Sarah Durham

Photo of Sarah Durham

Sarah is an entrepreneur and creative consultant with a passion for helping nonprofits communicate more effectively so they can advance their missions. 

She founded Big Duck (www.bigduck.com) in 1994 to help nonprofits increase their visibility, raise money, and communicate more effectively. In 2019, she acquired Advomatic (www.advomatic.com), to help them online. She spends her days guiding these businesses and talking with nonprofit leaders about their communications.

The author of Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2010), Sarah’s expertise has been borrowed by NPR, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Guidestar, and others. She is a sought-after speaker on branding, fundraising, and other nonprofit communications topics. She was named a “top fundraiser under 40” by Fundraising Success magazine in 2006, and one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company magazine in 2010. As an adjunct professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Sarah taught strategic communications to other aspiring nonprofit communicators for many years.

Posts by Sarah

Should your nonprofit switch its CMS?

Your nonprofit’s content management system was probably set up to meet your organization’s needs whenever your website was last built or updated. But changing something as critical as your CMS is scary. Should you abandon the “devil you know?” What if your new CMS is just as limiting, but in ways you can’t yet anticipate?  

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Advotalk: Nonprofit Communications Engine

The Nonprofit Communications Engine, Sarah Durham’s new book, helps nonprofit communicators and leaders to leverage communications in order to advance their mission. In this conversation, Sarah Durham will define what “success” means for nonprofit communications regardless of mission or size, and unpack the six core elements necessary to achieve it.   This invitation-only conversation with

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Advotalk: Bridging the Gap Between Content Creation and Technology

Fundraising. Programs recruitment. Advocacy. Marketing. The website is critical to advance each department’s goals online and organizations all have limited tech resources. Stanford University’s Marion Groh Marquardt will join Sarah Durham to share her techniques for engaging internal stakeholders, juggling tech and bandwidth restraints, and constantly improving a website in any size organization.    

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Who Really Owns Your Nonprofit’s Website?

The internet used to feel like the wild west. Websites sprung up like homesteads, built by an enterprising range of people using all sorts of source code. If you worked in the nonprofit sector in the 1990s, the odds are good that your organization built its first site in a proprietary system using custom-built code

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