How to Foster Relationships with Donors

How to Foster Relationships with Donors

how to foster
relationships with donors


Think about your own friendships and relationships that you have. How did you get there with that person? What makes the two of you close? The thing that makes my besties my besties is that joke we have about  the song Rumor Has It by Adele, late-night talks about whether gelato is better than ice cream, how to stop world hunger, and just being there after a bad day of work. Basically, it’s sharing quality time together to create those moments. 

In order to foster quality relationships with donors, follow the same recipe as you do with your closest friends: be authentic, be yourself, listen, and share.

Practical things you can do to foster a relationship with a donor:

  1. Prepare. Do some research into who you want to foster a relationship with. Ask a mutual friend some questions first so you are prepared. Looking on Facebook and other social media platforms for interests and hobbies wouldn’t hurt either. Would they have any interest in the mission of your organization? (What if they are passionate about music and not animals?) This would be great to know before meeting so you can use your time and their time well.


  2. Spend time with him/her. Developing a friendship/relationship takes time – even years. But they all start somewhere. Start small and invite them to have coffee. As the relationship progresses, invite them to  a concert or have them over for a barbeque to meet the family. Get to know them. These are the moments when memories and inside jokes are created. This is what friendships are made of.


  3. Remember important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, the day they brought their puppy home, or the death of a loved one, are often  brought up in conversation. Take a mental note. Send a card, flowers, or whatever is appropriate according to the relationship you have. You could even send a text or make a call on those days to tell them you are thinking about them.


  1. Love of the mission. Make sure you are meeting with people for the right reasons: Love of the mission. If you truly are passionate about the mission of your nonprofit, it will show naturally. If you are struggling with the organization’s mission, perhaps you should take time to reflect on why that is and whether or not it is the right fit for you. We are all passionate about something and sometimes discovering it takes time.


  2. Be authentic. People are smart. They can smell a fake from a mile away. They know whether or not you are being yourself and truly care about them as a human being. Check yourself before diving into a new relationship. Sometimes this means taking time to reflect on who you are about to meet with, why you love what you do, and putting together some talking point so you are prepared.


  3. Hit or miss. There will be moments when your personality doesn’t mesh with a potential donor. It happens. This may be a moment to step aside and introduce them to someone else that may be a better fit to spend time with them. This is a situation you will have to read and be humble enough to make that call. For the good of the mission, right?

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Unify Your Nonprofit Brand with Spanish-Speaking Marketing

unify your nonprofit brand with spanish-speaking marketing

There is nothing more meaningful than speaking in one’s own heart language.

Our heart language is the initial words we hear our parents speak. It’s how we first hear, “I love you.” It’s the language we dream in. We best express our deepest feelings and emotions in our heart language.

Scott Allen Creative can now deliver the heart of your mission to those whose heart language is Spanish. Our services go beyond translating English to Spanish. We can also strategize how to market your services and engage potential new clients and donors.

Speaking your nonprofit voice in both Spanish and English shows respect to an individual’s culture and heritage. You can create positive social change that unifies a community. You also connect more people to your organization in an authentic way. You will expand your brand awareness and support as you reach new clients, community partners, and donors.

Let us know if you need help reaching your Hispanic community, heart to heart. And inspire others to join your cause!

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How to Make Online Donations Easier for Your Donors

How to Make Online Donations Easier for Your Donors

how to make online donations easier for your donors


How quickly can your donors make a gift on your website? 

Don’t scare away donors with a lengthy online donation process. Make it easy. Make it an experience. Here are a few main checkpoints before we get into a schpeel about our favorite online donation platform (#notsponsored).

  1. Is your donation page mobile-friendly? 40% of website traffic for nonprofits came from mobile users (Charity Navigator).
  2. Are donors taken away from your website to another site to make a donation? Don’t let that happen!
  3. Is your donation form or link buried by text? Make it obvious.

Just as the strength of the donor-charity relationship heavily influences offline giving, the online giving experience has a significant impact on donor loyalty, retention and gift levels. Small improvements to the online experience can make a big difference in donations.” – (Network for Good).

After testing different platforms, we have found our favorite – Donorbox. Donorbox is a powerful and effective donation form. It’s super simple and easy to set up. What we love most is that you can embed the form directly in your site, so your donors never have to leave your site. Oh yeah, and it’s free (if you collect less than $1,000 in a month – see more about pricing here).


Features We Love

Fast Checkout

Apple Pay: Accept both one-time and recurring donations with Apple Pay. Find out how to accept Apple Pay donations.

Google Pay: Accept both one-time and recurring donations with Google Pay. Find out how to accept Google Pay donations.

PayPal Express with One-Touch: Enjoy a faster and more reliable way to accept PayPal donations. One-Touch ensures a smooth checkout process.

Bank Payments: All U.S. based organizations can accept ACH bank transfer payments – a great payment option with very low processing fees.

