2018 Tax Laws and Non-Profits

I have worked on websites and marketing since the mid-1990s. During that time, I have seen a lot of trends, fads, technology enhancements, and gimmicks used to attract customers and donors. No matter what tactics are executed, the person pulling out their credit cards and typing those numbers in the keyboard needs to know “WHY” they are giving.

A MAJOR MOTIVATION of donations may have been taken away in 2018…. Tax incentives.

The new tax law’s doubling of the standard deduction will substantially reduce the number of taxpayers that can benefit from the charitable contribution deduction. While this provision will provide a higher overall deduction for many taxpayers, it will also depress charitable giving because only those who itemize their deductions, instead of taking the standard deduction, get the benefit of a charitable contribution deduction.

The new tax law raises the standard deduction initially from $6,350 to $12,000 for single individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. Experts estimates that the provision will radically decrease the number of taxpayers who itemize their deductions – from about 30% of taxpayers in 2017 to 6% in 2018. As a result, charitable giving is expected to drop from between $12 billion to $20 billion per year, further resulting in a projected loss of significant non-profit jobs.

Having spent over a decade studying year-end giving, I have seen many online donations pour in during the last 48-hours of the year. I have surveyed many of these donors and know their “WHY” involved tax write-offs.

Yes, they could have given to any organization. But the “when” and “why” are effected by tax related motivations.

I think organizations will be taking a GIANT risk, if they wait until the last 2-days of the year to “see if the tax laws will have a negative affect on year-end giving in 2018.”

Here are my top recommendations for 2018:

  • Tighten down your marketing message – Do you have a solid elevator speech of your mission? Does your tag-line, website, donation page, welcome flows, collateral, business cards, presentations ALL match this message? If not, why not?
  • Make a 2018 marketing plan – Make sure your social media and outgoing email campaigns are shouting this mission/campaign/vision.
  • Test with a campaign push BEFORE December. You can’t wait to see if this will work in December. Do you have a Fiscal-Year-End?
  • Remind your donors WHY they give to your organization and WHY you depend on their gifts.
  • Make sure your Digital Plans are healthy. Have you had a Digital Audit? See how well your Communications team is communicating using the digital arsenal they are firing. Are they hitting what they are aiming towards? What weapons do they need to replace?

2018 is not the year to “see how it goes.” We must work even harder to incentivize our donors with reasons they should continue their much-needed support of our non-profits.

Todd Turner is a non-profit digital-specialist who specializes in tightening marketing messaging and story-telling for non-profits around the country. Having worked with organizations in the USA, Canada, China, Australia, Brazil, UK, Poland, and Romania, he has experienced many cultures, languages, mind-sets, and tax-laws. Each situation has been a learning experience and adds to the 20+ years of hand-on marketing and technology knowledge he has acquired.

Contact Todd Turner for a 2-day Digital Audit of your online marketing efforts or to consult your digital team each month.

2 Day Digital Audit



A Digital Audit is what many organizations need. Outside eyes can find holes and opportunities in strategies, ask the right questions, and look at the numbers objectively.

I offer a 2-Day Audit which gives analysis, advice, quick-fix, and long-term instructions.

We will get face-to-face for 2 straight days (Hopefully with lots of whiteboards) and discuss your website, e-commerce, social media, email campaigns, etc.

I can do audits with individuals (CEO, the V.P. of Marketing, Director of Web, etc) or with groups (Marketing teams, Communication teams, Web teams, etc) or combinations of the above during our 2 days.

What is a Digital Audit?

We start with these basic questions:
– What are you doing now? (Current campaigns, social, email, website)
– What do you want to do? (What are your goals? Mission?)
– Are you needing new names, donors, purchases, clients, or reservations? (What are your current numbers?)
– What are you capable of doing? (What are you willing to learn, delegate, invest, etc? How big is the team, vendors, and agencies.)

We will discuss:
Are you happy with your current website? App? Backend?
Define success? Pinpoint 3 month and 1 year goals.
Create a punch list for digital success.
I’ll give you tools, resources, ideas, decades of real-world experience, and speak in a language you will understand.

What we will do in your Digital Audit:
Get to know your organization, culture, and needs.
Discuss goals, assets, hurdles, and ideas.
Look at your websites, social media, emails, etc. for improvements and additions.
Look at overall branding and offer feedback and ideas.
Create Digital Plan for content, campaigns, goals, and/or leads.
Make sure you are prepared for success.

Why Todd Turner?

“When you’re looking for someone to guide you toward success in the digital domain, you need to engage Todd Turner.” – Roger Kemp

See what others have to say about working with Todd Turner.

Resume: I have been involved in the online donations or purchases of over $50,000,000+ worth of transactions. Both in business and non-profit organizations. I do not use gimmicks, am cautious about fads, but do stress accurate story-telling from an organization and building relationships with donors and purchasers. With a long track record of success, I work with organizations of all sizes across the country.

