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 […]

The 3 Storytellers Your Case For Support Is Missing

June 14, 2016

A case for support might be one of the most in-depth, and earliest, touches a prospect has with your charity. Are you taking the opportunity to tell them the right stories? I’m sure you’ve included the story of Patches, the cat whose life was saved because of kind gifts. Or you’ve talked about Betty, who […]

In Case You Missed Out: The #DonorLove Rendezvous Recap

May 16, 2016

Over the past twenty years, I’ve probably been to as many fundraising conferences as anybody. But, on May 11, I went to one that was COMPLETELY different: the #DonorLove Rendezvous. And, not only was it different, it was great! I spent a whole day with about 150 fundraisers from Canada, the USA and Ireland. Sure, […]