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AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips (Week of February 5, 2018): Mail vs. Email, Using Instagram, Donor Valentine Love & 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. How to Get Your Donors to Give More this Year than Last Year (Garecht Fundraising Associates): Every non-profit needs to put a strong donor upgrade system in place in order to grow and thrive. Some good thoughts and reminders on upgrading your donors

2. Direct Mail or Email? Stamp or Swoosh? (DM News): The truth is, even in these days of machine learning and predictive analytics, email remains one of the most important channels for B2C and B2B marketers; and direct mail hasn't gone anywhere either. What's the state of play with these two standbys, and how do they measure up?

3. How Often Should You Mail to Your Nonprofit Donors? (Clairification): How often should we mail to our donors, you ask? And the answer is: Well, it’s different for every nonprofit, and even different for your nonprofit at different points in your life cycle.

4. We Need to Change Our Unhealthy Attitude About Email Before Civilization Collapses (Nonprofit AF): Fed up with all the emails you receive? Vu Le puts together eight principles on which we should all agree.

5. Five Ways to Promote Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Message on Instagram (Julia Campbell Social Marketing): Instagram has over 600 million active monthly users and is called “the happiest place on the Internet” with the highest engagement of all social media platforms!  So, maybe it’s time your organization took the plunge?

6. Monthly Giving Mistakes (Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog): Many organizations have a monthly or recurring giving option, which is great. What’s not great are some of the mistakes they make with them. Ann Green discusses how to avoid them.

7. Seven Proposal Writing Tips from a Foundation CEO (Emerson & Church Publishers): When you have spent 35 years as a foundation CEO, you probably have some really good ideas for charities about getting funded. Listen up!

8. How to Talk to People When You Have Nothing to Say (Lifehack): When you’re thrown into a conversation before common ground has been found, it can be difficult to keep the interaction going in a smooth and natural way because you’re not entirely confident of what and what not to talk about. Here are some thoughts on keeping the conversation going?

9. That $33 Million Bezos Gift for Dreamers? It Started With a Tweet. (The Chronicle of Philanthropy): The story of the $33 Million Gift and what we can all learn from it.

10. Twelve Ways to Send Your Donors Love With a Valentine (Fired Up Fundraising): Have you considered Valentines for donors this year? A charming, thoughtful Valentine can express your appreciation to your donors in a delightful way. After all, they are the generous, wonderful people who are making your work possible. Gail Perry explains.