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to help you accelerate your nonprofit's impact.

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What All Effective Nonprofit Teams Have in Common

We've identified several traits of the most effective nonprofit teams. What traits do they have in common? 

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Strategy Secrets of the Most Effective Nonprofits

The most successful nonprofits all have sound, actionable strategies. Here are the four most important strategies your organization needs.

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Change is Hard, Here’s How to Manage it at Your Nonprofit.

Read this post for top dos and don’ts when it comes to managing a time of transformation at your nonprofit.

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Building an Effective Stakeholder Advisory Board

At Prosper Strategies, we believe in co-creating change. This means rather than prescribing solutions to the challenges faced by a group or community, we advocate for seeking input from those our work impacts and using that input to guide important decisions.

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What Your Nonprofit Needs to Do Now to Prepare for End-of-Year Fundraising Success

If you were considering letting up on your fundraising efforts this year, think again. There's still time to get to work on your campaign and make it as impactful (and stress-free) as possible. 

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The Missing Link in Nonprofit Effectiveness: Systems and Processes

There are many ingredients of a successful organization that can withstand challenges like the never-ending ones 2020 keeps throwing at the sector. But naming just one area that is both critical to nonprofit effectiveness and commonly overlooked, is choose systems and processes.

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Webinar: Equity Imperatives for Nonprofit Communicators and Fundraisers

As nonprofits aim to build on the momentum of the last few months in ways that align with their missions, what role can nonprofit communicators and fundraisers play in addressing racism and advancing equity?

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A Better Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda

Let's put an end to unproductive nonprofit board meetings by adopting a better board meeting agenda.

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What is Strength-Based Messaging?

Learn what strength-based messaging (AKA: asset-based communication) is really about and then put it into action for your nonprofit

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Why We May Not Respond to Your Nonprofit’s RFP

If you’ve recently sent Prosper Strategies a request for a proposal, you’ve probably heard us say something along the lines of “Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t typically respond to RFPs.” Yes, we understand that RFPs are the norm (or at least they used to be) in the nonprofit sector, and that some boards […]

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What Questions Should I Ask a Nonprofit Consulting Firm?

How can you ensure you’re having productive, engaging conversations the next time your organization wants to hire a nonprofit consulting firm?

How to Secure Nonprofit PR Coverage

This post was originally published in June, 2017 and updated on September 4, 2020.

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When is Time to Call a Nonprofit Consulting Firm?

If your nonprofit's strategic direction isn’t clear, parts of your team don’t fit or you think there’s a piece that’s missing, call a nonprofit consulting firm.

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Three Examples of Strength-Based Communication to Inspire Your Organization

Use language that reflects the potential and the promise of a brighter future that is possible with the proper resources and support, or strength-based communications.

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Nonprofit Brand Messaging 101: Nonprofit Positioning Statements (AKA Your “Reason for Being”)

Nonprofit positioning statements help shape the external messaging you use to to explain what you do and why.

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How to Guide for Developing Core Values at Your Nonprofit

A nonprofit's core values define and institutionalize the essence of your organization. Here's to develop them.

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Determining Your Nonprofit’s Unique Value Proposition for Donors and Funders (Finding Your Reason for Being)

Competition is a tough topic to tackle in the nonprofit sector. I agree with many experts who say there are simply too many nonprofits working on similar missions and confusing program participants, donors and the general public as they compete for attention, funding, and share of voice. I believe we can make far more progress […]

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What is a Strategic Consultancy Firm?

In the nonprofit sector, we know just how important it is to work with stakeholders, other nonprofits, and, partners like a strategic consultancy.

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Your Two-Day Nonprofit Strategic Planning Agenda

Nonprofit strategic planning is a process, and many organizations start it with a one to two-day annual retreat, where they kick off their efforts. But how do you prepare to make your strategic planning retreat successful?

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Seven Deadly Nonprofit Marketing Budget Sins: Part Two

In this two-part post, we dive deep into the seven deadly sins that result from treating a nonprofit marketing budget as overhead and explain exactly how they harm nonprofit organizations.

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Seven Deadly Nonprofit Marketing Budget Sins: Part One

In this two-part post, we dive deep into the seven deadly sins that result from treating a nonprofit marketing budget as overhead and explain exactly how they harm nonprofit organizations.

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Planning your Nonprofit’s Future Organization Chart

The best future team planning happens in alignment with your nonprofit's strategic plan, which should outline your organization's most important priorities, goals and objectives over the next one to three years.

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The Four Types of Nonprofit Meetings Every Organization Needs to Succeed

Meetings might not be the most glamorous topic, especially now, when most of them are taking place on Zoom and Skype, but they have an undeniably huge impact on the lives of most nonprofit professionals.  

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A Nonprofit Strategic Plan Example to Inspire Your Organization

Here’s a behind the scenes look at The Essential Nonprofit Strategic Plan Template to maximize your nonprofit's effectiveness.

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How to Engage Your Nonprofit’s Beneficiaries and Why You Must

While it can be a challenge to get feedback from those your organization serves, it is absolutely critical to your nonprofit's success.

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Webinar: What’s Working Now: Fundraising in the Midst of COVID-19 Recovery

The world has never needed the nonprofit sector more than it does today and COVID-19 is bringing that into even sharper focus.

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A Nonprofit Fundraising Plan Example and Template to Inspire Your Organization

An effective nonprofit fundraising plan can help you clarify your goals & priorities and define the right activities for advancing your mission.

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Nonprofit Impact Measurement Practices that Actually Work

There are few aspects of nonprofit management as vexing as measurement. Measuring your progress on achieving your mission is complex, challenging, and it can be costly. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that many organizations default to measuring things they can more easily get their heads around, such as people served, dollars donated, new […]

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Optimizing Your Team: How to Create a Structure of Nonprofit Accountability

The most successful nonprofits have the staff and operational underpinnings needed to bring their vision to reality. Putting a structure of accountability in place, regardless of your nonprofit’s size, lays the groundwork for successful growth and increases your ability to drive impact.  However, creating an organizational structure as well as roles and responsibilities for your […]

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Why Focus is the Foundation of Every Effective Nonprofit (and How to Find Yours)

The more focused your team is on why your nonprofit exists and the change you’re looking to drive, the better everyone will be able to direct their efforts to what really matters.

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Take the Nonprofit Health Assessment: Nonprofit Performance Measurement Begins Here

The Nonprofit Health Assessment is a simple 20-question survey that will help you get a sense of your nonprofit’s overall health by analyzing all the key elements of your organization.

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10 Commitments to Strengthen Your Nonprofit

The Nonprofit Impact Manifesto challenges everyone in nonprofit leadership roles to make 10 commitments that will allow their organizations to better work with and for the people they serve.

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The Moment for Change: Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Make a Bigger Impact?

Introducing The Nonprofit Impact System, a complete set of tools and approaches you can use to optimize every aspect of your nonprofit for maximum mission impact today and well into the future.

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Webinar: Nonprofit Resilience in The Face of COVID-19

The world has never needed the nonprofit sector more than it does today and COVID-19 is bringing that into even sharper focus.

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Successful Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals in the Midst of COVID-19

Since the government declared COVID-19 a national emergency, we’ve been closely monitoring how nonprofits are innovating their fundraising appeal. Here are some of the best fundraising appeals that we’ve seen this spring.

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Webinar: Effective Donor Communication Strategies During COVID-19

This webinar addressed strategies for nonprofits to connect with donors, cut through the communications clutter and keep their fundraising on track.

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Turning to Grantmakers During the Coronavirus Crisis

It’s time for nonprofits to turn their attention to how they might leverage institutional funders during the Coronavirus crisis.

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Webinar: Pull Off A Virtual Fundraising Event in the Age of COVID-19

If your nonprofit planned to host an in-person fundraiser, gala or similar gathering this spring or summer, the chances are likely that you've had to reevaluate your plans. You're not alone.

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Coping with COVID-19: How to Mitigate the Risk of Lost Fundraising Revenue

On last week’s webinar, when we asked the nonprofit leaders in attendance what they were most worried about right now, in light of COVID-19, “mitigating the risk of lost fundraising revenue” ranked as their number one response. That’s no surprise. With the virus gaining momentum in the midst of fundraising events season, thousands of nonprofits […]

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Webinar: COVID-19 and Your Nonprofit

It has been a challenging few weeks as nonprofits across the country navigate the fallout from COVID-19, and there are more tough times ahead. Your organization is likely facing difficult decisions about whether to change service delivery methods, cancel or reschedule upcoming fundraising events, resort to staffing and financial backup plans, allow remote work and paid time off, and more.

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Your Nonprofit’s Coronavirus Crisis Communications Checklist is Here

Is your nonprofit ready to effectively communicate with its stakeholders about coronavirus? This checklist can help.

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How to Acquire New Donors Online: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Donor Acquisition

Donor acquisition has gone digital. Learn how to find, acquire and nurture new donors online in this post.

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What Qualities Should I Look for in a Nonprofit Marketing Leader?

Nonprofit CMOs should have these five essential qualities to be successful in the social sector.

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Gathering Quotes and Testimonials That Demonstrate Your Nonprofit’s Success

Here’s how you can gather good quotes for effective nonprofit storytelling messaging and communications in a respectful and sensitive way.

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Let’s (Re)define Nonprofit Marketing

Marketing shouldn’t be a dirty word in the nonprofit sector, yet it often gets treated that way. At the end of 2018, Prosper Strategies put forward a new definition of nonprofit marketing that’s taken the sector by storm.

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How to Create a Guide to Strength-Based Communication for Your Nonprofit

Are you ready to begin building your own language and style guide to strength-based communications? Here’s how.

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What Every CEO Needs to Know about Stakeholder Engagement in Nonprofit Communications, Marketing and Branding

Here are a few critical ways that nonprofit CEOs should structure stakeholder engagement to improve communications, marketing and branding.

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2020 Nonprofit Stats: A Few Things That Might Surprise You About the Nonprofit Sector

2020 nonprofit stats prove that the size, scope and impact of the nonprofit sector is simply amazing.

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How to Use Content to Position Your CEO as a Thought Leader

Here's why your nonprofit's CEO should be a thought leader, and how you can start using your own content to help them become one.

