Month: March 2010

  • Book review: checklists keep us on track

    by guest blogger George Crankovic Like most of us, I think of myself as a capable professional. And that, I discovered, is exactly the problem. I discovered it in a remarkable book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, a doctor and surgeon. (Available at Amazon and Powell’s.) Gawande explains that most surgeons bristle at…

  • How to raise the big bucks

    Other than Zimbabwe, where can you get your hands on the big bucks? Here are three easy ways: Talk to your best donors. No really — talk to them. Engage them in actual conversation. If they knew you cared about their opinions, many of them would be thrilled. And give more. Don’t go silent on…

  • Plea for creativity uncovers the empty heart of advertising

    In case you need a reminder why you should never work with ad agencies, here’s one from Adrants, a blog that showcases work from the advertising industry: New Ideas Are Few and far Between in the Advertising Business. It’s a plea for more creativity and originality in ads. And that’s fine. But the reasons for…

  • The magic ingredient for nonprofit employee productivity

    Here’s a cool study from the Inside Influence Report that shows how you can improve the effectiveness of your staff: A Great Recipe for Employee Productivity…in Five Easy Minutes. The study went like this: The first group read about the personal benefits of the jobs — financial rewards and development of skills The second group…

  • Seven more ways to write better fundraising copy

    Here’s good copywriting advice from the Word Wealth blog: 7 Time Tested Tips for Making Your Advertising Work. Most of these make as much sense in fundraising as they do in advertising: Tell a story. Use cliches. Never write any marketing pieces if you do not believe in what it is you are selling or…

  • 5 ways to know if a fundraising consultant is lying

    How can you tell if a fundraising consultant is lying? His lips are moving. Sorry. Wrong joke. I should emphasize that fundraising consultants are fine, upstanding people. They tell the truth literally dozens of times every year. I myself am a fundraising consultant, and you know you can trust me. But many consultants have the…

  • Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: read it

    Run, don’t walk, to get the new free e-book from Network for Good, Homer Simpson for Nonprofits (PDF; registration required). You’ll get detailed knowledge from behavioral economics, applied to fundraising. Things like: The left brain need not apply. Stick to social norms, not market norms. Small, not big. Hope, not hopeless. Peer pressure still works.…

  • Lessons from Mr. Rogers for fundraising

    Copyblogger has a post about being a better blogger: The Mr. Rogers Guide to Blogging from the Heart. Thing is, these Mr. Rogers things make a lot of sense for fundraising too. Check them out: For your audience to love you, first you have to love them. And they have to know it. Before you…

  • Words: you have what it takes to motivate people to action

    I thought I was going to go a whole year without mentioning Super Bowl ads. No luck. Because an amazing ad for Google came up: Or watch it here on YouTube. The Neuromarketing blog noted at The Power of Text that the Google ad, which is made up of typed words (and some well-done sound-design)…

  • Here’s a cool idea for a web form

    Do you have the guts to try this? LukeW’s blog reports on a wild test online: “Mad Libs” Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40% That’s right, in split testing, the oddball “mad libs” form increased conversion 25-40% over the “normal” form. It worked in that case. That doesn’t mean it will work for you. But it…