Month: April 2012

  • Protect your fundraising from those “harmless” last-minute additions

    Fundraising projects can go wrong in so many ways. One of the most sneaky and insidious is pointed out at this post from The Far Edge of Promise: It Wouldn’t Hurt To… You know when you’re doing a fundraising project says it wouldn’t hurt to add this to the job? And you say, “No, I…

  • Why do we write letters to donors?

    If you’re over a certain age, you may remember when everyone wrote letters all the time. Every day, the mailbox contained a handful of letters from friends and family. Times have changed. You probably haven’t received a personal letter from a real person in a while. You’re a lot more likely to get a letter…

  • Three ways to make your fundraising stories stronger

    Here’s more about telling stories so they support your fundraising, from Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing blog: 3 ways to make the story of your cause impossible to ignore. If we’re not feeling, we’re not conscious. (Emotion is the normal state for all people, all the time.) The story is in the specifics. (Details, details, details.) Zero…

  • How not to waste your time in fundraising

    What do you do to improve donor retention? The Agitator can tell you a few things that won’t do that trick, at Looking For Retention In All The Wrong Places: The sad fact is that far too many fundraisers … overly exalt ‘strategy,’ ‘brand,’ ‘creative’ and ‘program’ while assigning mundane importance (and investment) in ‘service…

  • Your instinct is wrong

    Think you’re smart? Good for you. Just be aware that smarts alone may not get you where you want to go in fundraising. You also need knowledge. Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog tackles One Big Myth about Direct Mail Appeal Letters: We all like to think our instincts can guide us through our fundraising. But sometimes…

  • How personal opinions destroy fundraising effectiveness

    Seth Godin asked a question I wish would be widely asked within nonprofit organizations: Is everyone entitled to their opinion? In the consensus-heavy world of nonprofits, a lot of people’s opinions are sought and valued. This is probably one of the most destructive forces in our industry. As Seth notes, not everyone’s opinion is valuable:…

  • Why emailing too deep can hurt your online fundraising

    One of the cool things about email fundraising is you can send as many as you want, no additional cost, right? Wrong. There can be a steep cost to sending too many emails, as reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Social Philanthropy blog: The Dangers of an Inactive E-Mail List. If you’re getting low open…

  • The one thing you need to know in fundraising — and how to get it right

    The Good Steward blog says there’s One Trick to Fundraising: Know your donors. And that’s true. When you know your donors, you can be relevant to them. You can aim your messaging at them, not yourself. You can spend less cultivating donors not likely to respond, and more on those who can make it worth…

  • Why typical advertising has no impact on nonprofit marketing

    At Non-Profit Humour, a strangely familiar tale of a nonprofit organization that was lulled into a state of stupidity by an ad agency: Advertising campaign reaches Mrs. Betty Turner, 93, and 17,678 people who don’t care. In this satire — and despite the realism, it is satire — an organization runs a meaningless awareness campaign…

  • What’s wrong with social media fundraising?

    If you have a thick skin, do what The Agitator did recently and say something critical about the use of social media for fundraising: In Defense Of Serious Fundraising Dialogue. What happens is this: A lot of 140-character shouting. You are an ignorant dinosaur. Which is too bad, because, as the Agitator notes: The solid,…