Enter into the DONOR’S story

Last week at the Blackbaud conference, I heard yet another story of good fundraising letters being eviscerated by marketing. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. A fundraiser studies her craft, reads the results of fundraising tests, and creates a compelling appeal. Then a marketing person gets involved and tries to “fix it.” They use passive […]

4 Questions to Answer for Monthly Giving #bbcon

I’m attending the last day of BBCON – Blackbaud’s Conference for the Philanthropic Community and just got to here an amazing 15-minute session by Brady Josephson. He outlined the four questions you need to answer when setting up your monthly giving program. Here they are, with a short explanation. The 4 Questions to Answer for […]

Fundraising problems are LEADERSHIP problems

A couple weeks ago, I shared a story with nonprofit executive directors who get my Fundraising Kick coaching emails. It’s important enough that I want to share it with you too. In September, I was privileged to keynote for the Utah Nonprofits Association. My talk was for a mixed audience of nonprofit leaders but I […]

The right use of “we” in fundraising

This morning, I read a great post by Terry St. Marie called “The Critical First Step For Great Leadership: The Journey From ‘I’ to ‘We’.” His movement from ego-centricity to inclusiveness is something as critical in fundraising as it is in leadership. Normally “we” is a bad word in fundraising letters. I regularly help my […]

Declare today – Follow Up Friday!

This morning, I was inspired by reading “The Ball is Always in Your Court” on the ForImpact.org blog. So I’m declaring today Follow Up Friday. In the post, Tom Suddes says that of the three parts of any ask, the follow up is the most important. I agree. In fact, I start the follow up […]

Is your fundraising letter as effective as this bag of coffee?

I like reading obscure things: prefaces to books, notes on receipts, credits after movies. So it’s no surprise that I read the marketing message on the new bag of East African coffee my wife bought for us to try. What I read on this coffee bag blew me away Seriously. You can see it for […]

A surprising way to increase planned gifts

I love that we live in a time of actual research of fundraising. We’re finally moving beyond anecdotes to verified research by groups like the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. (In the interest of full disclosure: I am on the Advisory Panel for the think tank associated with the Centre.) The newest findings presented this month […]