Month: November 2011

  • Why it’s hard to raise funds online

    Here’s one of those depressing reminders of what we’re up against in email fundraising, from the Smart Insights Digital Marketing blog: The 3-5-7 rule for Email marketing. The rule goes like this: 3 seconds to get their attention with your subject line and the from line 5 seconds, once they’ve opened your message, to draw…

  • Stupid ads succeed in stroking egos while avoiding response

    If you create a stupid nonprofit ad and The New York Times runs an article about it before it ever appears in real life, you can probably declare victory, and get off scot-free despite the lack of fundraising that’s going to happen. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a shockingly stupid waste of time, money,…

  • Some magic words for fundraising

    From Otis Regrets, Using “magnet words” to make your copy work harder: You. (Or, better yet, the reader’s name used sparingly) New Free Save Guarantee/guaranteed Easy/simple/foolproof Proven Safe Best/better These are words with special power to get readers’ attention and encourage them to respond. Not all are well-suited for fundraising, but it’s worth your trouble…

  • How fear of failure strangles your fundraising

    Please read this post at TomorrowToday: Innovation: Failing into the Future. The main message: failure is not an option; it’s essential if you want to succeed. You see, almost all new ideas are bad. And not all bad ideas are obviously bad — you simply have to try them out to see if they’re bad…

  • Why testing matters in online fundraising

    Which Test Won is a great blog to read, if for no other reason than this: It keeps you humble. Like this post: Amsterdam Printing — Button Test The difference between the two was subtle. Different words, slightly different size. Same color, same placement. But one drew 45% more revenue per visitor. That’s a smack-down!…

  • Sexy fundraising

    Unless you’re raising funds for babies or puppies, you’re sunk. Right? I have weird news for you: For every organization wishing it could talk about hungry babies, there’s another one that’s grown so sick of talking about hungry babies that they’re searching high and low for some other way to raise funds. They’re tired of…

  • Fundraising lessons from Andy Rooney

    by guest blogger Jennifer Miller You ever wonder what fundraisers can learn from the late Andy Rooney? His signature commentaries at the end of “60 Minutes” might give us a clue. His musings spanned topics from pies to politics. But the topics weren’t as important as his delivery: Clear. Concise. The kind of simply constructed…

  • The effective fundraising PS

    It’s strange how fundraising appeals always seem to have a PS, isn’t it? The amateurs want to omit it, because it “doesn’t make sense.” The professionals know that if you leave off the PS, you’re in trouble. The professionals also know how to do it right. Like here, at Dear Joan: 10 pointers to the…

  • Stupid ad displays stillborn creative concept

    It’s shocking, a crime against all morality, that preteen kids are forced to fight as soldiers in some parts of the world. I doubt it’s difficult to persuade others of that. The hard part, I think, would be getting Westerners to believe it’s really happening. So if you’re working for Amnesty International or any of…

  • How your board destroys your fundraising

    In the most recent edition of Contributions Magazine, here’s a great article by Tom Ahern: On the Delicate Subject of Committee and Board Approvals. Why do people who know nothing about fundraising have approval authority over fundraising messages? … we often cede the weighty responsibility of “blessing” fundraising communications to higher authorities: boards, committees, the…