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The Best Nonprofit Annual Reports from 2019

Looking for inspiration for your nonprofit’s annual report? Look no further. Here are some of the best reports from 2019.

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What to Expect from Prosper Strategies in 2020

2020 is going to be a big year for Prosper Strategies. Read this post for a preview of what’s ahead.

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What is a Nonprofit Brand Messaging Strategy?

If I asked anyone at your nonprofit to describe your organization in one sentence, would all of their answers be similar? 

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How To Write a Nonprofit Vision Statement That Will Shape Your Organization’s Future

Here’s how to get started developing a nonprofit vision statement to articulate the future your organization exists to create.

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The Nonprofit Rebrand Experience

If your nonprofit is rebranding, it should be done collaboratively. Bringing together different people and perspectives results in different opinions, which leads to both a more fruitful process and better outcomes.

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Six Last Minute Ideas for Giving Tuesday

November is already halfway over, and if you followed our end-of-year fundraising timeline perfectly, your campaign should already be well on its way.

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Three Reasons Your Nonprofit Brand Is Still “The Best Kept Secret”

I talk to five to ten nonprofit marketers a week, and one of the most common things I hear is, “If only people knew about our impact … we’re the best kept secret in __________.” Some of you even say, “I just can’t hear the words ‘we’re the best kept secret’ anymore.”  So why is […]

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Combating Stereotype Porn and Poverty Porn With Asset and Strengths-Based Communications

Imagine a world where every nonprofit presents an accurate, strengths-based picture of the people and communities it serves. A world where organizations don’t feel that they have to show sad photos of children who are starving, use gut-wrenching video clips of animals who are sick, or tell endless stories of the despair and suffering of […]

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Are You Considering a Rebrand in the Year Ahead? Weighing the Risks and Rewards

For most nonprofits, the risks and rewards of rebranding are two sides of the same coin. As you’re thinking through the pros, cons, opportunities and challenges that come along with changing your organization’s name or identity, think about three areas that will be impacted most by a nonprofit rebrand: your organization’s brand equity, your revenue […]

Whitepaper: Nonprofit Marketing Budgeting – A How-to Guide

There is a right way and a wrong way to build and manage a nonprofit marketing budget. We've developed this whitepaper to help you through the process from start to finish...

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Language Matters in Nonprofit (and all) Marketing

A few months ago, I attended an event hosted by a nonprofit here in Chicago. One of the panelists was the Chicago Public School’s Chief Equity Officer, Maurice Swinney, and the discussion was about breaking the cycle of childhood trauma. As Swinney was speaking, he was correcting himself so that he was always using person-first […]

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How to Create an Effective and Efficient Nonprofit Marketing Department

I started my career as a nonprofit marketer in 2014. Since then, I’ve worked at traditional nonprofits, professional associations, and agency settings. Though my experience has been varied, there’s one thing I’ve found to be true no matter where I’ve worked: nonprofit marketers often get the short end of the stick.  If you think about […]

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How to Acquire New Donors Online: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Donor Acquisition

Donor attrition is a real problem at nearly every nonprofit organization I’ve ever collaborated with. Each year, some donors simply stop giving, choose to give more to other organizations, or simply “age out.” That’s why every organization needs a solid new donor acquisition strategy. If you don’t replace lost donors with new ones, your organization […]

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Webinar Recap: Can Nonprofit Marketing and Communications Advance Equity?

In this webinar from September 2019, president of Prosper Strategies Alyssa Conrardy sat down with the CEO of YWCA Chicago Dorri McWhorter for a conversation around nonprofit marketing and communications advancing equity. The two began by addressing the issues of stereotype porn — any type of of communications, be it written, photographed or filmed, which […]

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Avoiding Poverty Porn While Still Pulling Heartstrings

More than 50 percent of nonprofits receive a majority of their donations during the last quarter of the year. As you think about your end-of-year fundraising efforts, it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating messaging and fundraising campaigns that put your donors at the center. Too many end-of-year materials emphasize how […]

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How Your Fundraising Team Can (and Should) Work With an Agency

There are few situations more vulnerable than those when we ask for help. As professionals, it can sometimes feel like we’re expected to know how to do everything; asking for help, then, can feel almost like an admission that we can’t do our jobs. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone: 59 percent […]

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How to Leverage Storytelling for Fundraising Success

If you’re like me, you’ve been working in (or with) the nonprofit sector for your entire career. You’ve spent countless hours on Google, skimming headlines and articles looking for that silver bullet; that last piece of the puzzle that will help your fundraising campaigns take off.  But so far, it hasn’t — at least, according […]

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Your Board’s Role in Hiring a Marketing Agency

We’ve talked about making the case for a marketing investment to your board. So now, let’s talk about what to do when additional marketing investment gets the green light, and your next step is hiring a marketing agency. What’s the best way to engage your nonprofit board in the decision-making and firm hiring process? So […]

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The Case for Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in Developing Your Nonprofit’s Brand

Who “owns” your organization? This question is not nearly as straightforward in the nonprofit world as it is in the for-profit world.  The short answer is the organization’s many diverse stakeholders.  Here’s how Judith E. Millesen explained the unique dynamics surrounding nonprofit ownership in Nonprofit Quarterly: “We all know that although a corporate board of […]

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Marketing vs. Communications vs. Storytelling

The nonprofit sector is full of jargon, silos, and the confusion that both create. Nowhere is this truer than in the marketing/communications/storytelling/fundraising arms of organizations, which seem to blur together and overlap more than almost any other area. Ask two different nonprofit professionals how these functions relate to one another, and you’re likely to get […]

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Beyond the Board Statement

Nonprofit Quarterly put on two excellent webinars: Beyond the Board Statement: How Boards Can Join the Movement for Racial Justice, Part 1 and Part 2     

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Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Timely, relevant information and research about race, economic inclusion, civic engagement, social equity and more. The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity also provides trainings and resources.    

