A quick and useful wrap up of the best learnings from the past year and what they mean for the year ahead.

December 31, 2016

ReflectionS/Suggestions from Your Intrepid Hosts

Merritt Engel, President/Principal

Monica Tiffany, Creative Director/Principal

M&C

Merritt and Monica are co-owners of M&C and wish to thank the company’s wonderful clients and tremendously talented and hardworking team for a stellar 2016. They’re both looking forward to an equally bodacious 2017 and hope you enjoy this brief recap of the best—and the baffling—from the past year…with a bit of counsel thrown in of course.

5 MAIN TAKEAWAYS

Give your board the right tools to fundraise. Create simple messaging platforms they can put in their own words to tell donors your organization’s story. Give them tangible methods to support your nonprofit…and tangible expectations as well.

Challenge yourself to craft your message. Beware the “hope” and the “make a difference” without supporting copy that tells your donors exactly how your organization creates hope and has an impact. Mix the facts and the emotion for stronger, more compelling messaging.

Diminishing returns is a thing—be wise about it. Stop and really think before you create those 30 matrices and 70 versions of the email and direct mail package. Where does it count? Where is the investment worth it? Test before you go willy nilly down that road. Yes—willy nilly.

Call. To. Action. Make sure you have one. Gorgeously designed packages are delightful. Gorgeously designed packages that leave donors wondering what you want them to do and fail to generate contributions/forwards/engagement are disastrous.

Start. Then Stop. When your organization begins developing a communications strategy, that’s the main task: begin. Create a plan with a few manageable objectives that can be handled by your staff or qualified vendors you can afford. Then stop. Give yourself an end point so you can re-evaluate, measure your success and prevent your team from going nuts in the process.