Tag: fundraising

  • 9 ways to write better subject lines

    The subject line is the most important part of an email. It’s typically seen by your recipients in their inboxes alongside dozens of other subject lines. They are highly likely to delete it without a second thought. Here, from the NextAfter Blog, are some guidelines for getting your emails noticed — which gives them a…

  • Why they give

    It can be hard to remember why donors donate. It’s hard because their reasons are usually simpler and more internal than our reasons for valuing our cause. That’s why so much fundraising misses the mark. Because it basically says, “You should donate to this for these reasons” — backed up by facts, statistics, and high-flown…

  • 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…

  • Good fundraising writing: It’s not about avoiding your peeves

    Years ago, I worked at a company where one of the best ways to get ahead was to talk. A lot. Being able to filibuster at a meeting or write staggeringly long emails marked you as a winner. The content of what you had to say wasn’t as important as word count. It was the…

  • When to delete and start again in fundraising

    From the great Culture for Hire, 3 foolproof tests for customer-centric arts marketing. It’s aimed at arts marketing, but with a few minor word changes, it becomes a guide for effective fundraising: Imagine your ideal [donor]. Would they ever say [insert your fundraising copy here]? No? Delete that copy and start again. Pretend you’re a…

  • What you can learn from the most hated fundraising TV spot

    If you look up the famous Sarah McLachlan ASPCA TV spot, you could easily come to the conclusion that it is an utter failure. Because everyone hates it so much! Like a thread on Reddit that starts: “These ads are so damn depressing and long that I loath these ads! I am a huge dog…

  • 4 weird copywriting cheats for fundraising writers

    In your first draft of any fundraising piece you write include the word you (your, yours, you’re, etc.) in EVERY SENTENCE. Don’t worry that some of those sentences or sentence combinations may be awkward. You can revise them later. But I can guarantee that with you in every sentence, the psychological core of your draft…

  • 9 tested ways to raise more money online

    As email becomes more and more important as a way to raise funds, we’re learning many of the ground rules that work best. And it’s often just as counterintuitive as direct mail. Here’s a useful guide from NextAfter: Email Fundraising: A Quick Reference Guide for Crafting Emails that Lead to More Revenue (downloadable PDF, registration…

  • 3 must-haves for fundraising stories

    Most fundraisers know that telling stories is an important part of successful fundraising. But telling a story isn’t a magic ticket to great results. Many fundraising stories completely fail to improve results. When your story doesn’t work, the reasons are usually one or more of these: Your story has to be relevant to your donor.…

  • Why is clear writing so hard?

    I just read an article in an academic journal that was about a topic I care about: clear communication. This matters to fundraisers because when you write in a clear and easy-to-understand way, you raise more money. It’s very clear. The article I’m talking about isn’t about fundraising, but it made an even wider and…