A CDP Milestone: 200+ Stations Strong


After languishing at the 199 mark for some time (OK, maybe just a few months), CDP is happy to announce that our collaboration is now over 200 strong.

Virgin Island’s WTJX, a joint licensee all of us are dying to pay a visit to, is the station that gave us the official bump to 200.

wjtxNot to be outdone by her sunny sister, Rhode Island PBS also joined us in the same week, bringing the grand total of signed, participating CDP stations to 201. Given the proximity in timing, we felt it would be cruel not to give RIPBS the honorable mention.


Welcome aboard to both!

Google Announces New Rules for Mobile

Google recently announced two changes on their Webmaster Central Blog that stations should be aware of. The goal Google says, is to improve search results and the overall user experience. 

First up is pop-ups, or interstitial messaging that is intrusive in nature. Any pop-up messaging that covers content will not rank as highly in search results, warns Google. Changes to rankings will take effect as of January 10, 2017. Google notes that viewing content that is not immediately accessible on a small screen is “problematic” and the photos below give specific examples of what that means.


Of course this change could also be problematic for fundraisers who use pop-ups to ask for donations. Stations are advised to use caution and do a review of their websites to see what category any interstitial messaging falls into. Allyson Kapin from Care2‘s online social action network discussed her concerns in a blog post, wondering if “Google will soon penalize popups on desktop, which could negatively impact SEO for nonprofit websites.”

Not all interstitial messaging is considered intrusive, and the examples pictured below show that sometimes it’s essential. Search rankings will not be affected by banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismiss-able. Legal information, age verification and cookie warnings will remain unaffected, as will login dialog boxes.



The second change of note is that Google will be removing the “mobile friendly” label they added a few years ago to search results. Currently, users see results as pictured here. googlepost3According to Google, since 2014 there has been a vast improvement in mobile-optimization of websites. They claim that 85% of all search results now meet the criteria for a mobile friendly web page and thus plan to streamline search results for a less cluttered look in 2017.

Stations wishing to understand this criteria better can drop their URL into Google’s Mobile Friendly Test for an analysis of a particular page within your site, or the Mobile Usability Report in Google’s webmaster tools tests for friendliness across your entire website.

Will the new ranking rules impact your station? In the spirit of collaboration, CDP often shares station experiences out for the benefit of all. Tell us about it and we may feature your station here.

Kaizen: The Future of Fundraising


Kaizen – Japanese for “good change” – is a concept Blackbaud Chief Scientist Chuck Longfield feels all organizations can benefit from, nonprofit or otherwise. The philosophy, a consistent drive to be better, do better and innovate more, certainly permeates everything Longfield approaches. No resting on your laurels for this fundraising and technology guru!

In the newest report from npENGAGE, The Fundamentals of Fundraising, Longfield introduces us to the why; quite literally the ethos behind this report which, divided into four sections, packs an informative punch:

  • Section 1: Fundamentals
  • Section 2: Evolution of the Sector
  • Section 3: Technology
  • Section 4: Harnessing the Future

This kaizen philosophy goes beyond simple idealism and ascribes to the notion that one should not only strive to do better but that it’s a distinct responsibility of organizations to do so.

In flipping through this report, be ready to get inspired and energized. Discover new ways to look at the “same old same old”: for example, a related video recommended by contributor to the report, Karen Osborne. Check out How Great Leaders Inspire Action: 18 minute TED talk by Simon Sinek, author of the classic “Start With Why” and see how “getting limbic” with your marketing strategy can result in a more loyal brand following. This talk was aimed at the for-profit industry, but there’s no reason stations can’t benefit from Sinek’s mindset.

How is your station implementing kaizen? Send CDP a story about station improvement and we’ll feature you here and give you a virtual gold star.

****Click here to open the full “Future of Fundraising” report.

Did You Miss It? CDP Webinar Recap


If you miss any of our webinars, you needn’t worry. We record them and post the links to our website within 24 hours.

