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AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips (Week of January 15, 2018): Using Emotional Appeals, Planned Giving, Prospect Research & More!

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Need some tips on how to do your job better? Or maybe just a reminder on some key skills, the insight on the latest research, and the latest, coolest ideas from the best minds in the fundraising profession?

Each week, AFP gathers the top blog posts, videos, articles and other resources to help you keep on top of latest trends and reach your fundraising goals. Here’s this week’s Top Ten:

1. Is Your Charity Under-Delivering on The Most Important Drivers of Donor Appeal? (Hilborn): Emotional and personal connections felt by donors are often more important than the rational elements we see so often in charity solicitations and appeals. The focus should be on the emotions people wish to feel when they decide to give.

2. Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss (Clairification): It’s often said that people give to people. But people are funny. People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift, rather than to the people who show them the good that can be gained.

3. Three Reasons Why Fundraiser Turnover Is High (And What You Can Do About It) (bloomerang): While other factors are important too (the economy, shortage of qualified candidates, etc.), development director turnover is often related to the approach executive directors and board members take when filling a position.

4. Planned Giving Marketing Trends of 2018 (The Stelter Group): Three good ideas for communicating the importance of impact of planned giving, including using surveys and social media.

5. Five Ways Prospect Research Can Improve Donor Communications (Hands on Fundraising): Here are five ways to successfully use prospect research in order to improve your donor communications, including an important idea to strategize preferred outreach methods.

6. How Personal Opinions Destroy Fundraising Effectiveness (Future Fundraising Now): Unfortunately, not all opinions are created equal. Be sure to listen to the right ones.

7. Why Fundraising Videos Are Your Top Marketing Tool (Classy): On average, crowdfunding campaigns that incorporate video receive 114 percent more funding from Indiegogo supporters than campaigns that don’t. Supporters are also more generous when a pitch video is included in a campaign—the average contribution is 12 percent higher.

8. Improving Donor Relations Through Innovation: Think Like an Entrepreneur (The Donor Relations Guru): Donor relations professionals are notorious givers – we are people pleasers. That is literally our job. So when in need, we go to our friends and our peers and other existing programs. But there are also key characteristics of the entrepreneurial mindset that set us up for more innovative and dynamic output.

9. 21 Million Taxpayers Will Stop Taking the Charitable Deduction Under The TCJA (Tax Policy Center): More numbers on the impact of the tax reform bill on itemizers and charitable giving.

Stop Prospecting Major Donors (The Veritus Group): So where do you find major donors? In your existing donor file. THAT is where they are. Scores of them. Maybe hundreds. They are sitting right in your file.