Skip to content

Welcome to the Dot Org Blog!

A trusted source of information, trends and advice for nonprofit leaders, fundraisers and marketing professionals


We know your time is valuable. We also know that the nonprofit sector changes quickly. That's why we take great care in preparing our weekly blog based upon industry trends, questions we've been getting from clients and colleagues, and our own research about what we hope will be valuable.

January 25, 2024

Marketing your conference to maximize success

Hosting a successful conference takes time, energy and planning to ensure you are bringing value to the attendees,...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

January 10, 2024

2024 Nonprofit Outlook

2023 was a wild ride for nonprofits. COVID-era funding programs ended, Interest rates shot up and the markets finished...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

December 29, 2023

The ultimate yearly planning guide for nonprofits and how to stay on track

It can be hard as a fundraiser to plan ahead, especially when you are pulled in a thousand different directions, given...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

December 28, 2023

How Google and Yahoo's email policy changes will impact your nonprofit

Google and Yahoo are making changes that will affect the way your nonprofit uses email for fundraising and marketing....
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

November 6, 2023

Four tips for effectively communicating with diverse audiences

Knowing and understanding your audience is extremely important. In a past blog post, we talked about best practices for...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

October 23, 2023

Recognizing partners and sponsors on social media

You have probably heard the saying “it takes a village” in reference to reaching a goal or accomplishing a big task....
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

October 20, 2023

Basic digital metrics nonprofits should know and understand

Understanding and using basic digital metrics can help your nonprofit better understand your audience and get more...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

October 18, 2023

Getting Started with YouTube Ads for Nonprofits

Our society has become accustomed to YouTube Ads. We can’t watch a go-to-recipe tutorial or a compilation of our...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

October 17, 2023

Using rented lists to acquire donors

It’s a new year for your fundraising efforts. One of your goals might be to recruit some new donors to your...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

September 28, 2023

Choosing the best social media platform for your nonprofit

There are so many social media options available, so choosing the best social media platform for your nonprofit may be...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 25, 2023

Six graphic design tips for nonprofit creatives and marketers to help your ad content stand out

Graphic design has always been important in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, but with the distractions our...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 17, 2023

Yes! Your nonprofit can (and should) use LinkedIn: tips for using LinkedIn for nonprofits.

As a nonprofit marketer, you may be asking yourself, “should I be investing time and resources in LinkedIn for my...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

June 1, 2023

Using Google Ad Grants to increase visibility for your nonprofit

As a nonprofit, it is important for people to know who you are and what you do. So, why wouldn’t your organization want...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 11, 2023

4 best practices for optimizing your nonprofit website

As a nonprofit, having an effective website is a crucial part of attracting and engaging potential donors and...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

April 21, 2023

Three ways digital marketing can help nonprofits connect with constituents

Nonprofits know connecting with constituents is essential to spreading your message and raising funds to further your...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

March 23, 2023

How to prepare for your nonprofit strategic plan

You’ve made the decision to do it. Your board has agreed it’s a good idea and now you are headed down the road to...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

March 9, 2023

Strategic planning is a team sport. 6 ways to set your team up for the win.

Most people wouldn’t think of strategic planning as a team sport. But if you look at the elements that go into creating...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

March 8, 2023

Celebrating International Women's Day

(This blog was updated from the original post in 2018.)
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

February 16, 2023

Strategic Planning – 8 things you need to know to set yourself up for success

Your organization has decided to do a strategic plan and you have been tasked with leading the process, but you’re not...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 26, 2023

8 reasons why strategic planning is important for nonprofits

Some nonprofits and their boards may question the need for formal strategic planning every few years. It can be...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

September 26, 2022

Five tips to keep your team motivated during year-end

The year-end appeal season is right around the corner. Hopefully, your fundraising and marketing teams have already...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

September 15, 2022

10 ways to get the most out of a conference

People have the best intentions and plan to get the most out of a conference when they go. But the reality is, for many...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

August 19, 2022

Three ways being authentic helps nonprofits establish a connection with their constituents

