Month: December 2011

  • The first (and second, and third) lesson in fundraising

    At SOFII, a new fundraising writer describes a moment of discovery: The first big lesson in fundraising copy. It’s kind of like watching one of those fast-motion films of a flower blossoming: I had felt like I had to write something that had never been said before to bring a fresh new voice to the…

  • Fundraising and real-world CRM magic

    Here’s an interesting view of the way someone in the commercial direct-marketing world views fundraising: CRM: Customer Relationship Marketing, We can learn from Non-Profits. They think we’re hot stuff! They say we’re doing CRM! They recommend learning a thing or two from us by getting onto a few fundraising mailing lists: It’ll be a very…

  • Holiday subject lines: good, bad, ugly, weird

    Four subject lines from the end-of-year in-box: Christmas Appeal – Consider a gift today! There’s a soft spot in my heart for literal and straightforward communication, unadorned by the cleverness that so often turns nonprofit messages into secret code. But this one may go too far, leaving nothing to the imagination. If the organization were…

  • The power of YES in fundraising

    It’s easier to say yes if you’ve recently said yes. It’s harder to say yes if you’ve just said no. Successful fundraising builds a momentum of yes. It starts with easy yeses and works its way toward, “Yes, I’ll give!” This is often what’s behind survey fundraising. They tend to lob softball questions that are…

  • Four ways you chase away donors with your writing

    Here’s some basic help from the Happy Donors blog: Why donors don’t read your fundraising letters. The sad reality is, most of our fundraising letters go unread. And most often, you lose the battle for readership before they even open the envelope. But once a donor has opened your envelope and is holding the letter…

  • How nonprofit websites get messy

    You’ve seen those nonprofit websites that don’t know what they’re for. They seem to be aimed at the news media, with lots of links to press releases. Or maybe it’s researchers, because of all the links to detailed information about the cause. Possibly it’s just a branding vehicle, because it’s full of abstract phrases and…

  • Handwriting on paper is a key to creative success

    I thought it was the case, and now there’s a study — reported in Fast Company at The Pen Is Mightier Than The Phone: A Case For Writing Things Out — that bears me out. Writing, on paper, using a your own hand, is often better for creativity and for thinking than typing! It’s also…

  • Detailed reporting respects donors of all sizes

    I wish all nonprofits would do this, but almost nobody does: actually tell donors where their money goes. Not in the form of a pie-chart of the entire budget, but what one donor’s giving specifically made possible. Hip online fundraiser charity:water is doing it. They have a program called Dollars to Projects that actually tells…

  • Why fundraising doesn’t work

    Great reminder from Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog: 3 very simple things that are easy to forget: We’re not our audience Our audience doesn’t think like us Our audience doesn’t take action without guidance Failing to remember numbers one and two are the most common cause of failed fundraising. If you can remember that you are…

  • How to become a spammer without even trying

    One of the cool things about email fundraising is how cheap it is. You can just keep emailing someone without postage and printing costs telling you maybe this particular name isn’t such a good bet. Not so fast. There’s an insidious hidden cost to thinking that way, according to The Big Fat Marketing Blog, at…