needs of the station. Talk to EVERY ONE of your major donors. Personally communicate with every donor you can. Some might even be willing to increase their giving if they see a real need.

And remember:

    1. Keep it personal. Your donors are people, not a mailing list. Look for increased ways to make your communication more personal.
    2. Keep it passionate. Nobody believes in your ministry more than you do. Communicate that passion.
    3. Keep it powerful. Empower your donor to be the hero. It’s never about “what we need.” It’s always about the impact the donor can make.

If you need help with some ideas to help you communicate with your donors, consider the Fundraising 365 Toolkit from Vidare Creative. It’s a year’s worth of plans and resources to get you started.

Everyone I talk to knows how important taking care of our current donors is, yet just about everyone is telling me, “We need to do a better job.” So what’s stopping you? If not now, then when? It’s more important than ever. 

Seriously, I’m begging you!

Links will direct to sites not affiliated with Vidare Creative

The “Nonprofit Email Report” was recently released by Neon One. TL:DR Clean up your list, build more engaging emails, pay attention to your CTA, and track metrics to see what’s working. You can get the report here.

ChatGPT logo

Nonprofit Pro asked ChatGPT to help write a fundraising letter. Here’s what happened.

TL:DR: Good tool, doesn’t replace you. 


As you know, we are a big proponent of thanking your donors (see above.) SOFII published five steps to a better thank you letter. TL:DR: make it personal, make it interesting, make it passionate. 

Fundraising 23: check out our speakers at fundraising23.com!

Maybe this is you. If it is, you might not need help raising more money. But if you’re like the rest of us mere mortals, read on.

For two incredible days in July, we’ll gather with dozens of fundraisers from across the country to grow and perfect our craft. And could there be a more important time to learn new strategies and skills as a fundraiser?

We promise you won’t regret joining us. And the biggest comment we’ve received is that people wish they had brought more team members. That’s why we’ve made it super reasonable to bring as many people as you can.

Plus, there are times for networking, great meals, and even concerts. It’ll be an incredible two days, we promise!

Take a look at our list of amazing speakers HERE

Or, just dive in and register now. 

Register NOW for Fundraising23!
Register NOW for Fundraising23!

10X Your Fundraising

By Paul Goldsmith  paul@vidarecreative.com

What if, instead of increasing your fundraising income by 10%, you grew it 10X? 

What impact could your station have on your community or even the world? Is your mission big enough? If so, this is a worthy thought experiment for your team.

When your station started, it generated little money and even fewer listeners. Now, presumably, it’s grown exponentially. You can do it again. Of course, it will require a disciplined focus and the courage to do what is required over what’s comfortable or familiar.

If you had to raise 10 times this year’s station budget, you’d have to focus on expanding your vision and prioritizing only what is essential to funding it. 

As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of all invention.” One helpful tool is to utilize the 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto principle, which states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. By understanding this principle and applying it to your fundraising efforts, you can dramatically increase your results.

Here are 3 areas you might start your 80/20 thinking:

    1. Identify the 20% of donors that bring in 80% of the funding and spend more time and resources cultivating these relationships. Get to know their hearts and share relevant opportunities for them to have a greater impact through your ministry.
    2. Analyze your fundraising efforts and identify the most effective strategies that bring in the most significant results. Which 20% of direct mail or email letters produce 80% of the results? Focus on maximizing these appeals and eliminate the others.
    3. Optimize your listeners' preferred methods of giving and make them as efficient and effective as possible. Determine and then analyze the most popular methods of payment of your listeners. For example, offer the options on your donation pages where your listeners already have their credit cards linked, such as Venmo, PayPal, and ApplePay.

By applying the 80/20 principle to your fundraising, you can 10X the results of your efforts without increasing your workload.

Apparently, the US Park Service at Yellowstone has been having some fun with their Twitter account. They have been posting a series of helpful hints for visitors interacting with wildlife. Here are a few of the best:

Sage advice, and a reminder we can communicate serious topics without taking ourselves too seriously.

Thanks for reading this issue of Whiteboard Wednesday. And if you liked it, forward it on to a friend. Or if you’re a real friend, send them this subscribe link.


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