Month: May 2023

  • 5 tips for overcoming distractions that crowd out your writing

    Distraction is the enemy of creativity. Especially writing, which seems to attract distraction like a magnet attracts iron shavings. Two frightening facts: The average person is distracted every 40 seconds when working at their computer. On average it takes more than 23 minutes to get back on task after these interruptions. That’s not good! Here…

  • Why your nonprofit newsletter is a waste of your money and everyone’s time [Newsletter Tuesday]

    Newsletter Tuesdays: A series about doing more with your donor newsletter. Is your newsletter a success? Most nonprofit newsletters are not. They’re a waste of money. They aren’t worth doing, because they don’t generate short term revenue or long-term donor retention. Why? It’s most likely a combination of two factors: 1. It’s irrelevant I have…

  • Zen and the art of fundraising — and you

    You’ve probably heard the old Zen saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” You’ve probably experienced it in your life. I certainly have. You develop an interest in something, or a need for some kind of knowledge — and almost immediately a person shows up in your life who not only has…

  • How good is your crap detector?

    Someone asked Ernest Hemingway what single quality it takes to make someone a good writer. His answer: A built-­in, shock-­proof, crap detector. I doubt he had fundraising in mind when he said that, but he could have. Crap is the chief enemy of effective fundraising. What is crap in fundraising? Vague abstractions about what your…

  • 2 amazing things your nonprofit newsletter can do for you

    Newsletter Tuesdays: A series about doing more with your donor newsletter. An effective donor newsletter should accomplish two things: It should improve donor retention. It does that by showing donors that their giving accomplishes good things. While it’s hard to directly measure this outcome, a solid donor newsletter should be part of a healthy donor…

  • Why so much writing is so bad, and how you can avoid it

    Hard-to-read writing is bad for fundraising. It decreases response. Why does it persist? I think it’s mainly three factors: Sloppy writing Easy to read is hard to write. It takes care and attention to write clearly and make things simple. First drafts are often complex. That’s okay, even inevitable. As long as you revise for…

  • When you can’t face writing: 5 tips

    It happens to everyone: You have to write something. But you can’t make yourself do it. But you have to. Yes, it’s weird. And normal. Here are five ways to help yourself move forward from Publication Coach at How to write when you don’t want to: Start doing something different, instantly. When you notice you’re…

  • Don’t snub donors with the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

    Do you need your donors? Then tell them so! Donors don’t know they’re needed unless you specifically say so. And too many of them have no idea how important they care, because so many fundraisers believe in the Myth of Self-Sufficiency. The Myth of Self-Sufficiency drives us to make all our messaging about how great…

  • 4 ways to unlock the power of gifts of stock

    Here’s something that might surprise you: Nonprofits that consistently receive gifts of appreciated stocks grow donation income six times faster than those that only receive cash. This according to a recent study by Dr. Russell James. Here are some things you can do to up your game in this high-impact type of fundraising, from Clairification,…

  • The right way — and wrong way — to thank your donors [PODCAST]

    A lot of nonprofit thank-you messages say something like this: “Thank you for being our partner…” That’s about as thrilling to the donor as telling her she has nice elbows. Donors don’t give in order to be our partner. They give to have a positive impact on the world in some specific way. And that’s…