Month: March 2022

  • When superstition guides your fundraising

    The organization had a small, thriving direct mail fundraising program. For years, it had been producing an acceptable level of net revenue. When I looked at their program, their results were good, but not great. Their direct mail packs were well-written. They had strong offers. One thing looked “off” to me: The reply devices. They…

  • Fundraising Is Beautiful 101: the basics of great fundraising [PODCAST]

    Before you know anything else about fundraising, there are three basic assumptions you should know about it: Fundraising is all about specificity. It’s the specific change you’re asking the donor to help make with their gift. Abstractions and generalities fail to move donors to action. Fundraising is about building relationships. Don’t think of donors as…

  • How to tell a fundraising story when there’s no story to tell [MacGyver Fundraising]

    MacGyver Fundraising: A series about getting it done in the real world MacGyver was an US action TV show in the 80s (with a more recent reboot) featuring a brilliant professional problem-solver who could get himself out of any jam with whatever random materials were at hand. He always solved the most difficult situations. Fundraisers…

  • 5 rookie mistakes fundraisers sometimes make

    Plural audience. When you sit down to write, you might be thinking about that mailing list of 35,000 people, and come up with a sentence like this: Some of you might be wondering how we’re going to complete this project. Oops. Rookie mindset. The professional visualizes one person and writes to that one individual. Plural…

  • 4 steps to dealing with donor complaints

    You are going to make mistakes. Something that’s going to upset one or more of your donors. Possibly a large number of them. It’s almost inevitable. Being careful and vigilant helps a lot, but there is no fail-safe way to avoid mistakes. Here’s what to do when it happens, from the Bloomerang Blog, at How…

  • The 2 times your direct mail envelope should give it all away

    Yesterday we looked at the power of “boring” envelopes in direct mail fundraising. Boring is often the way to go. But here are two exceptions where you can beat boring almost every time: Emergencies When fundraising about an emergency that your donors already know about, a very literal and content-revealing teaser is usually the best…

  • Why fundraisers love boring envelopes

    When you create direct mail fundraising, the most important element is the carrier envelope. If it doesn’t get opened, it really doesn’t matter how brilliant everything inside might be. It’s game over. You should put a lot of creative energy into your envelopes. But that might not mean what you think it means… Because sometimes…

  • Sign the enclosed placenta: The weird power of errors in fundraising

    Don’t you hate making errors? They make you look and feel stupid. But errors are funny things. It’s impossible to predict what damage they’ll do. Surprisingly often, they hurt your pride a lot more than they hurt anything else. Since I know you like to gloat about other people’s errors (well, I like to gloat,…

  • 9 important fundraising advantages of direct mail

    Direct mail is dead? Not even close. If you’re raising funds, you should consider direct mail, because it is a potent force for connecting with donors. Here are some of the advantages of direct mail, from the GivingMail blog, at What Makes Direct Mail So Efficient?: Direct mail has higher response rates. It’s somewhere around…

  • Top 5 blog posts of the month

    Here are the 5 most-read Future Fundraising Now blog posts from the (strangely long) month of February: Your 6-word guide to powerful donor newsletters [PODCAST] What Wordle can teach us about fundraising When a great offer meets weak copy 5 fundraising trends to watch right now Repetitious fundraising — boring for you, necessary for success