Month: May 2011

  • Act like a church for better fundraising

    The original fundraiser is the house of worship. Nonprofit organizations that are not houses of worship are a fairly new thing. Smart nonprofits would pay some attention to fundraising techniques developed over thousands of years by houses of worship. That’s why I read at the Get off the Couch blog post, 4 things nonprofits can…

  • Stories bridge the age gap for fundraisers

    I think I’m pretty cool. In fact, my middle-aged friends and I are way cooler than most people in their 20s and 30s — who are, frankly, kind of dweeby and clueless as a group. Okay, that’s just ageism. But we all think that way. We prefer people of our own age group and tend…

  • How to make survey research work for you

    Yesterday, I unloaded on the Cygnus 2011 North American Donor Survey. I warned how flaws inherent in survey research in general and in the Cygnus study itself make it a dangerous piece of knowledge that could lead nonprofits badly astray. But that doesn’t mean all surveys are a big joke or the equivalent of toxic…

  • Survey research can lead fundraisers to trouble

    There’s some new research out there that’s getting a lot of blog-love. It’s the Cygnus 2011 North American Donor Survey. Beware. It’s not the fountain of actionable truth folks make it out to be. If you make major decisions based on the Cygnus survey, you risk real damage to your fundraising program. (Go here to…

  • What you can learn from the re-branding of carrots

    Everybody knows you should eat carrots. And we wish our kids would eat carrots instead of corn chips. A recent article in Fast Company shows how someone is getting kids (and grownups) to eat carrots: How Carrots Became the New Junk Food. They did something weird and utterly brilliant: They re-branded carrots. Specifically, they made…

  • Bin Laden killing and charitable giving

    Last week after Osama bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team, donations to The Navy SEAL Foundation went through the roof, according to this AP story. It’s easy to see why. One of those news stories that gets everyone’s attention was out there. The SEAL Foundation has a clear and logical connection to…

  • Super easy improvement for your online fundraising

    Here’s a quick and shockingly easy way to improve your online fundraising, from John Haydon’s blog: Five ways to simplify landing pages on your nonprofit’s website. It all boils down to removing barriers from your landing pages: Get rid of links to your social media sites. Get rid of any polls, ads or news announcements.…

  • How not to alienate your donors

    If you think clearly about fundraising, you realize it’s largely a form of “elder marketing.” But that knowledge can lead you astray if you don’t know your audience. That’s the important point from the Direct Creative Blog at The dos and don’ts of marketing to today’s seniors. Seniors nowadays have some different approaches to their…

  • Your elevator speech doesn’t go to the top floor

    You know the mythical elevator speech? It’s that 30-second rundown of what you are your company does that you would give if you talked to strangers on elevators. Tom Ahern, writing at Asking Matters (Make an Elevator Speech that Works), describes an exercise he does with nonprofit people where they write their own elevator speeches.…

  • Obama giving looks like a Boomer giving

    Newsflash: President and Mrs. Obama are Boomers. It shows in their giving. In 2010, the Obamas gave a generous 14% of their income to charity. That amounted to just over $245,000, and it went to 36 charities. They fit the Boomer pattern of having a rounded, conscious portfolio of organizations that reflect their passions and…