Contact me for more details and to find a date for me to travel to YOU and your team.

Call todd Turner

I can help two more…

It’s the busy time of the year. I know. We are all thinking and planning our year-end campaigns. We are right in the middle of our missions, objectives, and goals for 2017.

But, NOW IS THE TIME to work on the things that move the needle in December.

I have room for 2 more clients in 2017. I can help you move your campaigns forward with a new set of eyes and experience or I can help you formulate a plan.

Get a partner, not just a consultant. I can swim in the deep end with you. Just give me a call. 903.816.1010

Wondering if I can help?

“When you’re looking for someone to guide you toward success in the digital domain, you need to engage Todd Turner” – Roger Kemp of Kemp and Company

“His vision is clear and he pursues his projects with relentless ambition, aligning his team to show results” – Trent Ricker – CEO Pursuant Group

“Todd’s competence moves forward into a profoundly detailed execution to grow an organization from infancy to maturity.” – Rhome van Dyck – Sacra Script Ministries

“What makes Todd unique is the fact that while he is magnificently intelligent, he is also warm, approachable, open to ideas, creative, and fun. Look no further, Todd’s your guy!” Colleen Swindoll – reFraming Ministries

View more testimonials.



The Worst Consultant Ever

World’s Worst Consultant

No one likes a know-it-all. You know the type – The Type A, with all the answers, before you even finish stating your challenges. The guy with the cookie-cutter, best practices in his back pocket… ready to wow you with some things he took from a TedTalk, a YouTube video, or an info-graphic from Pinterest.

We all dread a guy coming in and telling us “things we can’t do” or things we could have just researched ourselves.

Who needs a consultant? Why bring in a guy you don’t really know? Can an outsider really help your organization anyway?

The Down Side:

  • May have to hear some bad jokes
  • Might have to challenge some “sacred cows”
  • Some team members will assume “we are already are doing great!”
  • Might not have RIO

The Upside:

  • A fresh prospective
  • Success stories in the industry
  • Knowledge of trends
  • Low hanging fruit to-do list
  • Another resource / friend
  • A outsider voice to help key decisions
  • Locating a resource who can move the needle
  • May pay for itself 10x-100x times over

There is a saying among consultants “Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expire.”

I have never liked to call myself a consultant and I don’t “sell ideas”. I use the phrase Digital Guide. I take pride in being a partner, not a hired gun. Ideas and opportunities come and go. But a Guide points you in the right direction. Shows you landmines and opportunities.

My goal is to be the voice in the room that asks the right questions to help organizations find their pain points (not just the ones they think they have… the other ones). I help teams discover their areas of improvement. I point management towards options and assist laying out a plan to get us from “here to there.”

Through the years have helped companies and organizations bring in over $40,000,000 online through donations or purchases. I know I can help your organization too. Having lead web teams of “2” to running a Communication team of 17, I have seen how businesses work with in-house teams, through outsourcing, and everything in between.

Most of my clients ask me to come back before I ever leave. I take pride in that.

My name is Todd Turner and I hope to never be on your “Worst Consultant in the World” list. It doesn’t mean all my jokes will be funny!

Contact me to today to see if I can help your organization tell “Its Story.”

“When you’re looking for someone to guide you toward success in the digital domain, you need to engage Todd Turner.Todd knows how to spot complicated problems and he knows how to fix them without overspending.

But the best part is that Todd understands how to cultivate relationships through the internet that yield the desired results for your organization.I have watched Todd provide strategic leadership for more than ten years and I am confident he will become a valued member of your team.

Invite Todd to attend your management meetings, watch him interact with your staff, and let him bring your digital efforts to the next level.”

Roger Kemp – President of “Kemp and Company”


What do I do for a living?

I am frequently asked “What do you do for a living?” Due to the nature of my work and skill sets, I even get asked by my wife, kids, and family members… “What do we tell people you do?”

Since I have worked in the Web world since the mid-1990s, some assume I build websites (still). Some know I have lead communication teams, so they assume I am in Marketing. Some remember I lead an I.T. department, so I must be a “techie.” (This one is way off) 😉

What do I do….?

Because I needed an elevator speech with my new business, I have had to think long and hard about “what do I do and how do I explain it succinctly?”

After much reflection I can say…

I help organizations tell their story!!!

– I help organizations tell their story (Who we are, Why we are, How donors and volunteers can help.)
– I help organizations with their ministry and mission (How can we use technology to do more?)
– I help organizations collect new names (How do we let people know more about us?)
– I help organizations convert new names to donors (How do we get people involved in our mission?)
– I help 1st time donors become partners. (How do we gain true partners?)

I leverage social media, print, email, websites, or apps to spread the non-profit’s story. I weave this storytelling into ALL channels so listeners hear a consistent message from the organization.

