How to Write Fundraising Appeals that Work [Guide]


Published on

In our latest eBook, we've broken down the major components that great fundraising appeals are made of and how you can create your own.

The eBook includes real-world examples of successful fundraising appeals, as well as a complete workbook and checklist that will walk you through everything from creating your fundraising campaign theme to tracking your progress and reporting the results.

Let this resource be your guide to fundraising greatness!

Published in: Government & Nonprofit

How to Write Fundraising Appeals that Work [Guide]

  1. 1. How to Create Fundraising Appeals that Work A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising More Money from Appeals Co-authored by Danielle Johnson-Vermenton and Mike Snusz BUILD STRATEGY WRITE & DESIGN GET RESULTS
  2. 2. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 2 Table of Contents Part I: Writing Your Fundraising Appeal Section 1: The Components of a Great Online Fundraising 4 Section 2: Examples of Successful Fundraising 7 Section 3: Online Fundraising Campaign 12 Section 4: Fundraising Campaign Milestone 16 Section 5: Campaign Integration 17 Part II: Designing Your Fundraising Appeal Section 1: What makes a good visual design? Think 19 Section 2: Dissecting a Well-Designed 22 Section 3: Raising More Money from Email 23
  3. 3. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 3 Introduction Your donors, like all of us, are getting bombarded with emails and messages on a daily basis, so it’s become increasingly more important for you to craft both traditional print appeals, as well as online appeals, that do more than just ask for money. They must delight. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in email metrics. Click-through and response rates continue to decline, with a reported 18% decline on fundraising appeals in 2012. According to Blackbaud’s 2013 Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits, this declining response rate is indicative of a saturated channel with undifferentiated messaging and campaigns. In this guide, fundraising experts Danielle Johnson Vermenton and Mike Snusz will give you step-by-step instruction for crafting and designing print and digital appeals that are worthy of a response, with real-world examples along the way. It’s time for a positive shift in your email metrics. Let this resource be your guide. This eBook is intended exclusively for online viewing. If you wish to print the workbook pages, please save a tree and print only pages 12-17.
  4. 4. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 4 Part I: Writing Your Fundraising Appeal On average, we receive 3,000 media messages every day; we see or listen to 52 of them, and we can remember only 4. So how can you make your online fundraising messages stand out among all the other messages competing for your supporters’ attention? We know that successful fundraising appeals have a few things in common: a compelling story, a clear call to action, powerful images, and dynamic subject lines. The best approach when creating content for an online fundraising appeal is to envision the whole project as a campaign. An online appeal is bigger than an email—it has multiple parts that fit together to create one compelling story. If you consider each piece individually, you run the risk of creating disjointed, confusing messages that simply can’t compete. Section I: The Components of a Great Online Fundraising Campaign How to get the right mix of tone, story, and examples: Start with your audience. Who are you targeting for this online campaign? Existing donors? Prospects? Volunteers? Women? Every good fundraiser or marketer knows that understanding the audience is key to developing content that will move them to take action. Develop a campaign theme and main message. The main idea should ideally be no longer than a sentence, and it should succinctly state what message you want your audience to take away from your communication. The campaign theme should be as simple as possible to convey the main idea. The theme should be carried through your email content, subject lines, donation forms, and images, and it should also set the tone. For some campaigns, the theme can be as short as a tag line, like “serving hope.” And if you plan to also include a direct mail appeal in your campaign, the theme should remain consistent. Add a spokesperson. Who can tell your story best? Your best spokesperson won’t always be your CEO; sometimes it might be the program director or someone who has been impacted by your organization’s work. Depending on the theme and tone, you might want someone who can speak with authority, or maybe you want someone with a more personal touch, such as a client or program beneficiary. Brainstorm with your team who makes the most sense for your campaign. Mix in a good story. Describe the story you’d like to tell your supporters over the course of the fundraising campaign. While facts have a place in fundraising, people react to the emotional connection a story makes with them. People give based on how they feel, and the narrative should inspire them to take that action. Your campaign can include several small stories or focus on one story that is told over multiple email messages. Whatever tactic you choose, remember to keep the content focused on the reader and how he or she can make an impact through financial support.
