book with string tied in a heart
A “Year of Giving” and the Amazing Power of Storytelling

December 4, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference was just two weeks ago, because it kind of feels like two months. (I say that tongue in cheek, because the fall is such a busy time in this sector.) The truth is, the conference experience still lives on in my head and my heart. I’ll […]

A step-by-step walkthrough for a story-driven creative plan
How To Map Out Your Creative Plan

May 8, 2017

One of the first things I talk about with clients is the stories they have to tell. I ask them to think about who their best storytellers are, and the variety of stories that speak to the impact of their work. With that in mind, I also suggest that they give some thought to which […]

Can you start a mid-level program?
3 Key Indicators Of Mid-Level Giving Success

March 8, 2017

One of the first things we like to do with a new client is take them through a donor pyramid building exercise.  We talk about starting with a solid base of single-gift donors who will support your organization year over year. From there, we develop strategies to grow the pyramid vertically, by converting donors to […]

2016 Fundraising Challenges: 4 Ways You Can Respond Today

November 8, 2016

The wildfires in Fort McMurray and the threat of strike action by Canada Post this past spring caused a near-perfect storm, wreaking havoc on Canadian non-profits, particularly those who are solely or predominantly focused on direct mail. Conversely, the organizations using a multichannel fundraising approach seem to have fared a little better. Why? Because even […]

How To Get Your Direct Mail Envelope Opened

August 31, 2016

Many fundraisers spend entirely too much time on their direct mail letters. Is the signatory a good storyteller? Is the ask strong enough? The subject compelling? I’m guilty of this as well. But, in reality, nothing much matters if the donor (or prospective donor) never opens your envelope! Today’s post is all about how best […]

5 Easy Ways To Get Multi-Channel Working For You

May 10, 2016

May is the month we’ve all been patiently waiting for. We’ve endured the April showers and we’re more than ready to welcome in the warmer weather. Around this time every year, we’re sitting down with clients and poring over results. For many, the fiscal year in only a couple of months in, but for all, […]

The Truth About Restricted Revenue In Direct Mail

February 22, 2016

When you think about your direct mail program, I’m willing to bet that unrestricted revenue is a huge consideration. Would you agree? Of course we know that logically, before any non-profit organization or charity can start raising money, they need to employ skilled staff and provide a roof over their heads. The building houses the […]

How to raise less money than you did last year

September 16, 2015

I’m betting that headline stopped you in your tracks. What? Why would you want to raise less money than you did last year? I can’t imagine that you do. And that’s precisely why I’m writing today. How many of us know the true value of our existing donors? Those loyal people who have been giving […]

What I learned studying for my CFRE

April 15, 2015

After a couple of years of hemming and hawing, I finally decided that obtaining my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) International certification was a priority. To make the exam prep less onerous and a bit more fun, I joined up with a couple of my fundraising peers and we got down to business. One of […]

How do you thank your ‘everyday’ HERO?

July 8, 2014

Charities and non-profits are finally taking notice that their existing donors hold HUGE potential for larger, more meaningful giving than they may have thought. The problem is, charities are spending entirely too much time mapping out the ‘ask’, and not nearly enough time brainstorming ideas around appropriate stewardship and how to genuinely, deeply and appropriately […]