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The Race Equity Institute

The Race Equity Institute has a blog and a podcast, they also conduct research on issues surrounding race, and they’re the producers of  the paper: Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Structural Racism.

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The Frameworks Institute

There are few organizations we reference more than the Frameworks Institute when creating nonprofit messaging. Their research-tested frames on how to communicate about issues, including equity, are invaluable to creating awareness and activating people around important causes.

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The Sum of Us: Progressive’s Style Guide

This comprehensive style guide provides language guidance on topics ranging from age to ability to immigration to economics and so much more.

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Why Marketing and Fundraising are Not the Same

At many nonprofits, marketing, communications and development are thought of as one in the same, and managed under a single department. At Prosper Strategies, we don’t recommend this, because these two functions are certainly not one in the same. That’s because marketing is much more than a tool for fundraising and development. Of course, you […]

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Talking to Your Board About Making a Marketing Investment

You have a marketing challenge and ideas for how to solve it. However, it’s going to require more resources, and more resources often means more budget. So how can you effectively talk to your board and make the case for additional marketing investment? Here are some suggestions: Make marketing a regular board agenda item The […]

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Webinar Recap: Build Better Partnerships Inside & Outside the Nonprofit Sector with Marketing

The power of networking cannot be overstated. A simple call, email or conversation over coffee can lead to partnerships and opportunities that could change the strategic or business trajectory of your organization forever. So what can you do to foster better partnerships for your organization? In our August webinar, Alyssa Conrardy discussed how to build […]

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What A Successful Nonprofit Marketing Strategy Partnership Looks Like

In this recent post, we discussed what a successful marketing implementation partnership between a nonprofit and an agency looks like, but implementation only accounts for about 50 percent of the work we do at Prosper Strategies. The other 50 percent is devoted to what we call “strategy.”  What is marketing strategy? Strategy is a nebulous […]

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What a Successful Nonprofit Marketing Implementation Partnership Looks Like

We know you have big ideas for how to spread the word about your nonprofit. Maybe you’ve even created a marketing strategy. But, if your organization is like many others, you are probably scrambling for the time or staff to actually implement your nonprofit’s marketing tactics. If that’s the case, you’ll likely turn to an […]

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How to Find the Right Marketing and Communications Agency for Your Nonprofit

It goes without saying, finding a marketing and communications agency for your nonprofit is an important decision, and it can feel like you have a lot on the line. However, the right partner can help build your confidence and internal credibility during the hiring process, while working with you to navigate the dynamics of decision-making […]

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Telling Compelling Nonprofit Stories with Video

Video is everywhere and it’s not going away anytime soon. Here are some numbers to prove it: According to Google, six out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Hubspot estimates that 78 percent of people watch videos online every week, and 55 percent watch videos every day. A Facebook executive went […]

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Nonprofit Leaders on Building a Marketing and Communications Culture

Imagine a nonprofit sector where each organization has a culture centered around marketing and communications. We think it can be done. That was the topic of our recent Changemaker Conversation. The panel for June’s Changemaker Conversations included Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA, Elisabeth Majeda, Director of Marketing at Chicago Symphony Orchestra and John Williams, Operations […]

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The Case for Your Nonprofit Advertising Budget

Nonprofit advertising is not “overhead” or a “waste of money” even though many donors — and sometimes board members — may initially think that’s the case. This is a challenge many organizations have to overcome when deciding whether to dedicate some of their marketing and communications budget to advertising. Nonprofit advertising serves a very important […]

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The Anatomy of an Effective Nonprofit Website: Part 4 – A Way to Donate

An effective nonprofit website doesn’t come together by accident. The best sites are the result of careful planning and intentional decisionmaking. As we’ve covered in past posts in this series, the most effective nonprofit websites include these four elements: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In Illustration of Impact A Way to Donate […]

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Webinar Recap: Take Your Nonprofit Marketing Leadership to the Next Level

Your nonprofit is only as strong as its leadership. That’s just as true in marketing and communications as it is in any other function. In our July webinar, Alyssa Conrardy sat down with Caitlin FitzSimons, Director of Marketing at OneGoal National, and Chloe Lahre, Director of External Affairs at OneGoal Chicago, and they talked about […]

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#GivingTuesday Secrets to Success

What will you be doing on December 3, 2019? If you’re like many in the social sector, you already know you’ll be knee deep in your #GivingTuesday campaign, hopefully watching the dollars roll in to support your organization’s mission. As most of you already know, #GivingTuesday is the annual, global day of giving that was […]

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Webinar: The Nonprofit marketing Revolution

Learn about the 10 commitments savvy nonprofits are making to change their marketing and change the world.