Many nonprofits want to know how they can establish a connection with their constituents. Luckily, the answer is simple...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 22, 2022

Five graphic design principles for nonprofit organizations

Not every organization has the luxury of an in-house graphic designer, but with these design resources and an...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

June 22, 2022

Five ways to make sure you understand your nonprofit’s audience

When it comes to marketing, there’s no shortage of tactics and platforms for spreading the word about your nonprofit to...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 26, 2022

Creating healthy coworker relationships (and why it’s important)

Coworker relationships can be hard to navigate. Healthy relationships at work can sometimes make or break your career....
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

April 22, 2022

Five tips to help you better understand your Gen Z coworkers

Offices today include a mixture of coworkers, ranging from Boomer to Gen Z. You’ve likely noticed interoffice dynamics...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

September 16, 2021

Knowing why your donors give

The general rule of fundraising says that asking the right donor, at the right time, for the right amount will lead to...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

June 24, 2021

Six digital marketing investments nonprofits can make to improve reach

For many nonprofits, digital marketing consists of occasional mass emails, an infrequently updated website and posts on...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

February 25, 2021

Forming good working relationships and why they're important

It's important to make sure your work relationships are healthy — after all, we spend a considerable amount of time at...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

February 4, 2021

The best time to create a plan is now

It’s never too late to plan. Even if know you can’t implement anything until later this year or you aren’t sure where...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

January 21, 2021

Four marketing trends for nonprofits to consider this year

Earlier this month, HubSpot released an article about marketing trends to watch in 2021. These kinds of articles are...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

January 7, 2021

The importance of nonprofit strategic planning in uncertain times

Strategic planning during uncertain times may seem like the last thing your nonprofit wants to do or should do. But it...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

December 10, 2020

10 ways to take care of yourself, team and donors in December

While this year has been challenging, there are still some things you can do to take care of you, your team and your...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

November 19, 2020

Eight attributes of strong leaders and teams

Throughout my career, I have spent a great deal of time studying leadership. Some of that study was from working and...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

November 11, 2020

'Tis the season for giving

When we get close to the end of the year, there are three different things I think about personally: Thanksgiving (my...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

October 8, 2020

Picking the best vendor partner or contractor for your company

This blog was originally published on September 20, 2019. Like most small agencies and consulting firms, we outsource...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

August 20, 2020

How to find value in webinars and virtual professional development

Even before the pandemic, webinars were an easy way for all of us to do a little professional development, hear some...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

July 22, 2020

Reasons nonprofits can (and should) use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool, but many employees of nonprofit organizations and small businesses do not fully understand...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

March 26, 2020

Staying connected while staying apart

As many people transition from working in the office to working from home, effective communication becomes increasingly...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

March 5, 2020

How shaping our workplace culture has transformed our business

There is so much discussion in business circles about building a strong workplace culture. There are hashtags devoted...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 30, 2020

Lessons learned from my time as a student-athlete

I’ve been a jock my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are playing basketball in my driveway and running football...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

October 31, 2019

Applying improv to life and work

Several months ago, I was having lunch with one of my peers in the fundraising consulting field. And I told him I...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

October 17, 2019

Writing for audiences in sensitive situations

As you write your appeal letters, grant narrative or marketing copy, you might be wondering how to properly tell your...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

September 20, 2019

Outsourcing work to the best people

Like most small agencies and consulting firms, we outsource certain types of work to outside vendors or contractors and...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

September 11, 2019

A year-end appeal checklist

No, it is not too early to think about your year-end appeal. As a matter of fact, it might be a little late. But, if...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

September 5, 2019

Four tips for ensuring your messaging communicates impact

A common problem for nonprofits is finding meaningful ways to communicate impact to donors. They might find themselves...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

August 29, 2019

Four things to remember about social media donors for year-end giving

This year is more than halfway over – and, as the weather starts to cool down, we are all marking our calendars for...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

August 23, 2019

Three operational changes leaders must make to propel their business

I believe the best way to propel your nonprofit or small business is to look for methods to improve your operations....
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

