Skip to content

Finding the Right Cheese for the Cracker: Using Research to Create Strategies and Tactics for Cultivating Prospects

By Elisa Shoenberger

Most of us have eaten cheese in our lives. Some of us may have grown up with American cheese, string cheese, and cheddar cheese. Maybe you’ve tried mozzarella, spreadable goat cheese, and a bleu cheese. While all of those cheeses are delicious, it can be a little intimidating to walk into the cheese aisle or a cheese shop. Suddenly there are tens, even hundreds of cheeses in all different colors and shapes. So how do you figure out what goes best on a salad or on a steak?

That’s what it might feel like when you’ve met with prospects in your portfolio. You know something about them; maybe you even requested an Aspire Snap Bio on them before meeting them. But what do you do next? How do you cultivate them towards a major gift in the next few years or so? How do you fit the cheese to the cracker or side?

Read More »Finding the Right Cheese for the Cracker: Using Research to Create Strategies and Tactics for Cultivating Prospects

Learning to Drive: Using Prospect Research for Early Cultivation Meetings

Remember the first time you got behind the wheel of a car? Maybe you had taken your learner’s permit test or not; maybe you had watched your parents closely as they drove. But when facing the wheel, pedals, and all those buttons for the first time, it might have been really daunting. I was frustrated the first time I got behind the wheel; no matter what I did, I could not get the car to go. I soon realized that no one had told me to push the brake while starting the car!

Naturally, if someone is getting a donor profile for the first time, it can be a bit daunting. There are lots of sections; some filled with charts and graphs while others have lots of information. And what’s with the “likely” and “possibly” speculation?

Read More »Learning to Drive: Using Prospect Research for Early Cultivation Meetings

Understanding Financial Audits: A Quick Guide for Nonprofits

The word “audit” tends to bring about anxiety and concern when the average person hears it. We picture horrible visions of the IRS combing through our personal information and telling us we did something wrong or owe money. While this may be the case for many individuals, there’s no need for nonprofits to have this same sense of stress and concern. 

Nonprofits don’t pay taxes, so there’s no reason for the IRS to come around, telling you that your organization owes money. However, audits can be incredibly useful for nonprofits to ensure donations are processed properly, tax forms are filed, and general accounting best practices are followed at your nonprofit. 

Read More »Understanding Financial Audits: A Quick Guide for Nonprofits

Neon One’s Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving – Part 2

NeonOne set out to understand what individual giving looks like in the post-pandemic world. By reviewing many sources including academic journals, industry reports, blogs, and more, they have synthesized six questions:

  • Who are our donors?
  • What do our donors support?
  • When do our donors give?
  • Where are our donors?
  • Why do our donors give?
  • How do our donors give?

In Neon One’s Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving – Part 1, we focused on the first three questions. In this Part 2, we are focusing on the last three questions.

Read More »Neon One’s Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving – Part 2

What’s in a Nonprofit Logo? 4 Things to Consider

Your nonprofit’s logo is a core element of your brand, as it acts as a reflection of your organization and mission. When supporters and new prospects view your logo on any marketing materials and donor communications, they should be able to immediately associate it with your mission. 

When we think of brands like Starbucks, Nike, and Mcdonald’s, the first things that come to mind are probably the mermaid emblem, swoosh marking, and golden arches. Loop’s nonprofit branding guide describes the logo as the “foundation of your overall visual brand” which is why it evokes so much emotion and recognition. It’s included in almost every document you create! 

Read More »What’s in a Nonprofit Logo? 4 Things to Consider
A man and a woman look at computer

Numbers to Know: Interpreting Website Engagement Data

When a supporter googles your nonprofit and clicks on your website, what do they do from there?

The hope is that your supporters actively explore your site’s content, use your online giving page to donate, and sign up for your newsletter or fundraising events. 

However, some nonprofits make the mistake of taking a “set it and forget it” approach when it comes to their websites. Instead of consistently considering and reconsidering their supporters’ experiences using the site, they put a lot of work into the look and functionality of the site upfront, hoping it’ll do the trick of catching people’s attention and getting them to act without ongoing updates. 

Read More »Numbers to Know: Interpreting Website Engagement Data

Neon One’s Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving – Part 1

What is this Report?

NeonOne set out to understand what individual giving looks like in the post-pandemic world. By reviewing many sources including academic journals, industry reports, blogs, and more, they have synthesized six questions:

  • Who are our donors?
  • What do our donors support?
  • When do our donors give?
  • Where are our donors?
  • Why do our donors give?
  • How do our donors give?

Due to the length of the report, Aspire will focus on the first three questions. The second part will be published in 2023.

Read More »Neon One’s Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving – Part 1