  5. 5. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 5 Have one clear call to action: to give. All fundraising appeals should have one call to action—a call for the audience to make a donation. Why that gift is important, how it will make a difference, and why someone should give now is part of the story you weave with the narrative, images, and video. All of those elements should be coordinated to move the audience through the emotional steps to donate. As you craft the emails and design the layout, make the call to action multiple times. You need more than a “donate button;” you want to make the ask at least two or three times in the body of the email. Bold and hyperlink key phrases or sentences to the donation form, and, of course, include the “donate” button too. Especially if the emails are not mobile friendly or responsive, the “donate” button is the easiest way for someone on a mobile device to click to make a gift. Add a dash of incentives (optional). In addition to your regular messaging, there might be other options you want to offer to constituents to incentivize giving. These tactics will require additional time to negotiate or set up. A few examples that have proven effective: • Matching gift challenge • Gift premiums • Honor and memorial gifts • Symbolic eCommerce (gifts of inspiration) • Gift memberships Start talking about these early in the planning phase so you know exactly how you will weave them into your campaign. Questions to ask when crafting content: • What is the most compelling need your audience can help solve? • What is the story or stories that will move readers to give? • How will the audience make a difference by giving financially? • What tangible examples can you provide of that impact? And Remember: The time to ask the audience to share your message on social media or sign up to volunteer comes later. Now is the time to focus on inspiring the reader to donate.
  6. 6. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 6 Include examples of giving levels. Another important component of an online fundraising campaign is giving levels. To craft a cohesive campaign that reinforces the theme and call to action, add tangible examples to the giving levels. Providing explanations with each amount can help your audience connect their gifts to your mission. Donate now Donate now Donate now Here are examples from different types of organizations: • $20 covers food and shelter for a homeless animal for one month • $35 pays for one week of canvassers to collect signatures for the Human Rights Campaign • $50 pays for one session with the Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program • $100 fills a family’s fridge this holiday season Ideally, the donation levels should be linked to a donation form with the same corresponding amounts. If your online software allows it, add the brief descriptions to the donation form so when someone picks the level, the description appears next to it. Create engaging subject lines (it all begins here). Subject lines can be your first and last impression with the audience; they are the gateway to getting your email opened and read. According to Convince & Convert, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject lines. When creating subject lines, keep in mind that subject lines should be an extension of the campaign’s theme and narrative. Examples from nonprofit fundraising campaigns: • [Reader’s name], you helped Sam find a home • Midnight Deadline: Double Your Impact • 25 Reasons to be a Hero • The Last Walk for Water • You’re changing the story • Join the club and serve hope Plus, subject lines should be optimized for mobile devices. Try to limit them to 34 characters or less. Since most smart phones only display five or six words of subject line, brevity is vital to garnering interest. $20 covers food and shelter for a homeless animal for one month $35pays for one week of canvassers to collect signatures for the human rights campaign $50pays for one session with the Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program
  7. 7. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 7 Section 2: Examples of Successful Fundraising Appeals Let’s look at several examples of campaigns that incorporated these recommendations. Example 1of 5: Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Sustained Giving Campaign Why It Works: • A clear campaign theme is incorporated into the letterhead: “Serving Hope” • The campaign narrative creates a sense of belonging for the reader. By giving and “serving hope,” they can be part of something bigger than themselves • Its close-up images tie back to the theme and campaign tone • Giving levels show tangible examples of how gifts can make an impact Campaign Elements: Kickoff letter, reminder to give, last chance to give, campaign close/stewardship appeal
  8. 8. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 8 Example 2 of 5: Trinity Health Foundation’s End of Year Campaign Why It Works: • Beautiful, poignant images helped convey the story, even though the organization couldn’t use photos of actual supporters • It displays good use of tangible examples for the giving levels • The campaign staff took the extra step to segment the audience by donors and non-donors for the holiday greeting • They included a campaign close and thank-you that was sent in early January to donors (a best practice around donor stewardship) Campaign Elements: Kickoff letter, holiday ePostcard to non-donors and donors (segmented lists and targeted messaging), last chance to give message, campaign close/stewardship appeal
  9. 9. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 9 Example 3 of 5: Grace Community Church Center’s Sustained Giving Campaign Why It Works: • The theme ties all of the pieces together (campaign stationery, emails, donation form) • The campaign includes a spokesperson who speaks with intimate knowledge about the scholarship program • The message is highly relatable to the audience, told from the point of view of three young girls who were program recipients • It demonstrates good use of giving levels tied to impact (e.g., $15 per month pays for books for one semester) • Campaign staff included a campaign follow up that tied directly back to the program recipients with a personal thank-you message (another best practice in donor stewardship) Campaign Elements: Campaign kickoff, reminder to give message, last chance to give message, campaign close/stewardship email
