The Learning Lab

Articles, guides, and videos on nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and leadership to help you grow.


The Responsive Weekly Community-Led Donor Growth
Community-Led Donor Growth

Community is a powerful donor retention tool “I came for the event, but I stayed for the community.” Do you wish this is something your donors would say? (If it is something they already say, good work!) Passionate communities of supporters can be an asset to a nonprofit, especially with the current rates of donor…

3 Tips for More Responsive Donor Relationships

There are so many reasons to build better relationships with your donors. Reasons like: Reversing the truly discouraging rates of donor retention we see across the sector Honoring generosity at every level Creating long-term impact for your cause and for your donors themselves It’s way more fun than sticking to one-off transactions But how do…

Mobilizing Volunteers
Overcoming Barriers to Volunteer Mobilization

Has volunteering bounced back to pre-pandemic levels at your organization? For many organizations, volunteers have been slow to come back. And let’s be honest, recruiting and retaining dedicated volunteers was often a challenge for nonprofits before the pandemic.  This week on The Responsive Weekly, Rob Peabody of Virtuous Volunteer (formerly VOMO) joined us to talk…

The 5 Attributes of Flourishing Nonprofits
The Five Attributes of Flourishing Nonprofits

Have you ever encountered a nonprofit organization that just wowed you? An organization that effectively pursued its mission and grew its fundraising, while rallying a community of passionate supporters? A modern nonprofit that experimented and innovated, and was clearly getting good results? The first thing I ask when I encounter a nonprofit like that is,…

Ask Me Anything: Nonprofit Auctions
Getting Started with Nonprofit Auctions

How can you make your nonprofit auction a great experience for your donors? Nonprofit auctions are a fundraising classic. But what kind of auction should you host–virtual, in-person, or hybrid? How do you ensure your auction prizes will interest people? How can you use your auction to connect people with your cause? This week on…

Diving Deeper on A/B Testing

How can A/B testing help you listen to your donors? A/B testing is a tool to listen to your donors. When you split test to optimize your emails, landing pages, and other supporter communication, you learn more about what resonates with them, helping you to be even more responsive. This week on The Responsive Weekly,…

How A/B Testing Drives Nonprofit Email Engagement and Helps You Listen to Your Supporters
How A/B Testing Drives Nonprofit Email Engagement and Helps You Listen to Your Supporters

A successful nonprofit email has many parts. It has a subject line that draws attention, a message that sparks passion, a layout that’s easy to navigate, and a suggestion/call to action that inspires. At each of these points, you make choices: What subject line will you use? What message will you share? What suggestion will…

Fundraiser Fireside Chat: Research Review
Fireside Chat: Research Review

What does the latest fundraising research mean for your organization? Fundraising research can help you understand larger trends, make decisions, and see where your organization fits in the bigger picture. Reports like Giving USA 2022: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 and M+R Benchmarks are a source of ideas, insight, and sometimes…

Preparing for Ethical Storytelling

What kinds of stories do you tell? Storytelling is an important part of fundraising and an essential component of the “Connect” part of the Responsive Framework. Through stories, supporters come to understand your cause, the people you serve, and the work you do. But how do you make sure that while you’re touching hearts and…

Leading Your Nonprofit Through Uncertainty

How do you lead your nonprofit in uncertain times? It’s a challenging time for nonprofit leaders. It can be tough to figure out the best ways to pursue your mission and grow your organization in the face of economic uncertainty and an ever-changing pandemic. How should you be thinking about leadership? What are the best…