Month: February 2013

  • The power of artificially ugly fundraising

    There’s nothing really noteworthy in this mailing from Uncle Maynard’s local Red Cross chapter, except one thing… See those little semi-circles marching down the right and left margins? If you’re above a certain age, you’ll recognize them in an instant: They’re pin-feed perforations. Or rather, they’re printed facsimiles or pin-feed perfs. Now why would anyone…

  • Ways to keep online donors on task

    The most painful number in online fundraising is the gap between the number of people who arrive on a giving page and the number who actually complete the process of giving. Those people presumably intended to give, but something went awry. You should do everything possible to make sure that whatever went wrong wasn’t your…

  • What’s wrong with pro-bono work for nonprofits?

    Here’s a question more people should ask, from the Good Agency blog: Pro bono. Where’s the bono? … it’s not pro bono if there is no bono — no actual good. No new donors, campaigners or volunteers. No new services funded or vulnerable people reached. No research paid for or hungry mouths fed. Ad agencies…

  • Bring your donors to life with a great newsletter

    If you produce a newsletter and it’s not bringing in revenue, you need to see this video at Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals. It features my podcast partner Steven Screen, recounting what he did to a nonprofit donor newsletter to increase its revenue from $500 to $35,000: 3 simple changes to a newsletter that caused…

  • How to get donors to tell other donors about you

    From the Duct Tape Marketing Blog, The 5 Fastest Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Small Business: Just ask them to Focus on the first-timers Do something fantastic for the old-timers Always, always ask for feedback Learn to be great at saying “thank you” These things can also work for fundraisers. Getting a donor…

  • A great way to get new ideas that work

    In a recent MondayMorningMemo, Roy Williams one of the real secrets to success. Something Better Than Creativity: The secret of guaranteed success is to import a tested and reliable methodology into a business category where it has never been used. Repurpose the proven. They’ll call you a brilliant creative innovator. You might even be able…

  • Your fundraising is not for everyone

    If you’ve ever tried to come up with a fundraising idea that would motivate “everybody” to give, you know how it has gone. Reaching everybody is a silly goal. Like telling a joke that everybody will find funny. Seth Godin’s blog encourages us to focus, at For the one person who didn’t get the joke:…

  • How to write better subject lines for fundraising emails

    From the ClickZ Advanced Email Marketing blog, here are some brain-science-based ways to create better subject lines: Email Subject Lines and the Brain. Try these: Use Certain Emotional or Personal Words to Grab Attention: The recipient’s name, or certain other “trigger words,” like free, limited, urgent, need, etc. Increase the “Standoutness”: Make your subject line…

  • Fundraising creates meaning in donors’ lives

    Here’s a great reminder of what we’re doing as fundraisers, from the FundraisingCoach: The Art of Fundraising: … most people are stuck working … [at jobs] they don’t love. Doing things totally unrelated to their values. As fundraisers, we get to re-introduce them to what makes them human. We are like archaeologists. We get to…

  • How conference bullies victimize fundraisers

    I was at a conference recently, where a clever consultant showed off a massive integrated awareness/fundraising campaign they’d done for a client. It was good-looking and comprehensive. In addition to direct mail and email, there was print, outdoor advertising, transit ads, and a Facebook strategy. Slide after slide of the slick, attractive creative went by.…