Month: November 2012

  • Why your donor acquisition isn’t going well

    It’s not just you. New donors are getting harder to find. But not all fundraisers are suffering equally. Some are doing okay, because they’re adjusting to the marketplace changes. You may be able to buck the trend too, with help from a post at The Agitator: Acquisition: 16 Reasons Your Prospecting Is Running Out Of…

  • Research that will lead your fundraising astray

    Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! reveals The worst market research in the world: Your own opinion. Too many fundraising campaigns are based on what some fundraiser (or her boss) thought would just be super-cool and ultra-persuasive. It never works. We aren’t our donors. We’re freakishly unlike them. Probably the only thing we share…

  • The two ingredients of stories that motivate giving

    Here’s a video about story-telling that every fundraisers should see: Or watch it here on YouTube. In short, it describes a study that found the most impactful stories have two key elements: Distress, produces cortisol, which helps us focus attention on the story. Empathy, which produces oxytocin, which promotes a sense of connection. And when…

  • The real Giving Tuesday is on a Monday this year

    Today is #GivingTuesday™ (I think you’re required to spell it with the hashtag and the trademark). The idea for this holiday is pretty straightforward: There’s a day for shopping like crazy (Black Friday), and a day for shopping online like crazy (Cyber Monday). Why not a day for giving? I’m all for anything that encourages…

  • Yoda fundraising for Luke Skywalker donors

    Here’s a wonderful TEDx talk by Nancy Duarte. It’s about giving presentations, but you’ll see how it applies to fundraising too: Or watch it here on YouTube. Early on, she makes a point that’s so very important for presenters: You are not Luke Skywalker. You are Yoda. That is, you aren’t the hero in the…

  • Stupid storm ad ignores the humanity

    The Ad Council is a juicy source of some real Stupid Nonprofit Ad action. That’s too bad, because they’ve done some great work in the past. But apparently the forces of clever abstractionism are so strong in the ad industry all you’re going to get when agencies donate their time is self-indulgent, high-production conceptual abstractions.…

  • How to hide the stuff your fundraising shouldn’t include in the first place

    It’s a sad fact of life that sometimes you have no choice but to include pointless content in your fundraising because Somebody in your organization thinks it’s important and they’re a Somebody you can’t ignore. In a perfect world, you could enlighten the Somebody by telling them you need to see things through donors’ eyes…

  • Stop Trying to Teach Goldfish to Juggle

    Here’s my Fundraising Ninja column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, Stop Trying to Teach Goldfish to Juggle. Teaser: “When you ask donors to give, you aren’t barging into their world with an unwelcome proposition, like those guys who run up to your car at intersections, start washing your windows and expect payment. When you…

  • How not to tell stories in fundraising

    Here’s a good post at Frogloop for fundraisers who want to tell stories well: How to Win the Story Wars. Main takeaway: the Five Deadly Sins of storytelling… Gimmickry: Relying on cheap tricks and humor that elicit laughs but undermine your brand. Puffery: Ordering audiences to act using the impersonal marketing voice of God. Authority:…

  • How donors are different from you

    The other day, my daughter (a college student) sent a short thank-you note to my godmother (a lady in her 70s). Within minutes of receiving it, my godmother called me. She gushed and gushed at the wonder of it. She told me, among other things, that it “brought sunshine into my home.” (She talks that…