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. […]

father walking with child at sunset
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 […]

smiling face on a post-it note
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 […]

a hand taking notes from a printout of various graphs
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 […]

hand holding brain shaped lightbulb
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 […]

heart in the sand on a beach
The Amazing Power of Storytelling – Part 2

December 18, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an experience I had at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in San Diego back in November. I met some really wonderful people (shout out to A.J Steinberg from Queen Bee fundraising – great lady!). But there’s one person, one story, that has really stayed with me. If you […]

book with string tied in a heart
A “Year of Giving” and the Amazing Power of Storytelling

December 4, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference was just two weeks ago, because it kind of feels like two months. (I say that tongue in cheek, because the fall is such a busy time in this sector.) The truth is, the conference experience still lives on in my head and my heart. I’ll […]

A green wave crashing, highlighted against a blue sky with clouds.
Fundraising Trend #5: The End Of Corporate-Speak

August 8, 2017

Donors are no longer interested in hearing corporate-speak: that is, your self-promotional, infomercial-sounding, advertising age slogans and jingles. It’s a sea change going on in the philanthropic marketplace. In fact, it’s already happened. Rather, donors want to hear authentic truth from you – and then judge for themselves whether that truth is sufficiently relevant and compelling for them to take action. […]