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The Components of a Successful Nonprofit Content Marketing Strategy

“Content marketing” is a far-reaching term that encompasses all of the written information you put into the world in an effort to educate your stakeholders and activate them in service of your mission. This content includes social media, blogs, emails, videos, case studies, white papers, op-eds and so much more. These tactics are crucial to […]

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The Anatomy of an Effective Nonprofit Website: Part 3 – Illustrating Impact

If you’ve been following along with our series on the anatomy of an effective nonprofit website, you’re well on your way to building a site that truly works. Here are the four essential elements we’re covering in this series: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In Illustration of Impact (read on) A Way […]

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The Ingredients of a Successful Rebrand

I recently wrote a post about the ingredients of a successful nonprofit marketing initiative. In it, I discussed ways to ensure communications projects stay on track and achieve maximum impact, which included: Establishing a communications committee, made up of individuals who can champion the work and provide diverse perspectives; Considering the time you’ll need to […]

Resource: Nonprofit Stakeholder Checklist

Your nonprofit is accountable to a diverse range of stakeholders. That's why involving your many different stakeholders any time you’re considering making a major change to the way you brand, market or communicate about your organization is so important.

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Webinar Recap: Make the Case for Marketing Investment at Your Nonprofit

During our June webinar on advocating for a strong marketing budget, Alyssa Conrardy, President of Prosper Strategies, was joined by Kevin Radelet, Executive Director of the Leukemia Research Foundation and Tabitha Upshaw, Chief Marketing Officer of Global Wildlife Conservation. In this blog, we share a recap of what they discussed.   This webinar centered on […]

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The Anatomy of An Effective Nonprofit Website: Part Two – An Easy Opt-In

Building a nonprofit website that really works is not as complicated as it might seem. As we shared in our last post in this series, there are just four essential elements every nonprofit site needs to succeed (this post covers  #2 of 4). They are: A Well-Structured Homepage With Clear Messaging An Easy Opt-In (read on) […]

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The Anatomy of An Effective Nonprofit Website: Part One – A Well-Structured Homepage

Why do some nonprofit websites succeed while others fail? It comes down to much more than beautiful imagery and clean, user-friendly design. In fact, there are four elements that every nonprofit website needs to have to achieve its full potential, and most organizations miss at least one of them. Over the course of four posts […]

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Four Ways to Level Up Your Nonprofit’s Email Marketing

You know how important it is to stay top of mind for your stakeholders and encourage them to take action, and email is just one of the many ways you can do that. But is your nonprofit using email to its full potential? There are some email strategies you’re probably already using, like sending regular […]

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The Role of Social Media for Nonprofits

Even the smallest nonprofits can make a big impact in their own communities with some strategic social media practices.

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What is Marketing and Fundraising Alignment and Why is it Important?

The for-profit world commonly uses the phrase “marketing and sales alignment” to refer to the relationship between the two departments, where marketing is responsible for lead generation and nurturing and sales is responsible for closing business. According to Salesforce: The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to […]

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Quantify Your Impact: Measure Your Nonprofit Marketing

You’ve built a marketing strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals, and you’ve chosen what tactics you’ll use to put the strategy into action. Now, the real work begins: executing on your marketing plan and evaluating its success by tracking the metrics that matter most. The process of measuring nonprofit marketing metrics may seem daunting. […]

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What to Expect from Your Nonprofit Marketing Agency’s Research Phase

The key to effective marketing planning is strategic research. Learn what your nonprofit marketing agency should be researching to inform your strategy.

Resource: Nonprofit Storytelling Checklist and Call to Action Creator

Regardless of your background or the culture in which you grew up, you’ve heard and told countless stories in your lifetime. As a nonprofit development or fundraising professional, you’ve leveraged storytelling into fundraising success before — and you can do it again.

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Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy Blueprint

Many people confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan. This comes as no surprise because our entire nonprofit worlds are guided by an oxymoron: strategic plans. As confusing as this is, there is a difference between a strategy and a plan. Your nonprofit marketing strategy is the framework you’ll use to communicate about how […]

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Using Research to Inform Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Don’t build your nonprofit’s marketing plan in a vacuum. Use research to help make it as effective as possible. As you work to pull together a marketing plan that will help you achieve your organizational goals and overall mission, you should take a look at what other organizations in your space, or your ecosystem, are […]

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Is it Time to Call a Nonprofit Marketing Agency?

