Month: November 2011

  • Sorry, but It’s Not the Economy

    Here’s my column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, Sorry, but It’s Not the Economy. Teaser: “… what you do has a lot more impact on your success than what the economy does to you.” And with that, the five-year run of “Easier Said Than Done” comes to an end. If you’re really crazy, you…

  • What’s wrong with your fundraising?

    Read this post at Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog: 3 Diagnoses for why your message isn’t getting through. The diagnoses: “Field of Dreams” syndrome. Declaring your existence is not a marketing campaign. “It’s all about us” disease. Why should donors care? What can they accomplish? “Call to inaction” problem. Be direct, specific and clear! These are…

  • When editing makes your copy worse

    I edit a lot of fundraising copy. And I work with veteran professional writers who know their stuff, so I’m not having to help them hammer out the basics. Most of edits I make to others’ copy (and my own) are in these categories: Removing the first one to three paragraphs. You’d be amazed. This…

  • Secret to success: slogging it out

    Those hot-heads over at the Passionate Giving blog are at it again. They’re going after some recent coverage in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, at Why the Chronicle is Wrong! Among the top nonprofits in the Chronicle’s Philanthropy 400, many are suffering lower results in recent years. The Chronicle coverage, though, cites some organizations that are…

  • How your donors are talking about you

    There’s an interesting infographic at The WOMMA Word and how word-of-mouth information about commercial brands spreads and is used: The Word and the World of Customers. 9 out of 10 conversations about brands happen offline 66% of these conversations are mostly positive 8% are mostly negative Average online review is 4.3 (out of 5) 55%…

  • How to win an award and not dirty your hands with revenue

    There’s a great post at Direct Creative Blog, 6 secrets for winning pointy plastic creative advertising awards, that helps explain a lot about why stupid nonprofit ads are the way they are. To win a spiffy lucite ad-industry award, just follow these steps: Start with a “concept.” Start with a pun, an obscure cultural reference,…

  • Give yourself time to be creative

    Isn’t it great? You never have to be apart from your email, the news, celebrity gossip, or stupid, angry political discourse. It’s not great at all. It’s ruining our ability to think new thoughts, have ideas, be creative. We’re always plugged in, always running like hamsters in wheels, but never getting anywhere. That’s the important…

  • Who’s the devil? You are!

    This post on 101fundraising makes me happy: I Am The Comms Devil. Here’s why: The writer, Margaux Smith, attended a workshop led by Australian fundraising hero Sean Triner at the recent International Fundraising Congress (IFC), where she made an important discovery about the difference between messages that win awards and please professionals — and messages…

  • One big fundraising mistake that leads to many other mistakes

    From Karen Zapp’s Nonprofit Blog, 5 Most Common Mistakes in Fundraising Copy. Here they are: Assume a level of knowledge and familiarity that just isn’t there. Every letter or email tries to cover everything you do. Fail to show how a donor makes a difference. Fundraising appeal written by committee. Copy is NOT donor-centric. It…