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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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. […]

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Legacy Stewardship: What You REALLY Need To Do

July 4, 2017

STEWARD: One whose job is to manage the property or finances of another. I want to bring you into a classic conversation I’ve had over and over with my fellow fundraisers over the years. Someone has invited me into her office to talk with her about her organization’s bequest income potential. I’ll do some pretty […]

The best free tools in your fundraising toolbox
The 5 Handiest Free Tools for Fundraisers

June 5, 2017

The to-do list of a fundraiser never ends – and our budgets don’t always quite line up with all the tasks we need to complete. Thankfully, we live in the digital age, where awesome free tools abound! Whether you’re trying to find time for design, data crunching, or social posting, these 5 totally free tools […]

A step-by-step walkthrough for a story-driven creative plan
How To Map Out Your Creative Plan

May 8, 2017

One of the first things I talk about with clients is the stories they have to tell. I ask them to think about who their best storytellers are, and the variety of stories that speak to the impact of their work. With that in mind, I also suggest that they give some thought to which […]