“Maybe we need some professional help.” Have you ever heard your colleagues (or yourself) say these words? Perhaps you’ve uttered them during the height of your busy fundraising season, or maybe they came out while you were banging your head against a wall trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable messaging problem that just keeps coming […]

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Webinar Recap: Develop a Marketing Plan That Moves Your Mission Forward

Did you miss our May webinar on developing a marketing plan with mission impact? Here’s a recap. Prosper Strategies co-founders Alyssa Conrardy and Lindsay Mullen walked through some of the most important sections of Prosper Strategies’ Essential Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template, including marketing goals and priorities, tactical selection and planning, and marketing measurement. They also […]

Resource: Nonprofit Marketing Measurement Dashboard

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The Ingredients of a Successful Nonprofit Communications Initiative

Your nonprofit has a new strategic plan, and one of the major objectives falls right into your marketing wheelhouse. Your nonprofit is renaming; you need to update your messaging to better reflect your mission; your organization has a major upcoming anniversary; or there’s finally a recognized need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. When your […]

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What Makes Nonprofit Campaigns Go Viral

Every nonprofit marketer has high hopes for a viral campaign. We see the success of campaigns like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Movember (No Shave November) or the Human Rights Campaign’s equal sign profile pictures, and we envy that exposure. That’s because we know that the more eyes we can get on our organization’s messages, […]

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What Effective Nonprofit Marketing & Communications Looks Like – The Nonprofit Marketing Mastery Model

You know effective nonprofit marketing when you see it, but can you actually define what separates an organization that is extraordinary at marketing from one that is just average? It’s more than a sizeable budget, a killer social media strategy or some “secret sauce” that you can’t quite put your finger on. It turns out, […]

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Nonprofit Marketing Leaders on the DNA of Impactful Nonprofit Brands

Prosper Strategies recently hosted an intimate panel discussion on “the DNA of Impactful Nonprofit Brands.” At this Changemaker Conversations event, dozens of nonprofit marketing and communications professionals filled the room to hear what our guests from three organizations had to say. Our panel included Anthony Ruth from One Hope United, Jemilah Senter from Illinois Action […]

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How (Good) Marketing and Branding Can Save Your Fundraising

A few years ago, Gail Perry caused quite a stir when she published her post “Why Marketing and Branding Can Kill Your Fundraising.” She later changed the title, adding the word “(bad)” and clarified that she wasn’t demonizing all marketing––just bad marketing–– but not until she had riled up quite a few communications and marketing folks who disagreed with […]

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Should Your Nonprofit Rename? Do This First.

Often, when a nonprofit organization is questioning whether or not to rename, we recommend a brand perception study to help them understand external perspectives and align their internal stakeholders.

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Webinar Recap: Turn Your Stakeholders into Powerful Promoters for Your Nonprofit

This blog is a recap of the Prosper Strategies webinar with Amy Levner from KaBOOM!: “Everyone a Spokesperson: Turn Your Stakeholders into Powerful Promoters for Your Nonprofit.”

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The Valuable Fundraising Resource You May Not Be Tapping: Your Volunteers

Should you ask your organization’s volunteers for donations? Our answer to this question is a resounding yes.

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How Cohesive, Mission-aligned Marketing for Nonprofits Drives Social Change

Misconceptions in the nonprofit sector about the purpose and value of marketing are all too common. Many nonprofit leaders and their boards view marketing and communications as a “nice-to-have” line item in a budget, only necessary when fundraising or building awareness. But when marketing is well-aligned with your organization’s mission and goals, it can do […]

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Does Your Nonprofit Need New Key Messages?

While there are many reasons your organization might consider refreshing your messaging, here are a few of the most common we hear at Prosper Strategies.

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Should Everyone at Your Organization Use the Same “Elevator Speech”?

Brand consistency is important for a nonprofit organization, but it’s also important to allow everyone on your team to tell the story of your organization in a way that fits them.

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Webinar Transcript: Create Communication Cohesion at Your Nonprofit with Valentina T. Parissi, The Great Books Foundation

This transcript is from the March 6, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar, “Create Communication Cohesion at Your Nonprofit By Getting Your Team On the Same Page About Your Brand.”

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Does Your Nonprofit’s Brand Accurately Reflect Your Mission and Values?

What comes to mind when you think about the most successful brands in the world? Most likely, you think of big corporations like Apple, Google, Tesla and Amazon, but what about nonprofits American Red Cross, the World Wildlife Fund or NPR? We believe nonprofit brands can and should be among the most revered brands in […]

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #3: We Will Build Cohesion Internally and Communicate With Consistency Externally

Your staff, board members and volunteers are your best brand ambassadors. Are they presenting a consistent, yet personalized message about what your nonprofit does and why it matters? If not, it’s time to make Commitment #3 in the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto, which says: We will recognize that to advance our mission we must build trust, […]

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What Your Organization Can Do Now to Take Your Marketing Impact to the Next Level

Have an even bigger marketing impact at your nonprofit by ensuring your brand is aligned with your mission and values, giving your stakeholders the tools they need to be your ambassadors and putting methods in place to measure the impact of marketing on your mission.

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Webinar Transcript: Build a Better Nonprofit Brand By Aligning With Your Mission and Values with Erin Walton, Resilience

This transcript is from the February 6, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar, “Build a Better Nonprofit Brand By Aligning With Your Mission and Values.”

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Three Reasons Why Marketing Furthers Your Nonprofit’s Impact

Marketing comprises every touchpoint you have with your audiences, it encourages those audiences to take action, and it communicates the good work you’re doing with the world.

