Write Amazing Headlines for Your Nonprofit Blog [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 6, 2016 9:27:49 AM

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There’s an old adage in web marketing that “content is king”, meaning that if you have great content (e.g. blog posts, videos, resources, etc.) on your nonprofit blog or website, you’ll attract more visitors, build a stronger following (i.e. more donors) and ultimately increase your ability to make an impact. There is one major caveat, though, and that is if your non-profit communication content is buried beneath bland headlines, your target audience may never discover the greatness of your blog posts and articles!

Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 visitors to a website will only read the headlines. And of those that read a headline, only 20% will read the article below. This shows how important it is to have powerful headlines that compel your users to spend time on your site reading the content.

→  Expert Tip: One excellent tool that you can use to assess the quality of your headline is CoSchedule's Blog Post Headline Analyzer, which give's your blog title a grade and offers recommendations for improving your word selection, character count and sentence structure.

In the following infographic we discover a few simple formulas that will help you to craft outstanding headlines even when you are having a creative block. Try the sample headlines provided below and watch your following grow as your users find out that your non-profit communication content is king!

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Topics: nonprofit, nonprofit communication, infographic

Nonprofit Communication & Marketing Trends 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 24, 2015 9:36:00 AM

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As you develop a marketing and communication strategy for your nonprofit in 2015, it is important to have an understanding of industry trends both in terms of key objectives as well as methods of outreach. 

A recent study of 1,535 staff members of nonprofits gathered data on marketing trends and objectives for 2015.  Participants were polled on a variety of topics, including their primary objectives for their marketing efforts for 2015, their preferred method of outreach – using both digital and traditional media, and their expected frequency of outreach to their donor base.

View Infographic →

In addition, the survey data was broken down by job function of the nonprofit staff respondents, which shed some critical insight into how a nonprofit must balance competing interests within the organization in formulating a marketing and communication strategy.

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Topics: nonprofit-marketing, nonprofits, nonprofit communication, infographic

Why Surveying Donors Can Boost Fundraising Revenue at Your Next Charity Auction

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 26, 2014 12:38:00 PM

Donor Surveys to Boost Fundraising Revenue at your Next Charity Auction

Nonprofits are always looking for ways to improve their fundraising auctions so they can raise more money, and one of the best places to start looking for ideas is to survey your existing donor base. 

Surveys are a free and simple way to get feedback from your donors and learn more about their values and preferences. The information you receive can be used to develop everything from what type of event to host to the items you include in your live and silent auctions.

How do I create a survey? 

Before you survey donors, consider the best way to reach your specific audience. Surveys can be done in many ways, such as over the phone, through snail mail, in person or via email. They can be comprehensive and cover many topics or be as simple as a single question. 

One of the most popular ways to survey your database of contacts is an online questionnaire sent via email. Questionnaires allow you to reach as many donors as possible efficiently and quickly. There are many free online sources that provide clear, easy-to use templates for you to work with.

Donor-Surveys_Survey-MonkeySurveymonkey.com is one such resource that we use at Winspire to survey our Nonprofit customers as well as every winning bidder when they return from their Experience.

What should I ask?

Start by asking yourself what you would like to know about your donors. Questions like “Why do you contribute to this organization?” are fairly standard survey questions, but you can dig deeper. Try to frame your questions in a way that will give you concrete feedback that you can use to improve your next event.

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Topics: fundraising, nonprofit communication, nonprofit survey

When to Send Traditional vs. Email Invitations for Your Charity Event

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 14, 2014 1:43:00 PM

When to Send Traditional vs. Email Invitations for Your Charity Event

Email invitations - or "evites" - are gradually becoming more and more popular, but there is still the question of appropriateness when it comes to sending invitations to your donors. So which medium is best suited for inviting guests to your charity auction items event? The answer is it depends.

Following are some general guidelines to follow when deciding whether to send out your charity event invitations via email or traditional snail mail: 

When to send a traditional invitation:

  • Formal events: If you are having a formal gala where guests are requested to dress up, then it is best to play it safe and send a physical invitation.  
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Topics: event-production, nonprofit communication

How to Design an Effective Charity Event Invitation

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 12, 2014 12:07:00 PM

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Invitations are a great way to remind donors why they support your mission and entice them to attend your charity auction items event. In this article we cover a few tips for creating clear, concise and well-designed invitations that will increase attendance and build excitement for your fundraising event without going over budget.

Designing-Effective-Fundraising-Event-Invitations_FLYERS

Design

When it comes to invitations, looks matter. After all, the design will be the first thing people notice when they open the invitation. Make sure the information and graphics are professional, creative and fresh to intrigue donors.