  10. 10. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 10 Example 4 of 5: Vitamin Angels’ End-of-Year Last Chance Email Why it Works: • The email includes a clear theme that sets the tone and includes the call to action: “This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Childhood” • It includes a terrific example of a touching and emotional image that conveys the theme immediately • The narrative ties the donation to impact (i.e., donations will provide children lifesaving vitamins)
  11. 11. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 11 Example 5 of 5: Chicago Public Library’s Last Matching Gift Email Why It Works: • The campaign theme and call to action are front and center in the email banner • The organization tells a clear and compelling story of how children use the library, with a tie in to the local community and the impact to the reader • It displays a smart use of mission-related images that feature children in the library; in just one email, the organization includes three photos • It’s a terrific example of showing incentive to give as part of a matching gift campaign
  12. 12. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 12 Section 3: Online Fundraising Campaign Workbook This section will help you develop the story and content for your own campaign. Use this to develop everything from the narrative to the subject lines. FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN THEME Describe, in your own words, the theme of your fundraising campaign. For example: • “By addressing the underlying causes of community issues together, we can have an impact on the challenges facing our community.”– The theme for United Way of Pitt County’s sustained giving campaign that focused on education and workforce preparedness • “Won’t you open the door to your heart this holiday season to help save dogs and cats in desperate need?”– The end-of-year theme for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s multi-message campaign • “Bring light into a senior’s life this Chanukah.”– A holiday campaign by DOROT to remind its constituents of the need to visit and support the homebound elderly during Chanukah [Enter your theme here.] CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON Choose a spokesperson based on who will resonate with your audience and who can tell your story with sincerity and authenticity. Keep in mind that some campaigns can have more than one spokesperson depending on the scope and integration of the messaging. [Enter your spokesperson here and explain why he or she is your best choice.]
  13. 13. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 13 CAMPAIGN NARRATIVE Your online campaign will have multiple email messages, and the narrative should convey a beginning (kickoff email “introduction”), middle (rising action), and end (last chance to give “story climax”).To begin, sketch out the outline for your narrative. Create a mind map around your theme and then put the pieces together in the order that will create a compelling story. What about images to go with the story? “Pictures are like movie trailers for written content—they provide a snippet of what an article, brand, site, or other piece of content is about so that you can quickly decide if it’s what you wanted or not.”–Adam Lemmon, Blackbaud consultant. Begin thinking about what images you want for the campaign during the planning process. You may need to get photos taken or buy stock images, and that takes time. Writing tip: Need a good story? Talk to the people on the front line; ask program staff and volunteers what they are seeing and hearing. They can be your best source for inspiring stories. [Enter your narrative here.] ADDITIONAL HOOKS OR INCENTIVES If you are going to include an incentive, try to keep it simple and only add one. For example, don’t run a challenge campaign and offer a premium for gifts. Donors want to be inspired, find out how they can make a difference, and give. Too many choices and too much information can kill a campaign. [List the additional campaign hook you want to include.]
  14. 14. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 14 GIVING LEVELS Campaigns have themes for a reason; they’re the glue that holds everything together and creates a cohesive story for the audience. Adding giving levels tied to impact creates a deeper story and reason to give for the audience. A few more examples: • $10 provides disease support information to a new client • $35 provides 5 hot meals to disaster victims • $70 a month will sponsor 3 children for a semester of our anti-violence program in American schools • $500 gets 100 copies of the translated version of “The Cove” to schools, libraries, and community centers in Japan Writing tip: These examples may not be readily available, so be sure to give yourself time to work with Finance on pulling specific examples. You can also speak to your colleague who prepares grant applications; very often that person needs to provide a detailed breakdown of what program funding provides. [List giving levels and descriptions here.]
  15. 15. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 15 SUBJECT LINES Believe it or not, you should spend as much time creating fantastic and intriguing subject lines as you do on the content for each email message. Develop three or four choices for each email and then run them by colleagues and even friends to see which resonates best. Once you’ve run several fundraising campaigns, it’s a good time to analyze email results. See if you can find correlations between short subject lines versus long subject lines, or personalization versus no personalization. This kind of analysis can help boost open rates and overall fundraising results by creating more targeted content. Writing tip: While it may be tempting to create subject lines that are vague and might pique people’s curiosity, research shows that readers appreciate straightforward, clear subject lines that let them know what to expect when they open the email. [List subject lines here.] CAMPAIGN FOLLOW UP (a.k.a. Donor Stewardship) The final component to the multi-message fundraising appeal is the campaign close or donor stewardship message. With donor retention still an ongoing challenge for many organizations, adding a campaign close is an important tactic for retaining donors. The follow up email should include a heartfelt thank-you from the organization and campaign spokesperson(s). Make it personal for the donor and include a quote from a program recipient or a short story and image that illustrates the impact of the donor’s support. This can be the most important part of the overall campaign. Blackbaud customers who implement this tactic see open rates as high as 60% on the campaign close messages. For more ideas about donor stewardship, download our free Show the Love eBook. [Enter the content for your campaign follow up message here.]