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #2: We Will Develop a Strong Brand Image and Identity in Alignment With Our Mission and Values

Learn how to fully leverage the power of marketing for mission impact with Kristine Brown from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Veira of A Better Chicago

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Webinar Transcript: Leverage Marketing to Drive Social Change at Your Nonprofit with Big Brothers Big Sisters and A Better Chicago

This is a transcript of the January 9, 2019 Independent Sector & Prosper Strategies webinar featuring a Q&A with Kristine Brown of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Viera of A Better Chicago.

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Four Things Nonprofits With Amazing Marketing Do

When marketing for their organizations, the most successful nonprofits align marketing goals with strategic goals, are smart about social media, leverage the newest technology and understand their audiences.

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Nonprofit Marketing Commitment #1: We Will Recognize Marketing as a Tool for Driving Social Change

Learn how to fully leverage the power of marketing for mission impact with Kristine Brown from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Danielle Veira of A Better Chicago

Resource: Tech-Savvy Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns

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Webinar Transcript: The Nonprofit Marketing Revolution with Brian Frederick, ALS Association

Learn how Brian Frederick turned the viral Ice Bucket Challenge into sustained marketing to help propel the mission of the ALS Association.

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What to Do Now to Set Your Nonprofit Up for a Marketing Revolution in 2019

Make it your prerogative in 2019 to treat marketing as a necessary tool for achieving your organization’s mission.

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Is Your Nonprofit Ready for a Marketing Revolution?

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for a Marketing Revolution?

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How to Stand Out This Giving Tuesday

Don’t be like everyone else this Giving Tuesday. Here’s how to stand out.

Resource: Brand Alignment Survey for Nonprofit Marketing Teams

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Welcome to the Nonprofit Marketing Revolution

It's time for a marketing revolution. We believe in our Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto and its potential to redefine marketing.

The Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto

It's time for a nonprofit marketing revolution, and the Nonprofit Marketing Manifesto is your call to arms. Inside, you'll find 10 commitments that will reshape the way your organization thinks about marketing for mission impact.

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Brand Awareness is No Longer Enough to Keep Your Nonprofit Alive

It’s never been more difficult to run and sustain a nonprofit than it is today. Social sector organizations are constantly being called upon to do more with less, and there are numerous social, economic and political factors causing growing stress.

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An Honest Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Nonprofit Rebrand

As we noted in our recent blog on nonprofit renaming trends, many organizations are shifting from literal names to more evocative names that encompass a wider range of initiatives. Resilience is no exception. While it can be challenging to decide on a name or brand that perfectly encapsulates the image you want your organization to convey to the world, an evocative name and brand image can prove more flexible as your initiatives evolve over time.

Resource: 10 Questions to Ask Before Engaging in a Nonprofit Partnership

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Is It REALLY Time to Rebrand Your Nonprofit?

An effective rebranding process always involves activities intended to hear the contrasting voices of internal stakeholders and find common ground

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Why Are So Many Nonprofits Renaming?

There comes a time when many social sector organizations must ask themselves a difficult question: is going through a nonprofit renaming exercise necessary for our success, and possibly even for our survival? If your nonprofit is currently facing challenges like a disconnect between your name and your mission, or a misalignment between initiatives you want […]

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Aging Donor Base? Here’s What To Do About It

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, baby boomers account for 41 percent of charitable giving. And as this demographic gets older, many organizations are worried about seeing a significant portion of their donor base dwindle. Does this sound familiar? Instead of focusing on what you may lose, start thinking about how to better communicate with […]

Ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits

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Social Enterprise or CSR? How to Differentiate Your Organization Through Marketing and Communications

Imagine if today, Coca-Cola announced a corporate social responsibility initiative directly within your social enterprise’s wheelhouse. How could you differentiate your company’s mission from their campaign? Whether social enterprise or CSR, you have to be able to communicate your benefits. Often, already-established for-profit companies will instill corporate social responsibility, or CSR, initiatives into their businesses […]

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Gathering Quotes and Testimonials That Demonstrate Your Nonprofit’s Success

What do you think is more likely to drive volunteers and donors to action: basic statements about the work your organization does, or true stories about the positive change you’ve created, straight from the communities you serve? Nine times out of 10, the answer will be nonprofit storytelling through first-person accounts of how your organization […]

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What We Learned From Talking With 20 Nonprofit Marketers About Their Nonprofit Brand Challenges

A few weeks ago, Prosper Strategies hosted a Roundtable Dinner on The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector. Twenty-plus nonprofit marketing and communications professionals from a diverse range of nonprofit organizations across Chicagoland attended and discussed nonprofit brand challenges and opportunities they’ve encountered throughout their careers. Our panel included Phil Zepeda from the Robert […]

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Overcoming News and Compassion Fatigue to Break Through to Your Audiences

Today’s news cycle is never-ending, and it feels like every week –– or even every day –– there’s a new cause that needs support, and several organizations that are leading the charge. Dreamers are at risk of being deported; organizations and funds that support dreamers like United We Dream and TheDream.US need help. Women’s health […]

Resource: The Nonprofit Brand Scorecard

There is a right way and a wrong way to build and manage a nonprofit marketing budget. We've developed this whitepaper to help you through the process from start to finish...

