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AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips (Week of August 29, 2018): Donor Preferences, Storytelling, Fundraising Anxiety, Annual Planning & 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. Test Results: You Raise More Money When You Listen to Donors’ Preferences (The Agitator): Fascinating results from a case study on donor preferences, knowing that most donors typically want to direct their gifts as much as possible.

2. If You Get Nonprofit Donors to Ask this Question, You’re Home Free (Clairification): It’s all about storytelling, and reframing what we do (fundraising) as storytelling.

3. Three Steps to Avoiding Fundraising Anxiety (Nonprofit Storytelling Conference): In this video, Peter Drury walks you through three steps to keep your cool and not become burdened by your boss’ stress and anxiety.

4. Annual Planning Creates a Roadmap for Team Success (Hilborn): Does your fundraising team have an annual plan? And if you do, are you taking the team to measure your progress?

5. Don’t Make These Five Mistakes in Your Fundraising Appeal Letter (Fired Up Fundraising): Admit it, you’ve probably done these at some point in your career. Gail Perry with some nice reminders and advice.

6. Philanthropy and the Destructive Illusion of “Leveling the Playing Field” (Nonprofit AF): Vu Le argues that the playing field will never be level and we should stop hoping it will be. It’s time to create new fields and ending competition-based grantmaking altogether.

7. What is the Most Important Thing You Can Learn from Recent Nonprofit Scandals? (Michael Rosen Says…): The answer is simple, though the execution is not: Build strong relationships with donors. It takes effort, financial resources, and time. However, it’s an investment well worth making.\

8. Please Share a Moment of Humanity With Me (Hands on Fundraising): If you need some inspiration and reassurance that the world is fundamentally a good place, read on.

9. Best Boards Have Meaningful Work, Realistic Goals (Notes on Nonprofits): Some interesting thoughts from Alyce Lee Stansbury and Kelly Otte on some of their best board experience and what made them so great.

10. Do You Know Why Your Donors Gave Their First Gift? (bloomerang): First-time donor retention rates are hovering in the low 20’s. Why. Because most charities have no idea why their first-time donors decided to give.