Ready, Set, Ask! Demystifying Your Gift Array

October 25, 2016

You know the old adage: if you don’t ask your donors to give, they won’t! How much then is an appropriate, thoughtful ask? Not surprisingly, there is no magic formula.  It depends on the offer, the need (is it an emergency appeal?), time of year, type of donor (active or lapsed?)….and more. Here are a […]

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 […]

Legacy Lessons For The Under-50 Set

October 12, 2016

I’ve been immersed in the world of charitable bequests since my fellow Good Workers and I conducted our first donor poll on the subject way back in 2003. In the years since, I’ve learned dozens of valuable lessons about where legacy gifts come from, who makes them, why they get made and how to persuade […]

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 […]

How To Integrate Online and Offline Content

September 28, 2016

It’s just not enough anymore to send a piece of direct mail and hope for the best. We’re living in the digital age! I’m sure you’ve already heard about how vital it is that you integrate your online and offline fundraising to create a seamless, simple donor journey that ends in a successful gift. That […]

Activating The Primary Colours of the Heart

September 22, 2016

Let’s now move from last time’s explanation of what primary emotions are, and why they’re so important – to a brief show and tell of how to actually use them to drive fundraising results. After all, you’re here right now to learn a new tool to help you bring in more money! ONCE UPON A […]

The Best Messengers For A Powerful Story

September 13, 2016

Many (if not most) of us who write fundraising communications materials obsess about WHAT we’re going to say. We want our content to be compelling, informative, persuasive and gripping – so we agonize over what we’re going to say and how best to say it. But in my opinion, most of us miss a very […]

The 4 Primary Colours Of The Heart

September 7, 2016

I’m sure you remember grade four art class like I do. As kids, we were taught that the thousands of colours, shades and hues we see all come from just three primary colours: red, blue and yellow. But, did you know that emotions work the same way? The thousands of emotions that you and I […]

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 […]

4 Ways To Be More Relevant To Your Donors

August 23, 2016

Back when I first got involved in direct response fundraising in 1989, there were two common practices that we often used in direct mail. The first was the renewal letter. This was a simple, short letter that basically said “Hey donor. It’s a new year. Time for you to give again. Write out your cheque […]