Month: August 2017

  • How personal opinions destroy fundraising effectiveness

    Seth Godin once asked a question I wish would be widely asked within nonprofit organizations: Is everyone entitled to their opinion? In the consensus-heavy world of nonprofits, a lot of people’s opinions are sought and valued. This is probably one of the most destructive forces in our industry. As Seth notes, not everyone’s opinion is…

  • How to write a great thank you letter

    Thanking donors matters. So any time I get a chance to look at the good thank-you letters, I pay attention. Like this post at Aplos: Sample Thank You Letters to a Donor. Check out the attributes of an effective thank you: The letter starts out with a strong opening focusing on the donor. It tells…

  • 15 really bad real ideas from real nonprofits

    A lot of crazy bad ideas get kicked around at nonprofits. Most often in board meetings. Here’s a list of some that have actually been considered, from Wild Apricot, at 15 Utterly Insane Fundraising Ideas People Actually Thought Would Work. Please use these as a warning! “Just call Bill Gates!” Collect and sell slightly used…

  • The power of mystery in fundraising

    I’m in awe of this envelope: It’s 11.5 x 12 inches. There’s a lot of stuff in it, giving it some heft. And an amazing amount of information. But not a clue who sent it, or why. (Turns out it’s a life insurance offer. Sorry, I’m not looking for that.) This is great direct mail.…

  • The two-step secret to success in fundraising

    Here’s something you may have noticed too: Often, the nonprofit leaders who talk most about innovation and the exciting future ahead are the same ones who can’t seem to make meaningful progress now. There’s a reason, and it’s articulated at Pamela Grow’s blog: When is an opportunity NOT an opportunity? An opportunity is not an…