  16. 16. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 16 Section 4: Fundraising Campaign Milestones and Checklist Use the list below to track your progress as you plan, build, and launch your online fundraising campaign. Meet with your team to brainstorm a campaign concept/theme Decide who is responsible for each component; i.e.: Who will design the email stationery, who will create campaign content, who will post on social media, etc.? Fill out the campaign guide workbook Develop content for (based on a basic four-part campaign): kickoff message reminder to give message last chance message stewardship message donation form autoresponders Collect and prepare images (campaign stationery, donation form, autoresponder stationery, sidebar, etc.) Design campaign stationery Create the donation form and autoresponders Decide on the campaign audience and segmentation strategy Prepare target and suppression lists Test messages, donation form, and autoresponders Make revisions and test messages and forms again Decide on the schedule for campaign delivery (day and time each email will go out) Approve and schedule the campaign Monitor email deliveries Pull donation reports
  17. 17. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 17 Section 5: Campaign Channel Integration Checklist Constituents expect to hear from the organizations they support in various ways: email, direct mail, social media, PSAs, video, and print. Coordinating the campaign across multiple channels amplifies the message and will garner stronger fundraising results. Use the list below to begin to identify ways to integrate the campaign across channels. Once you decide on the tactics, develop a timeline for how you will coordinate the overall plan. A solid multi-channel campaign can run for two or three months. Direct mail Newsletter Radio or television PSAs Insert in mailings Rotating banner on homepage eNewsletter Staff signature lines Social media Engagement wall on website Cross promotion with corporate partners Inclusion in board member’s company news Special event program books Speaking engagements Telephone thank-a-thon Story in the local paper Magazine ad
  18. 18. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 18 Part II: Designing Your Fundraising Appeal “Designing” an email campaign today is much different than it was five years ago. Structurally, we know multi-message, multichannel campaigns raise more money. Visually, the focus is on simpler, lighter emails and donation forms that render well on any device. Let’s take a closer look at each. Why include multiple messages? Nonprofits are sometimes concerned they’ll overwhelm constituents with too many emails. So they may just send a single email appeal message and hope for the best. Why is this not the right approach? See the graphic. If your list is 14,000 people, you could expect 10 gifts per email. So you can send one email and get 10 gifts, or you can send four emails and expect 40 gifts. Sending a well-planned series of emails allows you to connect with and convert more people. It may take several messages before people give your campaign a look, especially with inboxes so crowded. When done right, follow up emails often outperform the initial email. And don’t forget the often overlooked post-campaign follow up email, which can boost retention rates on your next campaign. Why is this not the right approach? 12%Only 12% of people open an appeal message. 1,400But only one in about 1,400 makes a donation. <1%click through. 2013eNonprofitBenchmarkStudy,NTEN&M+R1
  19. 19. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 19 Section 1: What makes a good visual design? Hint: Think mobile. In November 2013, 51% of all emails were opened on mobile devices, according to Litmus. When thinking about your email visual design, mobile rendering needs to be the priority. How can you design mobile-friendly emails? Here are several ways. Responsive Email Design Responsive design automatically detects the device being used (mobile phone, tablet, laptop) and reformats the email. The goal is to provide the best user experience, regardless of device. For this reason, it’s the best approach for sending mobile-friendly emails. Creating responsive design emails, though, often requires someone with design expertise. Mobile-Friendly Email Design If you’re not using a responsive design email, there are still several ways to make your email mobile-friendly. They include: 51% of all emails were opened on mobile devices in November of 2013.
  20. 20. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 20 Simple Layout Simple is best, especially to design mobile-friendly emails. Use one main column for your text. A second right column can be added for an image and call-to-action. Keep the height of your header image under 100 pixels. And surround text with a more significant amount of whitespace–it improves comprehension by 20%, according to Crazy Egg. Narrower Email Width Use a narrower width, ideally under 500 pixels. Why? Smart phones shrink your emails to fit their screens. So the wider the email is, the smaller the text will be. And Androids can cut off the entire right third of your email. 100 200 300 400 500
  21. 21. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 21 Compelling, Mobile-Friendly Images Images can be an important piece of your email. Compelling ones can draw people in, catch their attention, and even move them to give. Use a unique header image that highlights your campaign theme, in words, pictures, and/or graphics. When choosing other images, pick one that tells a story in one glance and shows up well on a mobile device. For example, a photo of a group of children is fine to view on a desktop computer, but a photo of one or two children close up has more impact when viewed on a mobile device. Keep in mind that images won’t appear initially in many emails. Use smaller image file sizes so they don’t take long to download on mobile devices. Make Content “Scannable” 80% of people will only scan your email, according to Nielsen Norman Group. And longer paragraphs are even tougher to read on a mobile device. Create one- or two-sentence paragraphs, use lists, use bold on important phrases, and leave enough white space so important points stand out. Go Big with Buttons Don’t be afraid to create larger call to action buttons so they can be read and easily clicked on mobile devices. Use a button height of at least 44 pixels. Meaningful Links Similarly, your text links will likely stand out, as they’ll probably be underlined and a different color. Instead of “click here,” link a meaningful phrase that conveys the impact of a gift. Include meaningful phrases in your call to action button, instead of just “click here” or “donate.” If someone glances at your email, you want the impact to be clear.