Graphic designers can be costly, so make sure you've exercised all your options before offering to hire someone. Check to see if anyone on your staff or in your auction committee has any experience making invitations. Ask for examples of their previous work and don't be afraid to be selective if you're going for a different look.

You can also design attractive and affordable invitations yourself by using one of the many invitation services online. Sites like Minted are a great resource for helping you design and create charming initiations at a reasonable price. Many of these services include shipping and printing as well, which can cut down on your workload. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

EXPERT TIP: If you really want that professional look for your invitations, try reaching out to a local university, college or night school to recruit a student to volunteer their time. Students are always looking for ways to pad their resume and many schools event have programs that require volunteer hours. Put together a brief write-up explaining what you are looking for along with some invitation examples you'd like to imitate. Do some research online to find the emails of professors (most educational institutions provide directories on their website) who teach business, marketing or design classes and send them the job description. You may be surprised by the response!

Information

At very least, invitations should provide guests with pertinent information about the cause, the event and how to RSVP. Don't forget to provide information about how invitees can donate money even if they can't make it to the event. Following are some of the most important things to include on your invitations:

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Topics: event-production, nonprofit communication

Nonprofit Communication Trends for 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 23, 2013 9:30:00 AM

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Effective communication is often one of the biggest challenges Nonprofits face when trying to connect with donors, supporters and volunteers. With so many channels available to distribute your message, sometimes it can feel like you're just throwing paint at a wall and hoping some of it sticks.

As we look forward to a new year, the array of options for communicating with your followers will likely get bigger, not smaller. Sometimes it can help to see what other organizations or people in your same industry are doing in order to get ahead of the curve.That's why we did a little research and threw together this Infographic with some of the Nonprofit Communication Trends we see coming up in 2014.

Enjoy... and Happy Holidays!

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Topics: donor-relations, nonprofit communication

Social Media 101: Boost Attendance and Awareness of Your Fundraising Event

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 4, 2013 10:40:00 AM

Boost fundraising event attendance and awareness with social media

Social media can be an excellent tool for marketing fundraising events and increasing awareness of your Nonprofit. Using social media to improve event attendance, however, is more than just having a Facebook or Twitter account. To market your next fundraising event effectively, follow these social media tips:

Get everyone connected

It’s not enough to just have a social media account to represent your Nonprofit – you need people who will interact with your account. Get everyone in your organization connected on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social media sites. Then they can get the ball rolling by sharing your Nonprofit’s posts with their friends and family.

Utilize different social media platforms

While you don’t have to sign up for every social media service that currently exists, you’re definitely going to want to hit the two big ones. At very least, you should have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but you should also think about utilizing some other options depending on your audience. Following are some of the other social media platforms that you should consider experimenting with:

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Topics: event-production, nonprofit communication

5 Tips for Improving Attendance at Your Next Benefit Auction

Posted by Jeff Cova on Dec 2, 2013 11:14:00 AM

Improve Benefit Auction Attendance at your next event

What’s the point of hosting a fabulous benefit auction if nobody shows? Okay, it’s unlikely that any event you plan will have zero attendees, but you get the idea. You want your benefit auction filled with supporters ready to bid and help your cause!

To boost both attendance and spending at your next benefit auction, follow these five tips and make it a smashing success:

1. Know the Social Calendar in Your Area

You can’t account for every little social gathering that is coming up in the future. You can, however, do some research to make yourself aware of major events that will be taking place in your local community.

Search events in the local newspapers or any online social calendars in your community. Attend chamber of commerce meetings or ask members of any events that are taking place around the time of your benefit auction. You can even ask key donors what their event schedule looks like to find out about similar events happening in the area.

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Topics: fundraising, donor-relations, nonprofit communication

5 Step Timeline For Planning a Flawless Benefit Auction

Posted by Jeff Cova on Nov 13, 2013 11:17:00 AM

Timeline for Planning a Benefit Auction

Having a benefit auction is a great way to connect with members, expand your reach and boost fundraising efforts. But executing a successful benefit auction is a difficult task, even for the most experienced Development Director. These tips are a good start for establishing a timeline and ultimately throwing an amazing event.

Plan Early
Starting 9-12 Months Out

For Nonprofits who host an annual auction benefit, planning for next year’s event starts immediately as soon your event concludes. Follow suit by starting 9-12 months ahead of your event. Here are some to-do’s to start with:

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Topics: event-production, nonprofit communication, time management

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Meet Winston & Winnie, the Winspire Twins

Winston & Winnie love to help Nonprofits raise money for amazing causes. They also love to travel and have a bucket list of amazing Experiences they are determined to complete in their lifetime. Winspire News is the result of this shared passion, offering fundraising advice, industry news and insight into charity fundraising with travel.