a hand taking notes from a printout of various graphs
3 Data Gems to Better Personalize Your Donor Asks

March 12, 2018

Donor-centred communication is a key trait of excellent fundraising. The challenge for those of us who work in annual giving is to make a singular piece of communication feel like it is tailored to one person – even though you’re sending the exact same thing to 1,000 or 20,000 individuals. Here are three data gems, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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5 Cognitive Biases That Will Improve Your Storytelling

January 15, 2018

We fundraisers live in the world of persuasion. That’s our job – to persuade folks to action, make donations, sign petitions, volunteer, spread the word, and change the world. To do that successfully, we have to understand how to motivate people. There’s lots of research on how donor psychology and neuroscience impact the choices people […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

The Forces That Conspire to Make Your Appeal Drop Late

November 20, 2017

(And what you can do to have the force be with you!) In a perfect world, the planets would be in constant alignment and your direct mail appeals would always – always! – go out on time. However, we know that the planets often have a mind of their own. We can’t depend on the […]

How to Time Your Email for Maximum Impact

November 8, 2017

It’s no secret that timing can be key to email opens. People split test and optimize the time of day and day of the week. They plan based on content – surveys perform best on Friday afternoons, event reminders should go 24 hours before the event, and many commuters check their email on the go […]