August 14, 2019

Celebrate National Nonprofit Day your way

Every day, we are all impacted by a nonprofit in our community, whether we know it or not. I pass through Zoar, which...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

August 8, 2019

Three reasons your nonprofit needs to establish marketing personas

If you have worked in the for-profit marketing world, there is a good chance you have heard of the benefits of building...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

August 1, 2019

Exploring LinkedIn: A professional's guide to using the social network

LinkedIn is a great tool, but many employees of nonprofit organizations and small businesses do not fully understand...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 26, 2019

Five things nonprofits should consider when planning for 2020

Note from Amy: There is an endless amount of information available to nonprofits and we know how hard it is to get...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

July 18, 2019

Four reasons a Fundraising Readiness Assessment™ may be right for you

Dot Org Solutions has two areas of focus – fundraising consulting and marketing. Marketing assessments are one tool we...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

July 11, 2019

Four reasons your nonprofit should conduct a marketing assessment

Marketing is an importance piece of any organization’s strategic plan. You need to make sure your target markets are...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 9, 2019

Five tips on using images to make your social posts more compelling

Every day, we are bombarded with content. We pass billboards, flip through TV ads and scan social media for interesting...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

July 2, 2019

A picture is worth 1,000 words: Best practices for social media photos

Choosing an appropriate an engaging social media photo is important. Every day, we are bombarded with content. We pass...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

June 28, 2019

Planned giving marketing

This week’s blog is based on a presentation Amy Wong, president of Dot Org Solutions, gave to a group of fundraising...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

June 13, 2019

So, what does a fundraising consultant do?

Here at Dot Org, we don’t just handle marketing – we are also fundraising consultants, who work with nonprofits on...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

June 7, 2019

Three problems a marketing consultant can help you solve

Making the decision to hire a marketing consultant can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses and...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 30, 2019

Five tips for using social media marketing during an event

If you have ever attended an industry conference, networking event or even an extravagant party, you may have been able...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 16, 2019

Step 3: How to market grant awards and steward funders

This is the final post in a series of three blogs the Dot Org team is writing on grants.
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 9, 2019

Step 2: How to write a compelling grant

This is the second post in a series of three blogs the Dot Org team will be writing on grants.
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 2, 2019

Step 1: How to start a grant program

This is the first post in a series of three blogs the Dot Org team will be writing on something all nonprofits should...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

April 25, 2019

Tips for effectively telling your nonprofit’s story

When discussing a client’s marketing needs, one of the most common requests I receive is for help “telling their...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

April 18, 2019

Prioritizing when it doesn't seem possible

We’ve all had “that kind of week" (or month, year, etc.). I’m sure you know what I am talking about. It’s the kind of...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

April 9, 2019

Preparing your social media for days of celebration

You may occasionally scroll through social media, and think “Wow, there is a day for everything.”
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

April 1, 2019

Seven mistakes fundraisers are making

Fundraisers pay attention to a lot of things but often forget to make note of the mistakes they might be making. They...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

March 21, 2019

Four fundraising metrics nonprofit leaders should know and track

Nonprofit leaders must pay attention to many details – numbers served, outcomes, staffing percentages, budgets and...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

February 26, 2019

Monthly giving and how it can boost annual giving

Fundraisers and nonprofits are always searching for a way to raise more annual donations, and the secret might be...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

February 21, 2019

Six ways to become a transparent nonprofit leader

I've frequently come across the topic of transparent leadership and how it relates to building and maintaining a strong...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 30, 2019

Four tips I learned from attending a conference from another industry

It's important to always be learning, but we often forget we can learn from another industry. As business owners and...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

December 17, 2018

A year-end pep talk for fundraisers

As the holiday season begins, many of us will spend more time with family, participate in holiday activities and...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

November 5, 2018

Five things every nonprofit board should review regularly

Being asked to be a member of a nonprofit board is an honor. It means that the nonprofit has faith that you will help...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

October 22, 2018

Year-end giving - where is my money going?

