Month: February 2012

  • Off-target links lead donors away from giving

    One of the most common errors in nonprofit e-appeals is this: indiscriminate links. Lots of them. Each one a tempting little rabbit-trail that can lead would-be donors away from action, never to return and complete their gift. The Emma Blog has some good pointers for helping your e-appeals keep donors on task: Clicks are only…

  • How to make nonprofit videos that people share

    Wouldn’t you love to create a video for your cause that everyone would pass around and talk about? That’s the usually unfulfilled promise of the web. One reason it so seldom actually works out the way we’d like is the videos we create just aren’t “contagious.” Nobody shares them because they lack that shareable quality.…

  • What fundraisers should give up for Lent

    We are now in the season of Lent, a seven-week period before Easter during which many Christians practice abstention from various things as a spiritual exercise. Most faiths have similar practices. Funny thing about Lent is that whatever your spiritual goals, you also make discoveries about the things you abstain from. Things like: You don’t…

  • How to avoid the two killer mistakes of fundraising

    Nonprofits have to navigate their way between the Scylla and Charybdis of fundraising: The two errors in thinking that can sink your fundraising effectiveness. 1: Hating everything that’s been done before You’d rather do anything than direct mail fundraising. It’s just so old hat, so tired. Email, which in marketing terms has yet to come…

  • People don’t trust your CEO any more

    The Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual study of who’s trusted, has some interesting findings about the credibility of the CEOs of companies as spokespeople: CEOs were trusted by 50% of respondents in 2011. That dropped to 38% in 2012. The biggest decline in history of the study. “A person like yourself” jumped from trusted by…

  • Successful fundraising is about donors — every time

    Here’s a great email subject-line test, reported at 101fundraising, that shows pretty dramatically how important it is to make your fundraising about donors, not about you: It’s you, not me. Subject line Open rate Clickthrough From Haiti to Somalia, taking action together to save lives 31.4% 1.5% Together, our swift response has made a difference…

  • Fundraising when times are tough

    Check out the first few paragraphs of this fundraising appeal, written by Sean Triner for the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Australia: This is the most important letter I have ever written. Starlight is facing an unprecedented financial crisis which is forcing me and my team to make decisions I never imagined we would face just…

  • Guess who gives to charity?

    Who gives to charity? Here’s a look at a recent study reported at Advice for Good. What the research says about who gives to charity It’s a more European take on the topic, but it’s pretty much the same as what we experience in North America. Some important factors for charitable giving include: Religion: “…the…

  • How the message switcheroo crushes your fundraising

    Here’s a cautionary tale from Tom Ahern’s Love Thy Donor newsletter: Following in the footsteps of your promise. It’s about a nonprofit that had an effective direct mail acquisition control that led with a powerful, uncompromising faith-based message. It brought in tons of donors. Then something would go wrong: those donors would start getting the…

  • How skimping on your donors can make you lose your shirt

    Great thought at Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That: How long are your shirt tails? Good shirts have nice long tails. They stay tucked in that way. But a shirt company could save a lot of money by shortening the tails on its shirts by a few inches. After all, just a tiny bit…