Month: August 2013

  • Direct response testing that makes you dumb

    Yesterday, we talked about the importance of a clear hypothesis when you do direct-response testing. Today I’ll show you how a lack of clarity can trip you up. Early in my career, I had a client that, just before I arrived, had tested “organizational copy” against “story-based” copy. Organizational had outperformed, so we had clear…

  • How to learn from direct-response testing

    It’s so cool that when we use measurable direct-response media like direct mail and email we can test. We don’t have to take anybody’s word for it about what works and doesn’t. But not all tests teach. In fact, a lot of tests are utter wastes of time and money. Some even lead fundraisers badly…

  • There’s one secret to getting fundraising right

    From the Planned Giving Blogger, a succinct and entirely useful piece of fundraising advice: Want to improve your planned giving marketing without spending a dime more? Make it about the donor. A Rookie Mistake Rookie fundraisers think the job is to make it utterly clear how superb their organization is. So they brag, bluster, and…

  • How to get fundraising wrong

    You’re going to get an earworm when you read this piece from FundRaising Success magazine, but I encourage you to read it anyway: 30 Ways to Lose Your Donor. Check them out: Ask for too much. Ask for too little. Marry her for her money. Don’t say thanks. Don’t pay attention. Hide your feelings. Emotion…

  • Watch the fundraising metrics that matter

    I always get asked, “What percentage of response should I be getting?” I never have an answer, because that’s one of those “How long is a piece of string?” questions. There’s no simple, universally true answer that’s at all meaningful. Anyway, response percentage isn’t one of the more important indicators you should be focusing on.…

  • Train yourself to be a better fundraiser

    Seth Godin has noticed something: More people are doing marketing badly. Because anyone can do it — but being able to do it doesn’t means you can do it well. Or even kinda okay. And there’s no certification or standards. If you want to be a doctor, you have to jump through a lot of…

  • Want to raise more funds? Stop bragging!

    Here’s the easiest and hardest way to be a better fundraiser: Stop bragging. Or, as Hands On Fundraising puts it, stop using the royal we: The fundraising staff … shouldn’t be selling me on their organization’s awesomeness. They should be selling me on MY awesomeness. They should be telling me just how awesome I’ll feel…