It’s that time of year when we start getting bombarded with requests for donations. Whether it’s through the mail,...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

October 15, 2018

Four ways to make your organization’s newsletters stand out

It's important for your organization's newsletters to stand out. Take a minute to look in your email inbox. There are...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

October 8, 2018

Nine tips on how to write and prepare an engaging speech

Writing and preparing an engaging speech can be daunting. Sure, you could hire someone to help you develop and...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

September 24, 2018

Seven things leaders can do to run their nonprofit like a business

If you’re an executive director at a nonprofit, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have heard the following declaration...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

September 17, 2018

Five ways to make your nonprofit’s social media engaging and effective

Social media is not only an important part of any nonprofit’s marketing plan, but it's also important for it to be...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

September 11, 2018

Eight inbound marketing tips for nonprofits

I had the opportunity to spend the week in Boston at the HubSpot INBOUND 2018 conference. I had never heard of this...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

September 4, 2018

Let's plan some sort of fundraiser...

If you are a professional who works for a nonprofit, you have probably attended or worked at an event for your...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

August 27, 2018

Four reasons why learning is important for young professionals

While it’s important for everyone to continue learning throughout their career, it is especially crucial for young...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

August 13, 2018

You know you have a good vendor when...

It’s mid-afternoon at work and we are only four days away from launching a major project for a client. All is going...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

July 16, 2018

Pitching the media without a PR background

At Dot Org, we spend a fair amount of time talking with the media, pitching story ideas for clients and responding to...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

July 9, 2018

Now is the time to start your individual giving program

There are nearly 87,000 grant-making foundations in the U.S. and they give more than $60 billion every year. While...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

June 19, 2018

The importance of taking a break

It’s springtime here in Ohio! And after a very long winter, I am happily enjoying the beginning of warmer weather and...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

June 11, 2018

Millennials: The next generation of donors

There are approximately 73 million millennials in the United States who just might be the next generation of donors....
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

May 29, 2018

Let’s talk about brands

We all know and are familiar with lots of brands, but what exactly does that word mean? How does an organization...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

May 22, 2018

Learning is a life-long process

My daughter, the oldest of my three kids, recently moved back home after her freshman year of college and I quickly...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

May 14, 2018

Grants 101: Best practices from a director of fundraising consultant

If you write a few grants or many grants in a year there are some constants to keep in mind: 1. There are no guarantees...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

May 7, 2018

Why nonprofits should consider creativity when hiring employees

When a company is hiring new employees, there are some key qualities that typically come to mind to describe an ideal...
Dot Org Content Team

Dot Org Content Team

April 16, 2018

Why do we need to work our network?

There are some people that love a good networking event. They work the room, passing out business cards from one person...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

March 19, 2018

Nonprofit board members' responsibilities aren't what they used to be

In the past, nonprofit board members showed up for three or four meetings a year, attended the annual gala, added the...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

February 12, 2018

Data and you: Why organized information is essential to your nonprofit

I recently participated as a panelist for a professional development program for our local Association of Fundraising...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 29, 2018

Annual fund planning in January - WHAT?!

You rushed around in November to get an annual fund appeal out the door. I’m guessing that the last thing you want to...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

December 20, 2017

Finish strong! Six tips for successful year-end fundraising

*This blog was updated in November 2023. The end of the year is approaching and we all know what that means! Nervous...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

June 25, 2015

Big plans, small budget  

Small businesses, start-ups and nonprofit leaders are always balancing big ideas with small budgets. But they must...
Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

Sara Lundenberger - VP, Nonprofit services & operations

May 18, 2015

Ten tips for networking - in the US

I recently had a chance to speak to a group of high school students at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Stem School...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 28, 2013

Nine ways to improve the board-staff relationship in a small nonprofit

It's important to nurture the relationship between your board and staff. I hear countless stories from small nonprofits...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

January 14, 2013

Planning in the midst of a chaotic world

I am a planner. I don’t do well operating in chaos or uncertainty. But in my line of work, my days are never the same...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

September 5, 2012

Making smart charitable decisions

I presented the topic of making smart charitable decisions to a group of smart, savvy businesswomen who wanted to know...
Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions

Amy Wong, president, Dot Org Solutions