Month: March 2012

  • If they don’t care about you now, why will they care about you on Pinterest

    Ouch! (See Marketoonist.) Social media sites are not refuges for failing fundraising programs. If you’re failing in the mail or email, you won’t make it up in Facebook. And if you’re not getting any action now in Facebook, don’t think Pinterest will solve your problems. If you aren’t successfully raising funds through email, postal mail,…

  • World’s shortest stupid nonprofit ad

    This will probably be annoying. Pardon the mess. If you want to see this stupid nonprofit ad for the OC Foundation, you’re going to have to click it over and over and over again. Of course, it’s that way on purpose. You see, it’s a concept, one of those almost-brilliant, yet incredibly stupid ideas that’s…

  • Goldilocks Fundraising: How often is just right?

    It seems people ask Ken Burnett How often should we ask? People ask me that too. Everyone would like to know if there’s some magic number you can ask your donors — the Goldilocks Number that’s not too little and not too much, but Just Right. Ken has a smart answer to that question: It’s…

  • How to raise a ton of revenue with your newsletter

    A donor-focused newsletter can be real magic for almost any fundraising effort. Here are some tips (and a case study) from my excellent former colleague Bob Ball, at the Masterworks blog: Extreme Donor-Focused Newsletter Increases Revenue by 521%. Here are the tips: Write to the Donor, For the Donor, About the Donor. Ensure a High…

  • How to get your online donation pages right

    Raising money online is somewhat more difficult than falling off a log. Actually, it’s incredibly more difficult than falling off a log, which — I’m ashamed to note — I happen to know is pretty easy. It’s just as demanding as raising money in any other medium, plus a few tricks of its own. Here’s…

  • Where to find the Breakthrough Squirrel

    Wouldn’t you love to create some kind of breakthrough that would dramatically improve your ability to influence people, raise funds, get volunteers, and change the world? A lot of smart nonprofits are trying to do just that. Too many of them, though, are barking up the wrong tree. Doesn’t matter how long or loud they…

  • Bad news and good news for fundraising

    Real fundraisers know a difficult truth that the amateurs don’t grasp: Fundraising is largely bad news. Take it from the Oneicity blog: Don’t forget the bad news. Many fundraisers zero in on the success their organizations have already achieved. The story they tell is this: Everything is wonderful! And that feels good to say, but…

  • Shocking truth: Nonprofit changes name in a smart way

    Here’s an incredibly refreshing and unusual story: A nonprofit organization re-brands, and they don’t screw it up! I’m flabbergasted. Here’s the story in Civil Society: St Dunstan’s rebrands to Blind Veterans UK. St Dunstan’s, a century-old UK charity that helps veterans who’ve suffered sight-loss, changed its name to Blind Veterans UK. You can probably see…

  • Fundraising is not about “us” — it’s about “you”

    Writing fundraising copy poorly is pretty easy. Writing it well is hard. Getting it from bad to good is devilishly difficult. But here’s one way, from Karen Zapp, to make not-so-good copy into pretty decent copy. And it’s easy: What SINGLE change can improve any fundraising appeal? Here’s Karen’s one change: Change the word “we”…

  • Is the flood of junk mail fundraising’s fault?

    Quick: What percentage of the US Mail is solicitations from nonprofits? My guess was about 20%. (It’s about a third of what’s in my mailbox.) The truth? It’s 0.5%. Not even one percent. I’ll bet you, like me, guessed a massively higher percentage than 0.5%. So relax a little. We — all of us together…