Month: April 2015

  • Why “clever” fundraising doesn’t work

    Let’s take a look at two headlines: One “clever,” the other intelligent. Clever headline This headline is for an ad that ran in publications in India after a deadly cyclone. It’s from an Indian relief organization raising funds within India. Like so many clever headlines, it takes an indirect approach to its subject. It doesn’t…

  • Expanding definition of “poverty porn” means more ineffective fundraising

    Now I’ve heard everything. An article in Nonprofit Quarterly has expanded the definition of the P-words — Poverty Porn. According to Truth or Charity? The Lure of Poverty Porn for Nonprofits, poverty porn is “using false or exaggerated images in donor appeals as a fundraising tactic.” The article cites the same study about images of…

  • Th most common fundraising error, and how to avoid it

    This is probably the most common fundraising mistake of all, the main reason many nonprofits struggle to get the support they need: telling donors the wrong story — a story that’s extremely unlikely to connect with or motivate them to give. It’s a reasonable error that comes from communicating what seems to make sense to…

  • Are your program people helping your fundraising?

    Program people, those who lead and execute the mission at your organization, can be hard on fundraising. Because their perspective of what your organization does is radically unlike your donors’. I’m talking modes of perception that can barely conceive of one another. If men are from Mars and women from Venus, then program people are…

  • Fundraiser: Your job is hope

    Almost everyone is prone to a sense that everything is getting worse all the time. Politics keep getting more stupid. The environment keeps sliding toward some kind of doomsday. Crime, injustice, ignorance, war … they all seem to be surging. We all need a sense that there’s hope after all. The Veritus Group blog notes…

  • How to feel bad about the photos you use in fundraising

    Is your fundraising 100% “accurate”? What exactly would complete accuracy look like? A recent study in the UK (published at Sociological Research Online) pokes a stick into an issue some fundraisers spend a lot of energy worrying about. The study, as reported by Third Sector magazine — Homelessness charities should stick with stereotypical images of…

  • How to write emotionally

    Anyone can write. But it takes something more to write with emotion. Here’s some help from the M&R Blog, at Emotional Copywriting Tips for Robots (and Humans): Numbers and statistics lead to people feeling emotional between 1.5%-10% of the time. (That is, numbers are numbing. Using them in fundraising is worse than ineffective; it turns…

  • Nine attitudes that can hold writers back

    Here’s a good checklist that can help any writer think just a bit more clearly about the job of writing. It’s from the Word Count blog: Nine Ideas Writers Need to Give Up: Here they are (with my comments added): Give up the sentiment that writing depends on talent. (Talent is nice. Hard work gets…

  • Generation Wah: the next game-changer of fundraising

    There’s a new generation of powerhouse donors coming onto the scene, and they are going to change everything about fundraising. It’s Generation Wah — the incredible generation of super-donors, defined as those born since 2013. Let me be frank with you: If you do not jump aboard the Generation Wah train right now, you are…