Just last week, CDP hosted a webinar discussing the results from a recent Facebook test conducted in conjunction with the Digital Engagement Council (DEC) and ActionSprout. In addition to Michal and Brooks’ comments, guest speakers on the webinar include the DEC’s Jennifer Strachan, as well as Sarah Francis and Drew Bernard from ActionSprout.

If you’re a nonprofit looking to maximize Facebook as a fundraising or engagement platform, ActionSprout can help. Their sole mission is helping nonprofits unlock the fullest possible potential from Facebook. ActionSprout, determined to help organizations bring their A-game in terms of fundraising strategy, has developed a tool that snaps into Facebook and helps track engagement, among other things.

Don’t miss this highly informative and unique content: click here to watch now.

***You may be prompted for a password – if you need a reminder, contact us.

Donor Retention Tips from npENGAGE


Donor Retention: The Easiest Money You’ll Ever Raise

An apt metaphor author Gail Perry uses for donor churn is a fundraising “treadmill” in which organizations work very hard to bring in new donors as the current ones “fly out the window.” How to stop this incessant cycle is the big question on all our collective minds and this npEngage post has excellent tips on instilling that much-desired loyalty in your organization’s donors. Check out their 20-point tip list on everything from timing of the “Thank You” and continued engagement.

As you check out this list, bear in mind that dissatisfaction may not be a factor in donor drop-off; that simple apathy may play a role. Your typical social media user is processing 285 pieces of content each day. Much of the list Perry compiles for readers is centered around a consistent and multi-pronged engagement of donors in a way that makes your organization literally unforgettable. A relational approach is outlined within these steps that will ensure you’re on the donor’s radar in a positive way.

Tips on retention should be used on all donors, including Sustainers. In fact, having a Sustainer program is one of the best ways to reduce donor-churn. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’re trying to reduce Sustainer drop-off our Sustainer Best Practices Checklist can help. It’s uber-organized with linked assets where applicable and a prioritization system built in so you can delegate tasks among your membership team.

If you’re ready to take steps toward change, CDP has culled the research for you (and not just for Sustainers) – straight out of the National Reference File (NRF). You may know about CDP’s beloved Fundraising Checklists, but have you taken a peek at our Fundraising Calculators? There is a retention calculator for Sustainers as well as a Long Term Value calculator (LTV) which will show the value of members acquired through all your fundraising channels. Thinking ahead to end-of-year strategies or your FY giving push, organically map out how and when some of Perry’s retention tips might be used and start delegating those tasks ahead of time.

If you have a success story about retention at your station you’d like to share, please contact us!

CDP in the News: Currrent.org


CDP Executive Director Michal Heiplik was interviewed by Current for the second time this month, this time with an eye toward tracking Sustainer trends in fundraising.

In the article, which asserts that growth is tapering off but still happening, Heiplik is asked about trends among the stations that CDP tracks for the quarterly ROAR report. Citing a drop-off that began last year, he says “we used to be able to retain 90 percent of Sustainers by month 13; that number in the first quarter of this year is at 83 percent.”

Current journalist Dru Sefton writes that “TV stations continue to battle the popularity of transactional pledge and its focus on thank-you gifts. Donors may still confuse a sustaining membership, which continues indefinitely, with a yearlong installment plan, and request to end donations after that point. Smaller stations with fewer resources continue to face challenges in prioritizing sustainer work.”

Pledge is one of the most powerful ways to achieve the conversion from a transactional to sustaining donor. Check out CDP’s Best Practices Checklist to find ways to mitigate Sustainer drop-off from your donor files. The chart above, sourced from Target Analytics, highlights some recent stats: click through to see the full text of the recent Current article: Public TV Sustainer Growth May Be Slowing But Still Shows Progress.


Earlier this month, Current published “Pubcasters Refine Tactics for Acquiring Donors Through Canvassing”, an update on the CDP revival of door-to-door canvassing that has raised over $14 million for participating stations in the last 5 years.