Sponsoring Seattle WordCamp 2018

Seattle WordCamp is this weekend at the Washington State Convention Center at 705 Pike Street. Weekend tickets are still available for $40.

If you manage a WordPress site, here are some presentations to consider:

Saturday, November 10

Sunday, November 11

Browse the full Word Camp Seattle schedule

5 Communication Tips to Inspire Nonprofit Donors

  1. Understand what donors care about – and make them the hero.
    Donors are deeply interested in how their gift did or will make a difference. Let them know specifically what you did with their money. They also want to know what would happen if they gave you more. That’s your vision. Be sure to make it big and bold. And, they want to be thanked, personally and frequently. In addition, don’t focus on how wonderful your organization is. Tell donors how wonderful they are. Instead of “Our organization fed 100 hungry kids thanks to private donations,” tell donors, “You helped feed 100 hungry kids.”
  2. Don’t talk just about your needs.
    The time-honored adage in fundraising remains true. Donors don’t fund organizations that have needs. They fund organizations that meet needs. Talk about the need in the context of what the donor can do to fix the problem.
  3. Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ more than ‘we’ and ‘our’.
    YOU is the most powerful word in donor communications. Research shows that donors give more when they feel personally responsible, over and above “we’re in this together.”
  4. Communicate without asking for money.
    Your stewardship communications should out-frequent your solicitation communications by at least two to one, preferably even more. Organizations that communicate solely with their hand out risk losing valued donors. Thank-you letters, e-newsletters and emails, print newsletters, personal thank-you phone calls, holiday cards, love notes from clients – all can make a real difference in keeping donors in the fold.
  5. Tell stories that illustrate donors’ impact.
    Storytelling inspires bigger gifts! Let the people you serve illustrate how much the donor achieved.

For more help with nonprofit communication:

Moore Ink. PR & Fundraising Communications

5 Reasons You May Not Receive Email

“Why am I not getting all my emails?”

I field this question a lot, too often, from smaller clients, particularly those using shared hosting platforms.

Here are the top 5 reasons you may not receive email

  1. The spam filter on your local computer
  2. Your or the sender ISP’s spam filter
  3. Your web host filter – such as SpamAssassin, a popular spam tool for Apache-based hosting servers
  4. Incorrect mail server configuration – such as SPF, DKIM, DMARC, MX and other settings
  5. User error – such as misspelling your email address.

Internet email system is a non-confirming delivery protocol. This means that there is no guarantee that an email sent from you will be delivered to the intended recipient(s). (Text messages are even worse – do not get me started) Do not assume email will be delivered to a recipient if no “undeliverable” message is returned to you.

Email can be blocked due to a blacklisted IP Address, too many spam trigger words/characters in an email, etc.

Prior to 2014, up to 90% of all email was spam, mostly related to pharma drugs. ISPs use tools like the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 to fight spammers thru lawsuits.

Today, almost 50% of all email is still spam. In 2018, alleged spam kingpin Peter Yuryevich Levashov (‘Severa’) was extradited to the US and pleaded guilty to  federal hacking and spamming charges. This 37-year old Russian computer programmer is thought to be the world’s most notorious spammer.

Globally, only 1 out of 5 emails do not reach its intended recipient. As much as 80% of spam received by Internet users in North America and Europe can be traced to fewer than 200 spammers – with 20% originating from the United States.

5 Ways to Improve Your Email Deliverability

  1. Choose a web/email host with a dedicated IP Address
    This isolates your email from other (possible spam) senders on a shared hosting IP Address
  2. Host your email with a reputable third-party,
    Popular email hosts include Google Mail and Microsoft Office 365
  3. Avoid spam trigger words in your email
    Obvious terms such as Viagra increase the chance your email will be filtered. Excessive punctuation can also trigger spam filters.
  4. Use a third-party bulk email provider
    If you need to send emails to > 25 recipients – try Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Vertical Response.
  5. Pick up the phone!
    Ok, I know that last one has nothing to do with email. But if you need to guarantee your message reaches its audience, then nothing is more effective than 2-way communication.

Need help configuring your email?

For Apple users: contact Tim Hannon at Sound Support
For Windows users: contact Network Technologies

Learn More

Lookup your Domain on Blacklists at MX Toolbox

Email Spam [Wikipedia]

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime – from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs, security expert

Krebs on Spam Nation


5 Alternative Domain Registrars to GoDaddy

Looking for a domain registrar alternative to GoDaddy, the largest in the world? There are thousands of ICANN-accredited registrar choices. Here are some of my favorites that generally offer more affordable pricing and often more intuitive User Interfaces for making DNS changes.

  1. Cloudflare
    My new favorite domain registrar service with no-markup pricing from my favorite Content Delivery Network.
  2. Google Domains
    From $12/year. The Big Gorilla. Killer Kahuna. Or Big Brother, if you prefer. Particularly useful if you use lots of other Google services.
  3. Hover
    Domains from $12.99. Owned by Internet giant Tucows. Free Whois Privacy included.
  4. Enom
    Another Tucows affiliate – but based in Kirkland, Washington!
  5. Dotster
    Domains from $9.99/year

Tip: many domain registrars provide domain hosting as well. And some of these accredited registrars tie your (annual) domain registration and (monthly) hosting accounts together. Meaning you must continue to pay a monthly fee to your ‘domain registrar’ if you ever choose to change your domain host. For this and other reasons, my recommendation is to keep your domain registration and hosting separate.


5 Ways to Share Login Passwords More Securely

  1. Password Pusher
    Limited to sharing passwords only
  2. QuickForget
  3. Text
    Note: Apple uses end-to-end encryption to protect iMessages on iPhones. However, Android users must configure a third-party encryption tool, such as Signal, to secure text messages from prying eyes.
  4. Phone Call
    Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
  5. In Person
    Sounds even crazier, right?!

And remember, secure passwords should:

  1. Be at least 14 characters
  2. Include alpha, numeric and special characters
  3. Include upper and lower case letters
  4. Not include any real words
  5. Be unique – i.e. not used anywhere else