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Four Takeaways From the Giving USA 2018 Report for Nonprofit Marketers and Communicators

Charitable giving in the United States is stronger than ever before. Has your nonprofit felt the effects? If you haven’t yet taken a look at the results of Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, we’re here to break down what the findings mean for nonprofit marketers and communicators like yourself. You may know […]

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What to Do Now to Prepare for Your End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign

I know, I know, it’s summer, and you’re enjoying the nice weather and change of pace that comes with this time of year. It feels strange to think about the holiday season right now, doesn’t it? But as I’m sure you know, a successful fundraising campaign plan requires a lot of preparation. The most proactive […]

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The Right (and Wrong) Way to Engage your Board and Staff in a Nonprofit Rebrand

If you haven’t already noticed the changes, you will soon. Over the last ten years, a record number of nonprofits have renamed and rebranded, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. Take, for example, the YMCA’s transition to The Y, America’s Second Harvest’s change to Feeding America and Child Abuse Prevention Services’ move to […]

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How to Choose the Right Inbound Marketing Tool for Your Nonprofit

Nonprofits and for-profit companies use marketing, especially inbound marketing, a little differently. B2B or consumer-focused companies may employ inbound marketing tactics to encourage potential customers to buy a product or service. As a nonprofit, your primary goals are likely educating your audience (while also encouraging them to opt in to learn more about your organization) […]

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Framing Matters: Are You Inadvertently Harming the People You Hope to Serve with the Language You Use?

How you explain a problem or a solution to someone can change their perceptions of your communities, for better or for worse.

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How To Make Your Personality a Bigger Part of Your Social Entrepreneur Brand

Don’t be afraid to be a bigger part of your brand and to emphasize your own personality in your marketing.

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Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Brand Messaging Strategy

Having a brand messaging strategy is important for today’s nonprofits to drive internal cohesion, mission advancement and social impact.

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Creating Effective Vision Statements for Social Enterprises

If you don’t already have a vision statement, or yours just isn’t compelling, what should you do about it?

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Nonprofit Messaging 101: Your Nonprofit’s Key Messages

Solidifying your nonprofit messaging through key messages can help you eliminate any confusion when talking about your organization. Key messages help determine your core external statements for each of your individual audiences so every member of your organization can feel confident no matter who they’re talking to — from board members and volunteers, to donors and recipients of your services.

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Can Marketing Have a Bigger Impact At Your Social Enterprise?

A successful social enterprise also has to generate profits, and that means they need to work the whole funnel, not just the awareness phase.

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Why Precise Word Choice Matters in Nonprofit Messaging

Seemingly subtle word choices in nonprofit messaging can make or break the success of your organizations’ campaigns.

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Nailing Your Social Enterprise’s Origin Story

If you haven’t yet crafted your company origin story in a way you can easily articulate, you absolutely should.

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5 Situations Other Than Fundraising When Your Nonprofit Needs Marketing

If your nonprofit’s main source of funds is through revenue from programs or services, your nonprofit needs marketing.

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Does Your Nonprofit Think Too Small About Marketing?

In this blog, we want to broaden your mind and help you explore your organization’s untapped nonprofit marketing potential.

A Nonprofit Marketing Plan Example to Inspire Your Organization

Do you wish you had a roadmap that showed you exactly what you need to do to achieve your nonprofit’s biggest goals through marketing? An effective nonprofit marketing plan can do just that. While many nonprofit marketing plans simply sit on a shelf gathering dust, there IS a way to build a better plan you’ll […]

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Creating Consensus During Times of Change

The right communications process can go a long way in building consensus during times of change at your nonprofit. We’ve experienced this firsthand in cases where nonprofits are making changes to leadership, shifting focus to better meet participant needs or merging with another organization. These are instances where nonprofits are simultaneously re-evaluating their vision, mission […]

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Boosting Your Nonprofit’s Google Ad Rank Without Breaking the Bank

We’ve guided many nonprofits on the setup of their accounts, and poor ad rank is a problem that most don’t know they have. Read on to learn more about Google ad rank and how to boost your position without breaking the bank.

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Four Ways to Build a Social Enterprise Blog Following

Your social enterprise blog may be full of valuable advice, but if you haven’t grown and nurtured an audience, it’s unlikely to be widely read. To build a social enterprise blog following, you need to put your content in front of your target audience and give readers good reason to keep returning for your new posts. If you’re ready to increase your readership, give these tips a try.

How Communicating With Data Visualization Can Help Your Nonprofit or Social Enterprise Appeal to Target Stakeholders

Imagine a list of data. Now, imagine a colorful chart. Which would you rather look at?
As a nonprofit or social enterprise, finding new ways to appeal to your target stakeholders can be difficult. But communications tactics like data visualization may help you reach the right donors or customers. After all, communicating with data visualization is all about condensing your messaging and impact into a visual format that’s easy to understand. And, 91 percent of people prefer engaging [...]

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Leveraging Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits: Part Four – Inbound Marketing for Revenue Generation

If you’ve been following along with our recent blog series, you already know we believe that inbound marketing isn’t just for for-profit companies. As a nonprofit, you can and should use inbound marketing to fundraise, educate and activate your stakeholders and even attract top-tier talent to work for your organization. Now, in our final installment […]