Month: October 2022

  • Tricks and treats for online fundraisers

    Online fundraising is a lot like Halloween: Part fun, part scary. It has plenty of tricks and plenty of treats to keep you on your toes. Online fundraising “tricks” It’s a “cold” medium. The way people read email is different from traditional media. It’s fast, action-oriented, impatient. Not good for emotion and compassion — the…

  • Fundraising is a lot more about getting attention than getting money

    In major donor fundraising, it’s often said that it’s harder to get the appointment than it is to get the donation. That’s because in our world, time and attention are more precious than money. This is true for nearly everyone, not just wealthy major donors: Time is in much shorter supply than money. And time…

  • Weird fundraising rules that once haunted me

    All professions have superstitions. That includes fundraising. Here are some “rules” that I once thought of as absolute … but now know better. “Don’t use pastel colors.” This was one of the first fundraising rules I ever learned — from my first boss at my first fundraising job at a small nonprofit. The rule is…

  • The easy way to raise less money

    It’s not hard to understand that less fundraising means less revenue. But, as the Better Fundraising Blog points out at Less is Less, the converse is also true: More is more. That is, more fundraising means more revenue: If your organization believes that “less is less,” but doesn’t believe that “more is more,” you’ve placed…

  • Keep donors paying attention by raising raising questions, not spouting answers

    Ads written by journalists are why most people hate advertising. They’re also why so many ads are ineffective and a waste of money. This is what we learn from The Monday Morning Memo at That Hovering Question Mark It applies equally to fundraising. Ads written by journalists are those that begin by revealing everything that…

  • Two super-common errors that can kill your fundraising [PODCAST]

    There are two opposite impulses that almost all fundraisers fall prey to at some time or another. They are: Educating donors Abstraction They are guaranteed response-crushers. And the temptation to do both are powerful. With real-life examples, we’ll show you how to avoid both errors and keep your fundraising strong. From the archives of the…

  • What the plumber taught me about bad fundraising

    A few weeks ago, our kitchen sink got clogged. Gray water swirling with bits of garbage filled the sink to the rim. I yelled at it for a while — that usually works. But it wouldn’t go down. So we called a plumber. While the plumber was working on the sink, I noticed something disturbing:…

  • The bad way to deal with donation credit card fees

    Credit card fees for donations are like a pebble in your shoe: small, but it can really hold your attention and made you miserable. Some fundraisers look for ways to make donors pay the 2-3%. Bad idea, according to the Bloomerang Blog, at How Do We Tell Donors Paying By Credit Card To Pay The…

  • Join a nonprofit board to build your tool set

    I know you’re busy, but here’s something you might want to add to your plate, because the payback could be well worth the extra time: Serve on another nonprofit’s board. I realize that might sound about as attractive as watching the paint dry on someone else’s house. But there are some great reasons to consider…

  • The dream donor who slashed a revenue stream

    He’s the kind of donor everyone loves. Every year’s end, he makes a donation of around $1,000. He gives a couple of other smaller gifts at other times of year. But it’s not just his money they love. He’s friends with many people at the org. He volunteers regularly, taking the jobs it’s hard to…