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7 Sure-Fire Ways to Use Video to Inspire Donors

by Carol Buckheit on August 27, 2012

You don’t need to be James Cameron to create a quality video that will move your donors to contribute to your cause. But, if you can tell a story with video and incorporate these seven elements, you are well on your way to inspiring donors to join you in creating change. 1. Tell a story […]


Remember the days when trick-or-treaters would go door-to-door in your neighborhood with little orange boxes to collect donations for UNICEF? Well, just as the little orange box has gone digital, so has “peer-to-peer” fundraising—soliciting friends, neighbors, and family for contributions to your favorite cause. The good news is that schlepping door-to-door has given way to […]


Anatomy of an Effective Fundraising Email

by Carol Buckheit on June 5, 2012

A short while ago, the fine folks at M+R Strategic Services released their annual 2012 eNonprofits Benchmark Study, summarizing  voluminous data on the latest trends in online fundraising, advocacy, and messaging. So, what did the numbers say about the effectiveness of nonprofit fundraising emails? Drum roll, please: Average open rate: 12% Average click-through rate: .5% […]


Shoot Video Like a Pro: Tips from a Photojournalist

by Carol Buckheit on December 8, 2011

Nonprofit organizations often enlist staff and volunteers to create videos to enliven their storytelling via websites and social media–there’s just not a more emotionally powerful way to drive fundraising and advocacy campaigns.  But can “non-media” folks really create quality videos? Yes! This week, I have camera in hand to talk to Shana Sureck, an award-winning […]

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Are you ready for the end of year fundraising push? If not, you need to read Joanne Fritz’s terrific round-up of articles to get your end- of-year fundraising appeals up to snuff.  I’ll add one more item for your website to-do list: Consider updating your online donation form to include virtual gifts–symbolic gifts/merchandise that allow […]


I subscribe to scores of e-mail lists and e-newsletters from nonprofit organizations around the country and I’m amazed at how many ways orgs can mess these things up, wasting engagement opportunities (and hours of staff time) because of a few simple missteps.  How can an organization cut through the email thicket and increase that open […]


One of my favorite activities over the last several months (besides fishing out my morning newspaper from snowbanks on my front porch) has been training nonprofit boards and staff on social media strategies. Invariably, someone has an exasperating anecdote from the familiar world of do-gooders in the land of limited resources.  We all have some […]


Is there a better day than Valentine’s Day for organizations to ask donors to show their love for a cause?  Nonprofit communicators can do well by using key calendar dates like VDay to spark a creative fundraising appeal or advocacy event. (The Lightbox Collaborative’s excellent 2011 Editorial Calendar is a fabulous resource on this). I […]

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6 Nonprofit Tech Guides That Will Save you Time and Money

by Carol Buckheit on October 11, 2010

Since I’m often on information overload when it comes to ever-changing nonprofit media and technology trends, I appreciate when some folks take the time to research, organize, and update all of it in one handy guide. Here are some favorite new guides that I’ve already downloaded and dog-eared (and why you might want to do […]

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It happened again last week. I was meeting with a potential client, who asked how his nonprofit could enliven its communications for donors, the media, and stakeholders, when their policy work was rather cerebral, analytical, and (in his words) “not sexy.” I get this question a lot, and my answer is always the same: Storytelling. […]

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