2017 in fireworks.
Ditch Your Fundraising Crutches in 2017

January 9, 2017

Writing is vital to fundraising. Direct mail, thank you letters, emails, social posting, brochures, event invites – you name it, it needs copy. But many of us fall into writing ruts. How many times have you followed a template or re-used wording, not because it’s effective, but because it’s quick, comfortable, and gets that task […]

The Website Check-up: Keeping Your Site In Top Form

December 13, 2016

Websites are a sticking point for many charities. They’re typically housed in one department or another, requiring a lot of collaboration to make updates or changes. As a result, those updates are often few and far between – which means a lot of charity websites are missing out on gifts and driving donors away. Here […]

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 […]

How To Get Your Donor’s Attention

November 30, 2016

Direct mail and the seemingly innocent outer envelope. Who knew the combination of the two could elicit such conversation and discussion! “What should we have on the outer envelope?”   “We need a teaser that will ‘grab’ our donors.” “A teaser alone won’t work: we need to add a great photo that connects to the tagline.” […]

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 […]

2016 Fundraising Challenges: 4 Ways You Can Respond Today

November 8, 2016

The wildfires in Fort McMurray and the threat of strike action by Canada Post this past spring caused a near-perfect storm, wreaking havoc on Canadian non-profits, particularly those who are solely or predominantly focused on direct mail. Conversely, the organizations using a multichannel fundraising approach seem to have fared a little better. Why? Because even […]

Donald Trump and the First Imperative

November 2, 2016

Many, if not most, of us who are watching the American presidential campaign are bewildered. We’re totally perplexed and confused at how an ignorant, racist, misogynist egomaniac like Donald Trump can possibly be competitive as a serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. As I write this, Trump (44%) is trailing […]

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 […]