boat in a storm
Weathering the storm: How to talk about financial trouble

May 22, 2018

This morning, a friend and colleague sent me a sample mailing from a brand-name UK charity that he found interesting. I read it over and sort of sighed under my breath…“here we go again”. Now, this particular letter was from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – or RNLI as it is commonly known in Britain. […]

large tree under a blue sky
Don’t tell me how easy it is to leave a legacy gift – inspire me!

April 16, 2018

I want you to pick up your planned giving brochure – or go to the legacy giving pages on your website – and check something for me… Do you stress to supporters how EASY it is to leave a legacy gift in their wills? Do you stress the convenience and efficiency of legacy gift-making? Because […]

Which Way Are You Growing Your Donor Pyramid?

February 12, 2018

I work at a fundraising agency that does all types of direct response fundraising with Canadian charities. Here at Good Works, we often receive Requests for Proposals (or RFPs as they’re known in the trade) that invite us to bid on consulting work with a potential new client. When we receive an RFP, we’re asked to […]

tree in front of lake at sunset
The Interesting Tale of the Two “I’s”

January 29, 2018

Are you old enough to remember watching Sesame Street on TV when you were a kid? Well, boys and girls, today’s blog is brought to you by the letter “I”. If I were to give the gift of knowledge to new planned giving fundraisers, my biggest gift would be to teach them the difference between […]

seedling coming through soil
How to Start a Legacy Giving Program from Absolutely Nothing

January 2, 2018

Unless you’ve been living on another planet for the last decade or so, you’re no doubt aware that legacy giving (also known as gifts in wills or charitable bequests) is the biggest source of new revenue for most charities in Canada these days. If you’ve been paying any attention to me and my fellow Good […]

green door with heart cutout that leads to a secret garden
The Legacy Stewardship Secret You Need To Know

October 16, 2017

I want to share a conversation I have with planned giving fundraisers all the time… We’re talking about the ways in which the charity in question can effectively market bequests to its donors. We get excited as we start to realize how much revenue we could generate – and how little it would cost to […]

a calculator and a pencil sitting on an open notebook
How to Calculate Your Legacy Potential

October 2, 2017

Everyone’s looking for new sources of revenue these days. You’ve no doubt got someone on your board who’s floating the idea of a social media campaign (“but they did it with the ice bucket challenge!”) or yet another special event (“why NOT have another golf tournament?”).  The hard reality of life is that we live […]

Fundraising Trend #7: The End of the Donor (as we know it)?

September 4, 2017

Okay, maybe this one isn’t a trend; YET. But I think it will be… Over this summer, I’ve shared the six trends that I believe most influence our work as marketers and fundraisers in the philanthropic marketplace. I hope you’ve found a few of them helpful. But, as I finished the six-part series, there was […]

A hand holding a credit card.
Fundraising Trend #6: Show Me The Impact Of My Gift

August 21, 2017

I want to bring you into a room with me. It’s a board room – and around the long meeting table are seated 12 strangers. This is a donor focus group, and I’ve invited you to come, watch, and listen while I probe these donors for their thoughts and feelings about their charitable giving. I […]

A green wave crashing, highlighted against a blue sky with clouds.
Fundraising Trend #5: The End Of Corporate-Speak

August 8, 2017

Donors are no longer interested in hearing corporate-speak: that is, your self-promotional, infomercial-sounding, advertising age slogans and jingles. It’s a sea change going on in the philanthropic marketplace. In fact, it’s already happened. Rather, donors want to hear authentic truth from you – and then judge for themselves whether that truth is sufficiently relevant and compelling for them to take action. […]