Your fundraising letters helped by zombies

Have you ever struggled with the active voice vs. passive voice in your fundraising letters? It's so easy to slip into the passive voice, thinking it sounds more "objective" or "business-like." But active voice is easier to read and is better at accomplishing your goal: getting donors to take action! While it's best to have

Telling Stories that Move Donors to Give

It was the midst of the Great Recession, and about one in ten people across the U.S. were out of work. Amadou was one of them. Unemployment benefits helped his family, for a while. But he had worked for a low wage, and his benefits were only a fraction of that—and then they ran out.

A warning about fall fundraising appeals

  Fall fundraising is hard enough. But listening to NPR's All Things Considered on my ride home this evening, I remembered how much more challenging political mailing will make your fundraising this fall. So I pulled to the side of the rode to record this reminder. How are you re-engineering your fall fundraising letters? What

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

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

Top 13 Readers Favorite Fundraising Coach Posts from 2013

Happy New Year! A record number of people came to for fundraising help in 2013. Here are the the top 2013 posts based on website traffic! They cover everything from social media tips, to strategies on year-end fundraising, to how board members can be effective askers. Top 13 Fundraising Posts Written in 2013 Content

The secret behind year-end fundraising fall appeals

Fall is upon us and that means year-end giving is right around the corner. If you haven’t written your year end appeals over the summer, then now is the time to get those done! As a broad generalization, I recommend sending a mailing: now (late Aug/early Sept) in mid-November in mid-December How to write fundraising