Complete Customization

Make Donorbox forms your own by customizing them to blend in perfectly with your website.
Customize Donation Form Colors: Donorbox donation forms can be set to match any color scheme so that it coordinates with the look and feel of your website.

Custom CSS: Use Custom CSS to make advanced edits to your donation form design. Add your code segment to the Custom CSS block and watch the magic happen.

Your Own Donation Page: Get your very own donation page for free, customized with your own logo and background – hosted on SSL-enabled servers.

New-Look Donation Page: Choose either standard donation form layout or try out new-look donation pages. You can check them out here.

Increase Donations

Let Donorbox donation platform help you maximize your efforts and collect more donations.
Monthly, Annual, Weekly Recurring Donations: It takes only 1-click to set up a recurring donation. No extra registration screens or info is required.

Donors Cover Fees: Give donors the option to cover the processing fee on their donations. The fee will be added on, so only one donation is processed.

Company Gift Matching: Donors can encourage their employers to match the donation they made, thanks to the Double the Donation integration.

Company Donations: Get other organizations and businesses to donate to your campaign. Donorbox forms support company donations.

Multi-Currency Support: Accept donations from anyone, no matter where they are in the world. Donorbox supports over 20 popular currencies.

Donor Management

Manage your donors and their donations efficiently, with absolutely no hassle.
Donor Profile: Every recurring donor is automatically allocated a Donor Profile, complete with login details and a password. Donors can edit their own recurring donation plans.

Ask Donors Custom Questions: Add up to 10 custom questions to learn more about your donors. Responses can take the form of text, radio buttons, check boxes and drop-down options.

Make Notes About Donations: Add quick Internal Notes to each donor and donation. These notes help you manage your records with a more personal touch.

Collect Address, Phone, Employment: Gather your donors’ contact info easily. Set this info as optional, or compulsory when required (like a political fundraiser).

Safety and Security

Keep your donors and donations protected with Donorbox’s powerful security measures.

Fraud Detection: Uses Radar and anti-fraud wizardry to protect your campaign form against fraud. See our blog for more info on our anti-fraud measures.

SSL / TLS Encryption: All Donorbox donation forms are protected by SSL/TLS Encryption technology. The entire checkout process is exceptionally secure.

Tokenization of Financial Data: Donorbox doesn’t store any card information. All card and bank account data is tokenized before charging.

Check out some of the sites where we have used Donorbox (and if you feel so inclined, make an online donation):


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Canva for Nonprofits

Canva for Nonprofits

canva for nonprofits

Did you know nonprofits can use the premium features of Canva for FREE?

The Nonprofit status gives you access to Canva for Work’s premium features for up to 10 people (including you) in your organization for free.

What is included?

  • Magic Resize (our personal favorite – this tool easily resizes your design with one click)
  • Team Folders
  • Transparent Background
  • GIF/Movie Animator
  • Custom Brand-kit
  • Millions of premium stock photos and icons
  • Thousands of premium templates

If you’re not already taking advantage of this, stop what you are doing and sign up now.

Applying is pretty simple.

Check if you are eligible.

Read the eligibility requirements to see if your organization qualifies for Canva’s Nonprofit Program.

Submit application form.

Fill out and submit the application form below with all necessary information and the required documentation that verifies your organization’s eligibility.

Wait for feedback.

Canva will review the application and reach out via the email provided in the form with feedback and status of the application.

Enjoy Canva for Work, free!

Eligible nonprofit organizations are approved and granted nonprofit status that will let you utilize Canva for Work features free for up to 10 members.

By the way, to apply for a Canva nonprofit account you need to have an existing Canva account.

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USPS Promotions: Save Money Doing What You’re Already Doing

USPS Promotions: Save Money Doing What You’re Already Doing

usps promotions: save money doing what you’re already doing


Here’s the deal. We recently learned some cost-saving mailing promotions from our friends at KCI Communications and we wanted to share the savings with you!

USPS knows how effective mailed pieces can be (as do we) and they’re on a mission to prove it. Through the end of 2019, USPS is offering some mailing promotions for some of the things you are probably already doing. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of the savings!

Here’s a breakdown of what’s being offered:

mobile shopping promotion

Registration period: June 15 – December 31, 2019

Promotion period: August 1 – December 31, 2019

Savings: Upfront 2% postage discount

What it is: The Mobile Shopping Promotion encourages mailers to send mailings that highlight the connection between the mailpiece and the digital shopping (or donation) experience. It is designed to enable customers to conveniently go from the mailpiece, directly to a mobile-optimized online shopping experience using platforms, such as Quick Response (QR) Codes, Snap Tags, Watermarks, and other advanced technologies.

Note: Charitable giving qualifies as a mobile shopping experience.

