Month: August 2013

  • How I lost my perspective and got it back again

    My first job in fundraising was with an organization that did anti-poverty work in India. A few months after I started, they sent me to Calcutta to experience the work first-hand. I had quite a few Calcutta-focused fundraising projects under my belt by this time, so I thought I knew that place. I thought. Calcutta…

  • Smart testing in email and direct mail fundraising

    I can be heard (among others) on this week’s npVOICES podcast. Talking about direct-response testing — what you can and can’t learn from it, how to do it right, and why it matters. Listen here: Or go here to listen.

  • Your heart is your best fundraising tool

    Pick up any book about fundraising, and it probably tells you that if you want to raise funds, you must engage donors’ emotions. Talk to anyone who knows their stuff, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Why, then, is so much fundraising so decidedly cerebral and unemotional? Because, according to the Veritus Group blog,…

  • Book review: Global Fundraising

    Global Fundraising: How the World is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy by Penelope Cagney, Bernard Ross What would US fundraisers do without discounted nonprofit postage? You can find out by looking at Australia, a nation that has a lot in common with the US, but without the postage advantages that make direct mail the fundraising…

  • Why does everyone think they’re a writer?

    by guest blogger Charlie Hulme (@charlieartful) Creative Director at Pell & Bales, specialist storyteller, proud fundraiser. Too many cooks spoil the broth, but at least they’re cooks. What would it taste like if people who weren’t cooks got involved? The same way far too many non-profit appeals read: awful. Fundraisers have access to the most…

  • How to keep new donors

    The first days after a first-time donor gives are critical. What you do then can help them stay with you for the long term — or drop off your list leaving nothing but negative net revenue. The Bloomerang blog has some tips for getting it right in those first days after a first gift, at…

  • Why unsubscribes aren’t the end of the world

    Whenever you send emails to your supporters, you inevitably get unsubscribes. Unless the number is overwhelming, these may not be so bad. Here’s why, from Copyblogger, at 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sweat Email Unsubscribes: Unsubscribes save you energy Unsubscribes get rid of dead weight Unsubscribes save you money When someone who doesn’t want to hear…

  • Don’t blame the economy for faltering fundraising

    What’s your excuse? A lot of nonprofits are blaming the economy for their fundraising pain. As this post from Civil Society notes, that’s not always the case: Charities can’t blame ‘economic climate’ for falls in income Oxfam UK attributed its recent £17.6m drop in income to the economic climate. It’s true that the economy has…

  • How to win over your anti-fundraising boss

    If your organization has a CEO who doesn’t care for fundraising, you’re in trouble. You face declining revenue that will outlast your CEO’s no-doubt limited tenure. It’s hard to change the mind of the boss. But you’ll never succeed unless you try. Here are some things you can try, from the Veritus Group blog: Six…