Month: October 2010

  • Halloween special: Things that should scare fundraisers

    In honor of Halloween, when we seek that thrill of tiny fingers on the back of the neck, here are some things that should scare the heck out of fundraisers: Data problems. Bad data can kill your fundraising in the most gruesome and terrifying ways. You can end up talking to the wrong people, not…

  • Words that can help us think more clearly

    From Roy Williams’ excellent MondayMorningMemo, here’s a piece about some new ways to think about how we motivate donors to act: What to Say. Williams says, “New ideas are carried by new words.” And he has a list of some of these new words and how they apply to marketing and advertising. They’re all good,…

  • How to deal with those pesky cross-channel donors

    Recent research done for Dunham+Company has some interesting findings about the ways donors mix channels when they give: Direct Mail a Critical Driver of Online Giving Before I go on though, I need to briefly do my standard rant about survey research: A survey tells you what people say. That’s not necessarily what they actually…

  • Most stupid ad concept, bar none

    Here’s a doozy, done for Amnesty International Poland by one of the all-time great purveyors of nonprofit stupidity, Leo Burnett (Warning: Out-of-control website that might make your brain implode.) The ad industry relies on visual puns to communicate things. (You seldom win awards by just coming out and saying something.) Given the assignment of getting…

  • How to have more and better ideas

    Here’s a great TED Talk by author Steven Johnson: “Where good ideas come from.” (Or see it here.) Key point: Chance favors the connected mind. And coffee houses are good.

  • 7 ways to screw up your e-appeals

    Here are some things not to do when sending marketing emails, according to the Lyris HQ blog, at 7 Deadly Sins of Email Marketing. They pretty much also apply to fundraising emails. Don’t do these things: Send email they didn’t ask for. Send unexpected email that’s different from what they did ask for. Send email…

  • 4 ways to overcome the digital “emotion deficit”

    I think a lot of us have suspected that email carries less emotional weight than messages delivered on paper. The Neuromarketing reports on a study that shows this to be true: Paper Beats Digital For Emotion. Get the study itself here: Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail (PDF). Key findings: More processing…

  • 10 tips for great newsletter interviews

    by guest blogger Jennifer Miller A great donor newsletter is filled with powerful stories that reveal the lives of real people. Too often, though, newsletters read like meeting notes from an advisory board luncheon. Compelling stories that motivate donors don’t just drop out of the sky. Landing an interview with someone who can talk about…

  • Want gifts? Don’t do these things

    Here’s some advice from Church Giving Matters for churches encouraging their people to give. It applies well to other fundraising: 3 do’s and don’ts when preaching on giving. I especially want to point out the don’ts: Don’t apologize for talking about money. Don’t believe that people will just give. Don’t forget to connect money to…

  • About the blogger

    Jennifer Miller has lost count of the number of interviews she’s conducted over the years. Her stories have appeared in nonprofit newsletters, metro newspapers, national magazines, and books. She feels honored to have spent the past 25 years of her career as a writer and creative guru in the direct response world, penning campaigns for…