  22. 22. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 22 Add Pre-headers that Complement Subject Lines Mobile inboxes have a third component: the pre-header. Appearing underneath your subject line, the pre-header should be a continuation of your subject line. Together, they should persuade constituents to move to the next step: opening your email. Pre-header lacks meaning Pre-header complements subject line Section 2: Dissecting a Well-Designed Email Customized campaign header image Mobile-friendly, up-close image Scannable content, with important points standing out; uses short paragraphs, bulleted list, and bolded text Bigger, mobile-friendly call-to-action button
  23. 23. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 23 Section 3: Raising More Money from Email Campaigns Email is important to nonprofits. It’s the top driver of online donations, generating 35% of gifts. But nonprofits continue to face hurdles. Nonprofit click-through and conversion rates significantly declined in 2012-13. Staff turnover and a lack time and expertise can make it difficult to send emails that cut through the clutter. The shift to creating mobile-friendly emails, a lack A/B testing, and sending “one-size-fits-all” messaging can also all hurt campaign conversions. Whether it’s from Blackbaud or someone else, getting outside help can fill in those gaps and provide insights on how to connect with and convert constituents. It helped Student Sponsor Partners, for example, use new techniques like testing and personalized content, to help improve its back-to-school email appeal from $6,000 to $16,000 raised. For Inland Valley, creating a more cohesive strategy and framework helped boost online sustainer donors by 43%. For The Peregrine Fund, it helped to take a different approach to its year-end storytelling, incentives, and format. The results? The amount raised increased from $3,700 to $25,000.
  24. 24. © August 2014 | 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston, SC 29492 T 800.443.9441 E W How To Create Fundraising Appeals That Work 24 Get Started Making An Appeal (With Blackbaud’s Help). Blackbaud has more than 30 years of experience working with nonprofits. Our team of email experts works with nonprofits of all sizes and expertise levels to get results. To learn how we can help your email campaigns, contact Learn More Chat with Blackbaud
  25. 25. © July 2014, Blackbaud, Inc. This eBook is for informational purposes only. Blackbaud makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this summary. The information contained in this document represents the current view of Blackbaud, Inc., on the items discussed as of the date of this publication. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. About Blackbaud Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. We work with more than 28,000 customers in over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12 education, animal welfare, and other charitable causes. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutions and related services for organizations of all sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, advocacy, constituent relationship management (CRM), financial management, payment services, analytics and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine and honored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit About the Authors Danielle Johnson-Vermenton is a senior interactive strategy consultant and speaker at Blackbaud and is often called to present at events like Digital Leap, AFP Planet Philanthropy, and bbcon. Prior to joining Blackbaud, she worked in the nonprofit industry in roles such as director of individual giving at Boys & Girls Clubs, leadership giving manager at the American Red Cross, and director of development at HUGS for Kids. Danielle’s passion is inspiring nonprofits to have a plan for today with a grand vision for tomorrow. You can follow Danielle on Twitter® @DJVermenton and find her blogging on npENGAGE. Mike Snusz brings more than 11 years of nonprofit experience to his role as a senior internet marketing consultant at Blackbaud, where he develops strategy consulting services to help nonprofits build constituent relationships, deliver compelling messages, and maximize giving opportunities. His areas of focus include email campaigns, online giving, search engine optimization, web analytics and usability, social media, and mobile. He previously managed the turnaround of the Ride For Roswell, including the event’s growth from $330,000 to $1.2 million over a three-year period. With sound online fundraising, communications, and marketing practices in place, the event now raises more than $3 million annually. Mike also volunteers for Compass, providing pro-bono strategic consulting to strengthen the sustainability of Washington, DC nonprofits. Connect with Mike on Twitter® at @mikesnusz.