How you might use it: Add a QR code to your mailing that directs the reader to your donate page.

tacticle, sensory, and interactive mailpiece engagement

Registration period: May 15 – December 31, 2019

Promotion period: July 1 – December 31, 2019

Savings: Upfront 2% postage discount

What it is: Mailings that use specialty inks (spot gloss), sensory elements (scratch and sniff), textured papers (soft touch), or special folds or other dimensional elements that are interactive may be eligible.

Note: If you’re already using something like spot gloss on a piece, then this may be a reasonable choice for your organization. If that wasn’t factored into your budget, you’ll want to perform a cost-benefit analysis.

How you might use it: If you’re mailing something a little fancier than you typically send out – like a gala invitation – than this may be a great fit for your nonprofit.

informed delivery

Registration period: July 15 – November 30, 2019

Promotion period: September 1 – November 30, 2019

Savings: Upfront 2% postage discount

What it is: A mailing that incorporates an informed delivery campaign. Those who used informed delivery receive an email with an image of their delivered mailpieces. This image would complement with the mailing campaign.

Note: Even if households don’t use informed delivery, your organization still receives the benefit.

How you might use it: Provide a promo code for early bird event registration. 

personalized color transpromo

Registration period: May 15 – December 31, 2019

Promotion period: July 31 – December 31, 2019

Savings: Upfront 2% postage discount

What it is: Mailpieces that use dynamic/variable color print for personalized transpromotional marketing messages on bills and statements. See USPS’s example here.

Note: This is for first class postage only.

How you might use it: In a financial statement, you may highlight the financial impact they made the previous year. 

what you need to do

We already know what you’re thinking. How do I register? For anything you need to know, you can probably find your answer here.

After you register, you just need to tell whatever printer you are working with that you are using this promotion in order to take advantage of the credit.

To be safe, plan on an extra three days at the printer since these take a little more testing to ensure everything works properly.

And just because we know you’re thinking it (we were too), no, you cannot stack the promos. But one is better than none!  

Hope you find this as helpful as we did!

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How Research Shaped The Family Promise Brand

How Research Shaped The Family Promise Brand

how research shaped
the family promise brand

Once upon a time not so very long ago, we were presented with a challenging task: How do we create a brand for Family Promise of Grand Rapids that differentiates their organization from the other homeless shelters in West Michigan?

And this is where our journey begins.

A local newspaper published an article on homelessness. While perusing the readers’ comments, there was an astounding number of people who were livid about this issue. That hit home for us. How do you talk to someone about Family Promise when the public gets angry or put up a wall as soon as they hear the word ‘homeless’? This was the issue Family Promise of Grand Rapids was dealing with every single day, even though they weren’t dealing with the addict sleeping under the bridge or the man on the corner asking for money. They were helping an entirely different demographic of homelessness – families.

And so the research ensued.

We interviewed staff, clients, volunteers, donors, and board members. We can attest to the fact that there is nothing more authentic, heartfelt, and eye-opening than one-on-one research interviews.Here’s a summary of the high points:

  • We knew Family Promise’s brand needed to focus on families – this brings the focus away from homeless individuals.
  • The families Family Promise helps are not chronically homeless. They’re dealing with situational homelessness caused by job loss, medical bills, divorce, etc.
  • We were surprised by the ways children encouraged their parents during this tumultuous time. A six-year-old may say something as simple as, “It’s gonna be okay, Mom.”
  • The staff repeatedly said, “It’s all about the kids.”

So there you have it. Hours and hours of research condensed down to four bullet points. But we still needed to find a common thread in this research that would bring their brand to life. As we were mulling over this in a coffee shop, it hit us. The common thread is the kids. It’s what had to stand out in every element of the Family Promise of Grand Rapids brand.

And then the creative juices started flowing.

We got into the mind of a child (this was easier for some staff more than others). Headlines were written using children’s words. We chose a headline font that mimicked a child’s handwriting. Photography focused on children. Videos were told from a child’s perspective.

By focusing the brand on children, we saw attitudes in the community shift. Why?  

  • It was hard for someone to transfer their anger about homelessness to a child, knowing it wasn’t the child’s fault that the family became homeless.
  • Family Promise’s brand became memorable since very few brands were sharing things from a child’s perspective.

As a result of this rebrand, Family Promise’s volunteer-base doubled. Foundations and donors who previously gave to Family Promise became reinvigorated by their mission…so much so that Family Promise raised $2.5 million in 10 months.

So as we near the end of our tale, I must ask, do you know why this new brand worked?

Because we listened. At Scott Allen Creative, we use research to ensure an organization’s passion is evident throughout all aspects of their brand. We know there isn’t a mold that every organization fits into. Every organization has something that sets it apart from its competition, something that makes it unique, something that inspires others to join its cause. For Family Promise of Grand Rapids, we brought to the forefront what was special and unique about their mission – kids.  

And this is the reason everyone lived happily ever after.

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