I work with internal teams. I work with Web vendors. I work with agencies. I work with script writers. I work with content writers. I work with all the departments, voices, and influencers to create “one voice.”

Every organization is unique, yet they all have many of the same needs and concerns. I assist in customizing communication strategies built for their goals, uniqueness, and resources.

I LOVE what I do. I love seeing God work through people and organizations to further His kingdom work. I am blessed to be a small part of that.

I get a big thrill walking into a non-profit, organization, or business and learning what makes them unique… then getting to work helping them craft and proclaim their STORY!!!!

If you want to see if your organization is a match for my skillsets… give me a call or text 903-816-1010.

Digital Story Teller

Social Media Management

Why, How, What?

Most companies and organizations focus on the “what”… what do we do? What do we sell? What special do we offer right now?

It’s how they communicate… in collateral, on their websites, and even social media.

Some really stretch into the “how” … We do it better. We care more. We do it with LED and super technology.

Few venture into the the “why”… This is why we do what we do. This is why this organization was started. This is why we are driven.

Planning your strategy won’t happen accidentally.

Communicating your “why,” finding and telling your story, branding your organization does not happen accidentally.

There is an “Art to Storytelling.”

There is an art to telling your story online, on social media.

What do I post?

How often?

Should I “boost?”

What is my call to action?

How many clicks did I get?

What is this going to cost me?

Are we successful?

Do my posts match my brand?

Am I confusing my customers or donors?

If you can’t answer these questions, you may need to bring in a “Social Media Expert.”

I can analyze your current social media campaign and/or I can take over for you. Some organizations just ask me to manage every post, every report, every announcement. I am happy to do either.

Call me to today and let’s discus how you can communicate your organization’s message online!!!

If our donors only knew

Believe me, I trust you… your non-profit is amazing. No one does it like you. No one cares as much as you do. Your mission is WORTHY.

So why aren’t your donors giving more? Why isn’t there a line out the door of new donors excited to be a part of your mission?

You mean our donors don’t wake up each day and think about US? Most Americans are busy with their own life, really?

Digital guide(2)

I’m not a helicopter parent. I don’t micro-manage my kids lives. But, I have learned a valuable lesson. No one cares about my kids more than I do. Teachers, coaches, principles all have “other” concerns and my kids are just “ONE” of them. Sometimes I have to bring an injustice to the attention of a leader (In a kind way, of course)  I have no doubt the adults in my children’s lives are great people who care about my children’s well being … but my children’s upbringing are NOT their 1st concern each day.

Same with your organization.

Not every event will be attended by your key donors. Not every email read. Not every direct mail piece will be opened. And they won’t memorize your mission statement either.

You’re selling your message and they are buying with their time. It is a CROWDED space.

How often do you talk to your donors? What channels? Do you only scream vs update? Do you follow up with campaign details?

Does your social media tell your story? Give updates? Do you time posts with direct-mail? Email? Broadcasts?

Donors need tickled. Reminded. Asked. They don’t wake up each day and think of the mission of your non-profit. How you talk to them and how often can be a gentle reminder that YOU help THEM realize their passions… through YOUR MISSION!

Contact Todd Turner to set up a one-day, on-site consult. You will receive ¾ day of face-to-face discussions and a follow-up recap of next-step solutions your team can implement.


Converting Facebook Likes into …

I promise you, when I was running Insight for Living’s Communications department, I went kicking and screaming into the social media world.

We definitely took the “wade in the shallow and walk towards the deep” approach.


Could we justify the time it takes, the resources, the energy to post to Facebook and generate “Likes?” What good are a bunch of “Likes” anyways?

We re-purposed a lot of content & created a fairly easily-manageable upload schedule and sat back. With higher frequency rates of posts, we saw growth in our following. But after about a year… we plateaued.

So, back to the original question…

Could we justify the time it takes, the resources, the energy to post to Facebook and generate “Likes?” What good are a bunch of “Likes” anyways?

We decided to take a closer look. We took inventory of the type of posts we made, like/share counts, time of day, etc.

After our deep analysis, we made some major changes… all of them really not a lot of work… and saw amazing results. We saw a GIANT jump in followers on #Twitter and #Facebook. Likes and Shares went through the roof. We gained almost 200,000 new likes for our Facebook fan page in a short time.

With our new following we began setting up small campaigns on Facebook to draw fans to our website… to convert “Likes to Emails.”

The biggest issue we found to be true … Your campaign MUST align with your organization’s mission. Be true to YOU. (Don’t offer free fishing lures.)

(We already knew how to convert emails to donors: See “Drip. Drip. Drip” Blog post)

If you want to learn some proven tactics on growing and converting Likes, please contact me. I’d be happy to help. IT CAN BE DONE!

Non-Profit-Facebook (PDF Download)

Contact Todd Turner to set up a one-day, on-site consult. You will receive ¾ day of face-to-face discussions and a follow-up recap of next-step solutions your team can implement.