Month: November 2010

  • How to get rabid fans for your nonprofit

    Queer Ideas got to wondering what it would take to make nonprofits have rabid fans like the fans of football teams: Fundraising isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that. (And this works no matter which game you call “football.”) Have an enemy Let your supporters know your results Give…

  • Stupid ad accuses repressive governments of absent-mindedness

    Another nonprofit tries to spread the word through inept abstraction! You probably know that in many parts of the world it’s dangerous to be a journalist. In fact, in the places where the light of news reporting is most needed, reporters are at best kept from doing their work — and at worst being jailed,…

  • Better landing pages, stronger fundraising

    You’d be crazy to create a direct mail package that got everything right — but with a reply coupon that was bland, irrelevant, and hard to use. Yet that’s exactly what happens all the time with fundraising landing pages: The email is full of energy and great reasons for people to click through … but…

  • When one picture is worth the wrong 1,000 words

    by guest blogger Steven Screen Yesterday these two letters arrived in my mailbox on the same day. One from World Vision: The other from American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA): Which one do you think donors are most likely to give to? The one with the photo of smiling kids drinking from juice-boxes? Or the…

  • Get those email subject lines right

    From Convio, a helpful, short tipsheet, Tips for Breakthrough Subject Lines (PDF; registrations required). The tips: Substance over style Watch the length Support the “From” line Write for deliverability Utilize deadlines to create a sense of urgency Be proactive Test, test, test I urge you to read this. The subject line is the most impactful…

  • Don’t “target” donors — be their target

    Do you “target” your donors? The Make Marketing History blog proposes that’s the wrong way to think, at: Why Targetting Is The Wrong Marketing Mindset. Good point: Targetting just oozes all the wrong connotations: the passive customer, the picking off of individuals as they stray into your corporate cross-hairs, not to mention the assumption that…

  • Borrow some tricks from magicians

    Here’s a fun post at Neuromarketing about the knowledge magicians use to create convincing illusions — and how that same knowledge can help us sell things: Six Selling Secrets From Magicians. Here they are, along with some ways they might apply to fundraising: People Focus on Only One Thing (So don’t load up your fundraising…

  • Fundraising and the Backward Brain

    Here’s my column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, Fundraising and the Backward Brain. Teaser: “The facts show that the time a donor is most likely to give is soon after giving. The more recently someone gave, the more likely she is to give again. This is counterintuitive, but factual. It is pure right-hemisphere speculation…

  • You don’t like it? Who cares?

    How many times have you heard comments like: That fundraising letter is too long — I never read anything over one page. I hate the color red. Get rid of it. Those short paragraphs make it look like you aren’t serious. I’d throw this message out without reading it. That’s the fast track to fundraising…