Month: December 2011

  • The case against innovation

    Years ago, when the Web was still young, I created a website that scrolled left and right, not up and down. I did it because I could, and because I thought it would be cool. My stated reason was that the site was in solidarity with the world’s workers, all of whom are equal. (I…

  • Your silos are going to kill you

    Fundraising is in a time of change. Some of it absolutely fundamental to the way we think, work, and connect with donors. If someone tells you “social media” is the name of one of those changes, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s is a small, peripheral factor; it will be years before it…

  • How to tell stories for fundraising

    You know you must tell stories to motivate donors to action. But how? Here’s a great post at Copyblogger to help: How to Write Weapons-Grade Copy. The tips for telling stories: Use characters and problems already familiar to the reader. Be specific. Use vivid language. Set up the conflict, crisis, or threat. Make your customer…

  • Why non-fundraisers always weaken fundraising

    Here’s a world-class rant from one of the fundraisers you really should be listening to, Tom Ahern: Playing to lose. It’s about that moment, dreaded by all consultants, when your client says of your work, “The internal team has some concerns about the direct mail you wrote.” Because you know at that point that fundraising…

  • Easy ways for fundraisers to stay creative

    Here are some great tips for increasing your ability to stay creative, inventive, and fresh-thinking, from The 99% blog: 8 Counter-Intuitive Ways to Improve Your Well-Being & Creativity: Eat breakfast. Sit less. Exercise in the middle of the day. Get an office pet. Shorten your commute. Use ALL of those vacation days. Distance yourself from…

  • A patron saint for fundraisers

    As far as I know, we fundraisers don’t have a patron saint. Which is too bad, because Lord knows we need all the help we can get. So I’d like to propose that we appropriate the patron-saintly services of St. Nicholas (more properly known as St. Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker), whose feast day is…

  • How adjectives and adverbs suppress fundraising

    Most good writers understand that adjectives and adverbs usually aren’t worth the space that take up. Now there’s a study, reported at the Neuromarketing blog — The Dark Side of Adjectives — that supports that belief. Researcher looked at a variety of online content and compared what was spread around on social media sites: ……

  • Direct mail is dying. Again.

    Let’s see — what forms of fundraising are dead or dying this week? Direct mail? Deader than a doornail. Radio? Pushing up the daisies. Email? Moribund. That’s what it’s like to read some of the blogs in our industry. You can create a facsimile of vision by making sweeping proclamations about the death of entire…

  • Brain-based fundraising tricks

    Check out these “brain tricks” from Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, at 7 Totally Surprising Brain Tricks to Sell Your Cause: You can’t go wrong with pictures of babies. Use high-altitude imagery or get donors physically high up to help get them in a giving mood. Raise money to help people, not to fund causes. When…