Month: February 2016

  • Podcast: Are you Yoda or Batman to your donors?

    There are two fundamentally different approaches fundraisers can take to their donors: One stays in the background and empowers the donor to be the hero. The other stands in front and tells the donor to be a good side-kick — keeping the hero label for himself. One of these raises a lot more money than…

  • Why being direct makes your fundraising work

    Hi! How are you? What’s up with this weather lately? That’s how a lot of normal conversations start. We do that because it’s easy to talk about inconsequential things while we establish connection and gage the mood before we get to our real topics. Effective direct mail or email fundraising isn’t like this. It doesn’t…

  • Is emotion dishonest in fundraising?

    Is there someone on your organization’s staff (or board) who wants you to turn down the emotional content of your fundraising because they believe emotion is dishonest or manipulative? Do they tell you to “stick with the facts” because making the rational case with facts and numbers is the only honorable way to motivate people…

  • The nonprofit social media hype trap

    It seems Marketoonist has been listening in on nonprofit meeting rooms: See it at Social Marketing Hype. Social media marketing isn’t magic. Like every other channel, it has strengths and weaknesses. Doing it right is hard work. And it takes time to grow. If you enter the field with all that in mind, you can…

  • Why bad news works in fundraising

    I have terrible, awful, unbelievably horrible news. Did I get your attention? I think so. You could hardly help but take notice, because your brain is wired to pay more attention to negative information. If you’ve been in fundraising for a while, you already know that. It’s also a finding in a study by the…

  • Power words for fundraising, online and off

    What are the words that motivate people to action? Here’s a great post at The Daily Egg that will help you discover your motivating words: 62 Power Words That Will Help You Sell. I won’t list all 62 here, but check out the categories of power words: Pain Points (Danger, Vulnerable, Warning) Urgency (Now, Limited,…

  • How made-up stories about donors confuse us

    Through the years, I’ve noticed something odd we fundraisers do: When we look at the results of a direct marketing campaign, we often make up narratives about our donors to help explain what happened. Like this: We change the color of the teaser on the envelope from blue to red. The appeal performs worse than…

  • Mark Twain’s powerful advice for fundraisers

    I recently came across this piece of wisdom: It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain Remembering this could save a lot of fundraising heartache. Double-check your beliefs about fundraising. Like “Direct mail is dead,” or “We need to…

  • 5 happy and 3 sad trends for fundraising in 2016

    The future is bright, according to Tom Ahern, posting at 101fundraising: I spy 5 fundraising trends in 2016: Growth-oriented nonprofits will “discover” donor-centricity. Facebook will continue to mature as a fundraising platform. There will be a new kind of fundraiser in town (i.e. more professionalized). Direct mail will not die … again. Charity rating services…

  • How to write ultra-clear fundraising copy

    It’s surprisingly easy to write confusing fundraising copy. Here are some must-avoids from Colludo, at Is Your Donor Communication as Confusing as a Bad Music Video? Have a point. And get to it. Start where the donor is, not where you want them to be. Strange metaphors, fluffy language and tacky gimmicks are a waste…