Month: June 2019

  • How to harness the power of mystery for your fundraising

    This envelope makes one of the most common errors in direct mail fundraising. Can you see what it is? No mystery! There is no reason for someone to open this envelope, because it fully reveals what’s inside. My experience bears this out: With some exceptions, no-mystery envelopes do poorly. Here’s another one. This one doesn’t…

  • Why you should not do a fundraising gala this year

    Why do nonprofits have galas and other large events meant to raise money? I think it’s because planning and pulling off a gala is a lot less scary than the real work of fundraising. All you have to do is work your way through a huge (massive!) to-do list, then you have some fun, and…

  • Fundraising with nouns and verbs

    A standard piece of writing advice is Write with nouns and verbs, not adjectives and adverbs. It’s good advice for fundraising writing too. It can be tempting to pile on the adjectives (modify nouns) and adverbs (modify verbs and usually end with -ly) because they seem to make your writing more vivid. But that usually…

  • 6 ways to connect to donors’ brains

    This might bother you some, but it’s an inescapable truth: Your donors overwhelmingly use what neuroscientists call Primal Brain when deciding whether or not to donate. That is the primitive, not-rational part of the brain that is about survival, not higher things. You will raise a lot more money if you acknowledge this truth rather…

  • How to kill your fundraising with committees

    Does this look like your internal process for creating fundraising messages? (From the wonderful Marketoonist cartoon and blog.) It always amazes me how many people get involved in fundraising. Everyone knows that “too many cooks spoil the broth.” We’ve all experienced it many times. Yet when it comes to fundraising, large committees form to make…