wooden hearts on a string
What Do Donors Really Want?

June 25, 2018

There have been several reports circulating over the last few months looking at charitable giving in Canada. These reports do a deep dive into how donors are feeling about charitable giving, donor motivations, what they want to receive from the charities and causes they choose to support, as well as things like how often they […]

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How To Achieve Awesomeness: A Summer Challenge for Fundraisers

June 18, 2018

We have a small tradition in our family – it’s the annual crafting of our summer “Poo-Butt List.” Now stick with me for a minute. Each summer we pull out a yellow pad of legal paper and gather around the kitchen table. We all toss out the wild things we’d like to do which can […]

man jumping on a rock
How to be a good fundraiser

June 4, 2018

I love the work I do. I admire and respect my colleagues and clients. Donors inspire me every day. I’m proud to call myself a fundraiser and I’m grateful that I found my way into this profession thirty-some years ago. I’ve watched the profession and the sector grow and change and I’ve learned a few […]

boat in a storm
Weathering the storm: How to talk about financial trouble

May 22, 2018

This morning, a friend and colleague sent me a sample mailing from a brand-name UK charity that he found interesting. I read it over and sort of sighed under my breath…“here we go again”. Now, this particular letter was from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – or RNLI as it is commonly known in Britain. […]

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Lifetime Value – the Only Metric You Need!

May 7, 2018

It’s an almost mythical number that comes up in team meetings and budget discussions: donor Lifetime Value. When mentioned, heads nod. Everyone agrees – it’s important. But when was the last time you calculated the Lifetime Value of your donors? Lifetime Value (LTV) is a critical metric at the disposal of every fundraiser – one […]

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How to Get Donors to Make a Second Gift

April 23, 2018

You just released a killer appeal into the donor universe and you know it’s going to yield big results. The donations start rolling in and you have made a dent in your acquisition target. Congratulations! Err… maybe hold that congratulations for a minute. Many seasoned fundraisers agree that a donor is not really yours until […]

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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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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 […]