Month: January 2012

  • Things successful fundraisers do

    I love these general tips for fundraisers at the Good Works blog: The Naked Fundraiser. Here are most of them: Ask for money. Say thank you. Tell stories that make people laugh, cry and love your cause. Be strategic — know your key performance indicators or benchmarks and use that information. Have a plan with…

  • How to raise a gazillion bucks through Pinterest

    If you follow the nonprofit blogs, you’ve probably seen a rash or posts lately with titles like How nonprofits can use Pinterest.

  • Fundraising involvement device: upsides and downsides

    You can sometimes boost response to a direct mail piece by adding an involvement device — something that deepens the connection between the donor and the gift you want her to give. It might be something the donor keeps as a reminder, like a bookmark, a tag that says “keep this for your records,” or…

  • How to handle “great fundraising ideas” from your board

    One of the great calamities in fundraising is when a board member has fundraising ideas, as described at The Nth Factor blog, at When Great Board Members Have Not-So-Great Fundraising Ideas. Here are some pretty typical board member fundraising ideas: I don’t read long letters, so our fundraising letters should be short. Our donors get…

  • All fundraising is emotional — you can’t leave the emotions out

    Interesting question at Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog: Is it unethical to use knowledge of human psychology to be more effective at influencing their behavior? Is it a type of trickery or manipulation? See Why I believe the art of influence is ethical. Katya’s answer, in short, is no. We’re doing it to persuade people to…

  • The worst advice in fundraising

    The most useless and pointless advice you can get (or give) about fundraising is this: I wouldn’t respond to that. Nobody (including you) should pay any attention to what you wouldn’t respond to. The real focus must be Will donors respond? And how you feel about it sheds no light at all on that. So…

  • The power of showing up

    Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up.” The reason that’s sadly accurate is so many people don’t bother showing up: they bluster, bellow, BS, and then disappear. The ones who make a difference are the ones who hang on and focus. Doing things right is not very glamorous. You could say it’s boring.…

  • Are you making donors glad they gave?

    Do you really make it worth your donors’ money to give to you? That’s the question at a recent post at Queer Ideas: Why giving to charity can be like buying a Polaris submarine. (You’ll have to go read the post to learn how a submarine comes into this topic.) The point is this: Most…

  • For action from donors, tell about people, not programs

    Here’s some good advice from the ListenIn Pictures blog: The Biggest Mistake (hands down) Non-Profits Make With Video. Don’t make videos about your programs. Make them about people. Many non-profits seem to think the strength of video is to inform and educate. It’s not. The strength of video as a medium is that it can…

  • Book review: at least 100 great fundraising ideas

    Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley One-sentence review: You need to read this book. If you prefer to base your fundraising on facts and science (as opposed to your own hunches and superstition), this is precisely the book for you. It focuses on practical marketing takeaways from neurological…