car on a map
How to Build a Road Map to Success

September 17, 2018

It can be difficult to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there if you don’t have a map. Without a magic GPS unit for your direct mail projects, you’re going to need a critical path. If you work with an agency for your direct mail program, they should provide this for […]

ripple around a water droplet
Want to raise more money and awareness?

August 13, 2018

“If only more people knew about us and the great work we do, we could raise so much more money.” As a fundraiser, how many times have you heard this? And be honest, you may have even uttered those words yourself in a moment of weakness. Wanting to raise awareness, educate and share the story […]

a large bridge across a body of water
3 Things I Learned at the 2018 Bridge Conference

August 7, 2018

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to join over 2,000 fundraisers in Washington, D.C. for the 2018 Bridge Conference. It’s a conference I have wanted to attend for a long time. I’m happy to say it managed to meet my lofty expectations! Coming out of a whirlwind three days, I can honestly say that […]

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 […]

people jumping on a beach at sunset
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. […]

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, […]