Month: April 2024

  • The classic book that changed how we think about readability

    Type & Layout, by Colin Wheildon, is one of those books that helped change the way a lot of people thought about design. I discovered it not long after it was first published in 1995. I worked at The Domain Group, and the book used a print ad we had created as an example —…

  • What you need to know about midlevel donors

    Midlevel donors — those who give more than “typical” donors, but not enough to warrant one-to-one relationship based fundraising — have been called the “missing middle” because they often fall between the cracks of general donor and major donor fundraising — and end up getting little or no enhanced communication, and sometimes little or no…

  • How (and why) to give donors permission not to donate

    Give donors “permission” not to donate. I know that may seem odd, because they clearly have that permission whether you give it or not. And most donors, most of the time (including your best donors) exercise their right not to give. Still, when you give that permission, you recognize their autonomy and put a decision…

  • How to design your fundraising so it can actually be read

    So far in this series about Inclusive Fundraising, we’ve focused on reading and attention issues that make reading a challenge for many people — by some accounts, about 20% of the population in the US deals with these challenges. There’s another set of issues that make reading difficult for even more people: visual acuity issues.…

  • How to write faster: 6.5 tips

    From Total Annarchy by Ann Handley here are some great and unusual writing tips that can help you move faster through the writing cycle, at 6½ Ways to Write Faster: I love #6½: Use AI for the first draft. Then toss it out. Sometimes seeing a first draft that’s “off” in the way AI so…

  • 10 bogus reasons for keeping your writing hard to read

    If you champion plain language, ease-of-reading writing in your organization, you will run into opposition. The habit of complex writing is deeply embedded in our education and professional cultures. There are a number of typical arguments against communicating clearly. Here are ten of them — and their answers — from Writing for Dollars, Writing to…

  • [Book Review] Your tool for helping others believe in effective fundraising writing

    Book Review: Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law by Joseph Kimble This book is a useful and comprehensive guide for the Plain Language movement. It’s light on how-to-write material, but has a ton of foot-noted background information — the kind of stuff bosses sometimes listen…

  • 5 errors that can sink your monthly giving program

    Monthly giving is one of the keys to a successful and sustainable fundraising program. Monthly donors give more, stay longer, and do more of other things (like put you in their will). Monthly giving doesn’t happen by itself. It takes work to get and keep these important donors. Here’s a list of common mistakes we…

  • Do reading ease scores lead us astray?

    You may have heard that you must must MUST write your fundraising at a certain “reading ease” level. And that reading ease is measured by formulae you absolutely must follow. Well, maybe … Reading ease scores can be helpful guides for inclusive writing and plain language. Here are the two most common scoring systems: Both…

  • Top 5 blog posts of the month

    On this very special day, here are the 5 most-read Future Fundraising Now blog posts in the last month: Letter from a disgruntled donor [PODCAST] When to delete and start again in fundraising The amazingly good news about inclusive fundraising 5 reasons direct mail is still the fundraising powerhouse 2 lousy stories and a great…