impact stories blog

Don’t Miss Out! Webinar on Planned Giving Success: Get Started and Grow

The baby boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the world’s population.  As these donors are approaching their mid-70s, this is the time to start focusing on acquiring bequests and planned gifts.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy is hosting a webinar that will teach you how to build a successful planned giving program from the bottom up.  Help donors make meaningful gifts and create legacies for both your generous supporters and your organization.

Please join Impact’s resident planned giving expert Meg Roberts on September 26th, along with Nicole Engdahl of the National Park Foundation in this engaging session.  During the webinar, you will learn strategies to get results and inspire donors to keep giving.

Don’t miss this opportunity: act fast and reserve your spot today!  The early-bird rate is $79, regularly priced at $99.

Webinar: Planned Giving Success: Get Started and Grow

Thursday, September 26th | 2:00 PM EDT




“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

– Elizabeth Andrew

Join us! AARP Foundation Celebration of Service Meal Pack Challenge

The Impact Communications team will once again be volunteering at the AARP Foundation Meal Pack Challenge on Wednesday, September 11th.  Come out and join us on this National Day of Remembrance & Service.  Let’s help bring the city closer together and pack 1 million meals for the seniors in our community.

You can sign up at  For more information, email

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

National Mall

12th Street and Jefferson St., SW

Washington, DC. 20245


The Copy Clinic

Are you struggling with the messaging for your campaigns?

Are you getting poor results from mailings?

Do you want to raise more money?

If you answered “yes,” then please join Barry Cox and Impact’s own Kathy Swayze, CFRE, for a half-day Copy Clinic on Thursday, October 17th, from 9 am-12 pm. Learn some of their distinctive secrets on spicing up your copy for better results. Hosted by DMAW, this workshop will give you an extra boost to improve your storytelling and messaging with interactive and hands-on training.

Please bring samples of your direct response copy for a one-on-one consultation with the experts. Follow their steps for a successful campaign!

The Copy Clinic

Thursday, October 17th| 9 am – 12 pm

AARP | 601 E St NW 4thFloor, Washington, DC




Many stories matter.  Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign.  But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize.  Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.

– Chimiamanda Nogozi Adichie

Take My Money: The True Love Edition

Take My Money is an occasional series featuring creative inspiration straight from Impact’s mailbox

Ok, Elizabeth Dole Foundation . . .you already had us with the “Happy birthday to my wife” package from distinguished American military veteran and Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole asks us to send a gift in honor of Senator Elizabeth Dole’s birthday to support her work to mobilize resources for military caregivers. But when you add in this line . . .

As deep as the ocean, as high as the sky – that is how proud I am of my wife and her work to recognize the profound service of our military caregivers.

. . . well now you’ve got me running for my checkbook. Keep up the good work Elizabeth Dole Foundation. We are proud to be partnering with you.




There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ― Maya Angelou

“If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else” – Toni Morrison

We mourn the loss of Toni Morrison last week and take time in this week’s blog to share a bit of her legacy. She was one of the greatest writers and storytellers of our time and we adore her.

Toni Morrison was one of the most respected novelists in American literature and one of the most influential figures in the world.  She also spent time here in Washington, DC. She attended Howard University and later returned as a professor.

Toni believed that books have an ethical responsibility to shape society and culture.  Her understanding of race and its role in both history and culture emerged boldly in her writings. Morrison played an important role in bringing black literature into the mainstream through her many books including Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Song of Solomon and many more.

During her career, she won many prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the National Humanities Medal.

Toni Morrison’s work inspires our team at Impact Communications and will continue to inspire many generations of writers in the future.  Just like Toni, we try to use words powerfully every day to make positive change in the world.  Toni’s words, sentences, paragraphs and books will continue to live within us for many years to come.

Rest in power Toni. We love you.


“By Kim Searight”


Mid-Level Giving: The Middle School of the Donor Pyramid

As Jan Brady showed us on The Brady Bunch, being stuck in the middle is complicated.

Remember what middle school was like? Those life lessons can be applied to your mid-level program.

  • No one knows where they fit in. They’re not big enough for some things, they’re not small enough for others. This means in order to connect with them, you’ll need to borrow a little from where they’re going and a little from where they’ve been.
  • People talk to them like they’re “just kids.” Just like that 8th grader who thinks he’s a fully independent adult, you’ll typically get a better reaction by using a voice and tone that’s more advanced than they really require. Don’t send your mid-level donors to the kiddie table.
  • They care about what YOU think of them. So pay attention to them! Preferably before they break out the poufy black wigs. Don’t let things get so extreme.
  • Remember where they began. Sometimes middle schoolers need a quick reminder of the values they were taught in elementary school. Even as you steward your mid-level donors towards higher giving levels, use that early information (Did they come in through the mail? Online? An event?) to connect with them and keep them engaged.
  • They have unparalleled B.S. detection. So be genuine with them! Like the middle school kids who shirk at a pat on the head, your mid-level donors will know when you’re treating them as simply one of the herd.
  • Appreciate that change is hard. These donors have already had the experience of low-dollar giving or membership. They’ve moved up and on. But they may not be ready to move again right away. Recognize them where they are, for what they’ve already done . . . and when they’re ready (and well-stewarded), some will surely “graduate” to major gifts!

Impact Receives AARP Supplier of the Year Award

Impact has had the pleasure of working with AARP Foundation since 2011 and have come to know the organization inside and out. Over the past eight years, we have written about the innovative work the Foundation does to support seniors in poverty – solving the big issues of income insecurity, hunger and safe housing.

But we have recently learned about the truly remarkable efforts of AARP and AARP Foundation in the area of diversity and inclusion.

You see, not only does AARP say that they support diverse businesses, they actually encourage their employees to partner with small businesses and women, minority, or veteran owned companies. It was inspiring to attend the AARP Supplier Diversity Awards & Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday as I heard the encouragement and rewards AARP offers their employees for partnering with companies that represent the many different communities the organization serves.

Impact Communications was named as one of AARP’s 2018 Suppliers of the Year through their Supplier Diversity Awards & Recognition Program. Receiving this award is an honor, but the true privilege was learning about yet another innovative way AARP is working to make our world better for all people.