Client Case Study: University of Saskatchewan Legacy Series

February 13, 2017

The University of Saskatchewan invested more than 10 years in building a donor-centred planned giving program. While they had incorporated stories in an annual newsletter, advertisements and events, they wanted to elevate their proactive planned giving program and generate more leads. That’s when they contacted Good Works to help them implement a story-driven direct mail […]

Doubling Down: How To Make Donors Happy AND Double Revenues

January 30, 2017

Believe it or not, there was a time (not THAT long ago) when direct response fundraising for annual giving programs was a very one-dimensional exercise. Your charity had a list of direct mail donors. You mailed appeals to them four or five times a year. They sent you lots of money. You met your goal. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Should You Talk About A Tragedy?

August 4, 2016

As fundraisers, we’re working months ahead. We write Christmas letters in June. Mother’s Day appeals get drafted in November. We have spring renewals on the brain in the dead of winter. Working this far in advance lets us develop mindful, donor-centric touchpoints throughout the year. But sometimes, the year takes a different turn than what […]