Month: March 2013

  • Fundraising mistakes: where monsters be

    If you watch the same scary movie more than once, you may find yourself yelling at the screen, Don’t go in that dark room! The monster is in there! He’s going to eat you! To no avail. He goes into the room and things don’t go well. Every time you watch it. Working with a…

  • Remind your donors of their freedom not to donate

    Some interesting research at the Unbounce blog: 5 Research Studies that Will Drastically Affect How You Write Copy. All five studies are interesting, but one stands out: the “But You Are Free” technique. It works like this: When you remind donors that They don’t have to give, or they have choices about the amount, timing,…

  • Fundraising Hell, Level 4: The Greedy and Wasteful

    If Dante had been a fundraiser, his Inferno might have been slightly different, featuring the evils specific to fundraisers. I have corrected Dante’s oversight. This is part four of a nine-part tour of the levels of Fundraising Hell. After we leave the sadly passive sufferings of the Guttonous Fundraisers, we make our way down to…

  • When you try to persuade yourself, you fail to persuade donors

    From Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Message isn’t working? Here’s a three-point diagnosis. Some typical ways fundraising goes wrong: Falsely assuming that information results in action. Forgetting that we’re not the audience. Treating marketing as an afterthought. In my experience, #2 is the most common and most destructive of the three. People at nonprofit organizations become…

  • Pixar’s 22 rules of fundraising

    by guest blogger Andrew Rogers Emma Coates, a story artist at Pixar, has listed 22 Rules of Storytelling that help explain why the studio tells great stories so successfully. There’s a lot here for writers in any medium, but some of the rules are particularly adaptable for fundraisers: Rule 2: You gotta keep in mind…

  • The worst nonprofit newsletter headline ever written

    I just saw the worst nonprofit newsletter headline ever written: Partnering with the Southern Philippines Unfortunately, this headline isn’t the lone occupant of the “worst ever written” slot. It’s tied for worst with about a zillion other nonprofit newsletter headlines. Here’s what’s wrong with the headline — and with the many others just like it:…

  • Secrets from the Obama email fundraising machine

    Some interesting and useful observations on the Obama ’12 email fundraising machine, from M+R Research Labs: Surprises from Obama’s New Media Staff. Segmentation based on donor behavior is the only segmentation worth doing. Novelty worked … until it didn’t! Shorter vs. longer? It mostly didn’t matter. Micro-goals worked for advocacy but not for fundraising. Facebook…

  • Fundraising Hell, Level 3: The Gluttonous

    If Dante had been a fundraiser, his Inferno might have been slightly different, featuring the evils specific to fundraisers. I have corrected Dante’s oversight. This is part three of a nine-part tour of the levels of Fundraising Hell. We continue our trip downward, leaving the terrible winds of the Lustful Fundraisers and enter the level…

  • How brochures kill direct mail fundraising

    Hey — how’d you like to know an easy way to increase the cost of your direct mail fundraising — decreasing response at the same time? Here’s how: Add a brochure to the package. It works like magic to make things worse! Brochures almost always depress response in direct mail. (There are, no doubt, exceptions…