Nonprofit News

Access the latest news in the nonprofit sector.

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


They are the kind of donor questions we hear all the time—and dread…

  • These plans sound great—but what do they add up to?
  • I love the new leader so far—but where are they taking the organization?
  • This sounds like what you’re already doing, just more of it. What will be different afterward?

The situation and wording may vary, but the underlying question is the same: What’s your vision?

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Once you’ve labored through long weeks of work on your case statement, your campaign brand, or your annual report, and you finally arrive at a full draft that you and your core collaborators feel great about…congratulations! You’re at mile 13.

The second half of the marathon is committee review—our sector’s Olympic sport. Because we value consensus and inclusion, we put most significant organizational communications through an extensive process of committee review with staff and volunteers.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

These past months have been filled with so much learning: we’ve become Zoom experts, virtual party planners, and even ad hoc teachers for our children.  

The Campbell & Company team has picked up some new skills that have staying power long after the quarantine ends. Through practice, trial, and perhaps a bit of error, we’ve learned how to run a well-oiled virtual volunteer meeting, and we wanted to share the wealth. Read on for 10 tips to help you run your next virtual meeting with your board or fundraising committee.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Your website is a one-stop shop where people can learn about your mission, see examples of your work in action, and give to your organization. This is what makes it the most important communications channel for most organizations.

Yet the marketplace for attention is fierce, and it can be a challenge to make sure your organization’s message is heard amid the noise. By employing web copywriting best practices, you can make your most essential information stand out—and fast. Whether you’re refreshing your “About Us” page, creating a new page for a fundraising campaign, or drafting a blog, the following tips can help you along the way.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

According to Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, U.S. charitable giving reached $449.64 billion in 2019, a 4.2 percent increase in current dollars over 2018. Total giving in 2017, 2018, and 2019 represent the three highest levels on record.

In 2019, individuals drove this generosity, buoyed by a robust economic environment. The S&P 500 soared 28.9 percent over 2018,[1] while disposable personal income increased 4.3 percent[2] and GDP grew 4.1 percent,[3] all in current dollars. These three economic indicators are closely tied to charitable giving, paving the way for strong growth in giving in 2019.

Nonprofit Trends, Nonprofit News, Giving USA, Fundraising, Blog

COVID-19 shook up our plans this spring in a big way, and it will continue to affect our daily lives and work for months to come. As states have begun to re-open, they have adopted new measures to limit crowds, maintain social distancing, and keep people healthy.

These changes—and the impossibility of predicting exactly how they will impact individual behavior—are causing many nonprofits to ask: What should we do about our fall fundraising events? If your organization relies on fall events to generate revenue, now is the time to create a plan.

This means choosing between three pathways:

  1. Moving forward with an in-person event that will inevitably look and feel different from past years, with a contingency plan to go virtual on short notice if necessary
  2. Proactively moving the event to a virtual platform
  3. Canceling the event and identifying another means for securing the needed revenue

Read on to learn about three steps we suggest you take before deciding on a pathway and review a list of considerations to guide you once you’ve chosen.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

 

The issues are as old as America, but the political and cultural moment feels new. As more and more voices join our national dialogue around systemic racism, police brutality, and white supremacy, nonprofits find themselves rethinking how they engage and communicate with their communities.

Our Communications team has been deeply engaged in Campbell & Company’s anti-racist journey over the last few years, and many of us live these commitments within and beyond our professional lives. This moment deepens and accelerates all of it. At the same time, we are where we are—a white team with a great deal of work to do, embedded in a largely white nonprofit and philanthropic culture.

To our many colleagues who might be on the same journey, especially our white colleagues, we thought we’d share what we’re reading and learning, how we’re rethinking our work, and where we feel like we’re running into the current boundaries of our field and roles. And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections as we all continue our work.

Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

For almost every nonprofit organization, COVID-19 has placed a strain on essential resources in one way or another. Some are fighting to remain viable in the face of a total shutdown of their operating model. Others are experiencing skyrocketing demand and an outpouring of generosity from their communities. Still more are somewhere in the middle.

What all organizations have in common, though, is continued pressure to raise money at or above previous levels, all while trying to conserve resources in an uncertain environment.

To thread the needle between increased fundraising needs and scarce resources to meet those needs, you’ll need to think critically. Our Strategic Information Services team recently shared a process all organizations can follow—in as little as three weeks—to develop a crisis fundraising strategy using their donor data.

Beyond following that all-purpose process, we recommend using an approach tailored to the way the pandemic has impacted your organization. Below, we walk through fundraising approaches designed for organizations facing three different realities:

  • “We are fighting to survive.”
  • “This is our moment.”
  • “We’re not on the front lines, and we’re not sure what we should be doing.”

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


If you’re a fundraiser anywhere on earth right now, COVID-19 has transformed your work: from taking cultivation calls from the one room in your house with a locked door to shifting 300-person events to the internet.

But as the dust begins to settle and we actually figure out how to mute ourselves on Zoom, many of us are beginning to remember what it feels like to plan out our work in weeks and months, not days and hours.

As we venture into the wilderness of donor communications in a global pandemic, we put together a few tips for how to take the long view while continuing to be mindful of the current context.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

In recent weeks, every nonprofit organization in the country has grappled with new challenges. While these challenges differ from sector to sector and from region to region, for most organizations, business as usual is no longer possible.

With that in mind, your fundraising strategies don’t need to be put on pause, but they do need to shift. Outreach to your top supporters should keep happening (over the phone and videoconferencing) with strategies that reflect the current moment. Simultaneously, organizations that have the bandwidth should plan for what comes next, identifying prospects to cultivate now for asks later.

For most organizations, the challenge will be using limited resources effectively. To rise to the moment, we recommend a three-stage process—get ready, get set, go!—which any organization can execute in as little as three weeks. While this process will involve your entire team, success will allow you to secure gifts now and build capacity for the long term.

Strategic Information Services, Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog