small gift
7 Easy Tips for Outstanding Donor Premiums

August 27, 2018

We’ve had an incredibly hot summer here in Ottawa. In fact, most of us have found it too hot to spend a whole lot of time outdoors. With the A/C on blast, many of us have taken to indoor projects. For me, that’s meant finally tackling the mountain of charitable mailing samples and donor premiums […]

wooden hearts on a string
What Do Donors Really Want?

June 25, 2018

There have been several reports circulating over the last few months looking at charitable giving in Canada. These reports do a deep dive into how donors are feeling about charitable giving, donor motivations, what they want to receive from the charities and causes they choose to support, as well as things like how often they […]

envelope sitting on a table
Direct Mail: Why Should You Invest?

March 26, 2018

All of us responsible for annual giving, or supporting clients who manage these programs, know that direct mail is more often than not the backbone of a charity’s annual fundraising strategy. It’s also the most cost-effective way non-profit organizations can build a stable base of donors from which they can leverage additional support. But it’s […]

heart in the sand on a beach
The Amazing Power of Storytelling – Part 2

December 18, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an experience I had at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in San Diego back in November. I met some really wonderful people (shout out to A.J Steinberg from Queen Bee fundraising – great lady!). But there’s one person, one story, that has really stayed with me. If you […]

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 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? […]

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 […]

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 […]