Month: June 2013

  • What donors really want from your fundraising

    No matter what you sell, you’re not really selling that thing, but the attributes or benefits of that thing. That includes fundraising. Here’s a good way of looking at that fact from Copyblogger, at The 5 Things Customers Actually Want: Ease Physical comfort Mental stimulation Identity reinforcement Social acknowledgement Charitable giving is great at satisfying…

  • 9 ways to be an anti-donor fundraiser

    If you’re in a real hurry to drive your fundraising program into the ground by driving away your donors, here are some common nonprofit practices that can help you along the way: Write and design to please yourself. If you think success in fundraising is gauged by how it makes you and your colleagues feel…

  • What to do about overhead

    Like just about everyone else in our industry, I stood up and cheered when I saw Dan Pallotta’s recent TED Talk The way we think about charity is dead wrong. (If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s below.) I’ve watched again and again as effective organizations capped the amount of good they could do…

  • How educating your donors can put you in a financial death-spiral

    The purpose of fundraising is to raise funds. I only bring it up because it’s not as obvious as it sounds. Many organizations believe they should use their fundraising program to educate donors. To tell them things they don’t know, but we’ve decided they ought to know. Most fundraisers have a handful of offers that…

  • Try this useful tool for keeping fundraising copy simple

    Simple writing is good writing. If you think people like you better because you use lots of big words, think again. The bigger your words, the less people understand. The less they even try to understand. The less they care. If they don’t care, they won’t give. So please keep your writing simple. The above…

  • How to make your donation form better

    Poorly built donation form pages will cost you a lot of lost revenue. And what constitutes poor built may surprise you. Here’s a post from npENGAGE you should read: Donor Acquisition: 3 Donation Form Tweaks that will Quickly Improve Online Fundraising. Ask only for the information you need. Don’t ask donors for information you don’t…

  • Make your nonprofit website usable for seniors

    If you’re a fundraiser, you should also be conversant in “elder marketing.” These are the people who drive the charitable giving bus. And they’re steadily moving online. That’s why you should look at this study at Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox: Seniors as Web Users. Key findings (among many): Reduced visual acuity is probably the best-known aging…

  • How to make an ad man jump out the window

    Another great cartoon from Marketoonist: Why can we imagine an advertising creative director ending it all because someone wants to see proof that his work actually accomplishes what it’s meant to accomplish? Easy: He knows it won’t come out looking good. He knows that what he does is a flimsy construction built on a bad…

  • Two tempting ways not to raise funds

    Failed fundraising projects often have one (or both) of these basic faults: Pedagogical. It’s trying to educate people into giving. Polemical. It’s trying to debate people into giving. Neither one works, as noted at Happy Donors: The #2 Secret to Writing Fundraising Letters that Maximize Results. Fundraising is about finding and cultivating people who already…