small gift boxes
3 Tips to Build a Better Monthly Donor File

February 26, 2018

“We want more monthly donors.” That’s a common request I hear from various charities across Canada. And it’s a great goal to pursue! Monthly donors are some of the most prized and valuable supporters available to non-profit organizations. They have excellent retention (although face-to-face is usually an exception), offer a stable stream of income, and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]