Month: March 2010

  • How to make nonprofit newsletters work

    A good look at good nonprofit newsletters at Karen Zapp’s blog: Write a newsletter donors and members WANT to read. Here are Karen’s characteristics of a newsletter that builds relationships with donors: Donors feel needed. You understand that donors don’t give to your charity. (They give through your charity to your cause.) You wrote for…

  • Fundraising Urban Legends Debunked

    Here’s my column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, Fundraising Urban Legends Debunked. Teaser: All the major ad agencies are owned by Beelzebub Holdings, and the work they do for nonprofits is part of a diabolical plot to make the nonprofit community appear to be clinically insane. They do this in hopes that nobody will…

  • The best use of punctuation for fundraisers

    I’m about to say some extremely geeky stuff. I’m a former English teacher. You’ve been warned. When it comes to punctuation, the more the better. That’s right. Punctuation is very good. It makes copy easier to read. Contrary to what you may have been told, sprinkle those little marks into your copy with abandon. Lots…

  • Brand cops mandate stupid Haiti ad

    File this one under “Brand Cops Out of Control.” That’s the best explanation I can come up with. This winner from Oxfam UK was uncovered by BlueFrog Creative, in a post that takes it and another Haiti print ad to task: Fundraiser’s Friday quiz question: the answer(s). BlueFrog noted the problematic positioning of the coupon…

  • How do you love your donors? Start counting the ways

    Say nice things about your donors. Really, it’s a smart thing to do. A study reported at the Neuromarketing blog Flattery Will Get You Somewhere, shows the surprising power that even baldly insincere flattery: … even when we realize we are being flattered, and “correct” for that when we think about the flatterer, there is…

  • Asking your pledgers for more doesn’t hurt

    If you have a monthly pledge giving program, I’m willing to bet you’d rather swallow a fly than send extra appeals to your pledgers. Your reasoning, I imagine, is that sending extra appeals will violate the unwritten contract with pledgers, who give what they’re going to give and shouldn’t be prodded to do more than…

  • Lists of banned words can weaken your fundraising

    Over at the Network for Good Learning Center there was a post recently called 6 Words Nonprofit Should Avoid in 2010. Not long after, readers chipped in with more words to avoid, at 20 Additional Words for Nonprofits to Avoid. These included words like: Stakeholder Program Resources Robust Transparent Empower Wonderful Most writers, most people…

  • Looking into text-to-give? Think twice!

    Have you been caught up in the text-giving gold rush? If so, slow down for a few minutes and consider a few things. It might not be as great as it sounds. First, check out this post at Mashable: 5 Real Challenges For Non-Profit Texting Campaigns. Close examination of texting-based fundraising reveals a wide variety…

  • 70% of nonprofits don’t deserve donors

    It’s so discouraging when you think about it. We work so hard to get people to give. We read books and blogs. We go to conferences. We study, ask for advice, hire experts. All to get just a few more donors on board, supporting our good causes. Then we flush it all by not thanking…

  • Babywear that can help you raise more funds

    Wow! I almost wish I had babies in the house again so I could legitimately order this. Guess I’ll have to wait for grandchildren. If your organization struggles with jargon or has especially malignant brand standards, maybe you should hire a baby to hang around your office to remind you to talk normal — and…