Month: November 2014

  • Should you consider address labels in your fundraising?

    Yesterday, we looked at address-label fundraising and the frequent error people make about them: I don’t like them, so they don’t work, and they’re a stupid way to raise funds. Address labels can work, and often do. Simply writing them off because you hate them would be a big mistake, a classic “everybody-is-exactly-like-me” fallacy. Labels…

  • Why fundraisers send those annoying address labels

    Interesting discussion on re:charity, at Why Do Charities Send Address Labels and 4 More Thoughts. It started when a Canadian lawyer kvetched about getting address-label mailings from nonprofits. He makes the common error almost everyone makes about address labels in fundraising: He thinks if he doesn’t care for them they are a failing tactic being…

  • How to exercise your writing muscle

    Sometimes, writing is hard. Painful. Fruitlessly time-consuming. Here’s one way to make it less hard. (I’ll never claim there’s anything that makes it easy.) It’s freewriting. Freewriting is to writing what exercise is to physical health. It’s a way to condition and strengthen your writing “muscle.” Freewriting was developed and popularized on college campuses by…

  • Watchdogs: please don’t tell us how to raise funds

    It seems the charity watchdogs have some new bad advice for fundraisers. GuideStar, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator are telling us what we shouldn’t say in fundraising: Nonprofits: Ban These Phrases from Your Vocabulary. The phrases they’d like us to ban: “Only X% of your gift goes to overhead.” “Only X cents…

  • How to optimize your fundraising results with stories

    If there’s a “charitable giving chemical,” it’s oxytocin. When produced in the brain, it enhances empathy. One of the most important drivers of giving. A recent post at the HBR Blog reports some recent research on the type of storytelling that’s best at producing oxytocin in the audience: Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling. The…

  • Grammar rules for successful fundraisers

    Is online writing the revenge of the students? It might be, according to the M+R blog post Your Middle School Teacher May or May Not Be Horrified: 6 Rules for Online Writing. Here are some characteristics of online writing: And yes, if you want to, you can start a sentence with a conjunction. Sentence fragments?…

  • 5 ways grow your email list

    by guest blogger Brian Tucker, Director of Digital Strategy at TrueSense Marketing When I was young, my grandmother gave me an orange tree. At first, I was excited to have my own oranges straight from the backyard. The tree was planted in the perfect spot, and I watered it every day. The tree began to…

  • How your boss’s ego kills your fundraising

    Ego is one of the top killers of effective fundraising and marketing. The blog Marketing the Arts to Death takes a look at this very serious problem at Arts Leaders’ Egos and Bad Arts Marketing. It’s not just arts organizations that suffer from this. Any nonprofit that has executives who think if their material makes…

  • Is personalization in direct mail really necessary?

    The advice goes something like this: If the salutation on your direct mail letter is Dear Friend — rather than the donor’s actual name — fire and brimstone will fall on your head, your donors will utterly reject your message and everything else you do, and you’ll wake up one day in a frozen ditch…