A woman with long, blonde hair, standing in front of a wall covered in rectangular colour samples.
How To Create An Unbeatable Fundraising Brochure

June 19, 2017

In the age of web-based information such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, there is still something to be said for the printed page, at least from my middle-aged perspective. I’m always game for a good read, not to mention, the sensory experience of glossy pages and beautiful, colour photos. These are things that, if done […]

Tricks to bring inactive donors back into the fold.
Data Mining For Gold: How To Reactivate Long-Lapsed Donors

May 15, 2017

Lapsed donors are often thought of as a ball and chain, weighing down an otherwise perfectly good donor file. But actually, the truth is that lapsed donors are simply a missed opportunity. The first place to start is to ask – why did they stop giving to you and your charity in the first place? […]

Like a Rubik's cube, hiring a fundraising is all about the right fit.
The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a Fundraiser

May 1, 2017

After decades of being embarrassed to tell people what we do, likened to used car salesmen, and facing myths that ‘surely you aren’t paid to do that,’ fundraising is finally being recognized as a vocation. Thank goodness for that. I think back to the early 1990s. I was a recent graduate, proud of my Master’s […]

The basics of writing for direct mail.
A Direct Mail Writing Primer

March 20, 2017

Have you ever had your direct mail copy hijacked by your board, volunteers, or communications department? Are you new to fundraising, and not sure how to approach writing your direct mail appeals? Are you not entirely clear on what direct response approaches are considered to be tested and true? Have you ever had a signatory […]

Teeny Tiny Type, And Why It Hurts Your Fundraising

February 6, 2017

I was on a flight home to Ottawa last week. I’d had a long day of meetings, so decided to delve into the travel magazines that I’d brought along. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel? My secret indulgence is subscriptions to all of the best travel magazines. I sat back, ordered a […]

Canadian fundraising benchmarks will kick no-profits into high-gear.
Canadian Fundraising Benchmarks or Bust

December 7, 2016

It’s a sad fact here in Canada that we don’t have much in the way of fundraising benchmarks. We’re often forced to turn to reports out of the United States to get some idea of how our direct marketing programs are performing. Consulting firms like Good Works are able to compile their client data to […]

Your brain lights up like a light bulb when you tell it a story.
The Science of Stories (Nonprofit Storytelling Conference 2016 Session)

November 22, 2016

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in Chicago. I go to a LOT of conferences, and this one is a special favourite of mine. The speakers are amazing and passionate, the tracks have so much real-world practical use – it’s a whole conference that really gets to the […]

The Most Valuable Email In My Inbox

October 19, 2016

Like you, I get a lot of email. Like, a lot. So much that a few years ago I started unsubscribing to many of the e-newsletters and blogs I’d been receiving. I just didn’t have time to read them all. So, which ones did I keep? I kept a few of the fundraising-related ones (namely […]

What Makes A Successful Direct Mail Reply Coupon

October 5, 2016

The business reply coupon (BRC) is that little (or sometimes half- or even or full-page) charitable donation slip that a generous donor sends back with their hard-earned cash to your organization to make a gift. It exists simply for the donor to return their gift to you in the most elegant way possible. Your BRC needs […]