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 […]

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 […]

The Forces That Conspire to Make Your Appeal Drop Late

November 20, 2017

(And what you can do to have the force be with you!) In a perfect world, the planets would be in constant alignment and your direct mail appeals would always – always! – go out on time. However, we know that the planets often have a mind of their own. We can’t depend on the […]

Fundraising Trend #4: How to Double Revenue With Fewer Donors

July 24, 2017

I’ve said for years that fundraising is never democratic – and it isn’t. Let me share a little story to illustrate… Many years ago, my wife, daughter and I attended Almonte United Church, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. Now, to be honest, I wasn’t at all that committed to church life – but when I […]

Fundraising Trend #3: The Fractured Market and How to Reach Them

July 10, 2017

Okay, so I’m going to date myself – in a big way… I remember getting my first fundraising job with an international development NGO called Plenty Canada back in 1989. That was 28 years ago. My challenge at Plenty was simple: we had to grow our donor file from a mere 500 donors to 5,000. […]

A Direct Mail Writing Primer

March 20, 2017

Have you ever had your direct mail copy hijacked by your board, volunteers, or communications department? Are you new to fundraising, and not sure how to approach writing your direct mail appeals? Are you not entirely clear on what direct response approaches are considered to be tested and true? Have you ever had a signatory […]

3 Key Indicators Of Mid-Level Giving Success

March 8, 2017

One of the first things we like to do with a new client is take them through a donor pyramid building exercise.  We talk about starting with a solid base of single-gift donors who will support your organization year over year. From there, we develop strategies to grow the pyramid vertically, by converting donors to […]

Teeny Tiny Type, And Why It Hurts Your Fundraising

February 6, 2017

I was on a flight home to Ottawa last week. I’d had a long day of meetings, so decided to delve into the travel magazines that I’d brought along. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel? My secret indulgence is subscriptions to all of the best travel magazines. I sat back, ordered a […]

How To Get Your Donor’s Attention

November 30, 2016

Direct mail and the seemingly innocent outer envelope. Who knew the combination of the two could elicit such conversation and discussion! “What should we have on the outer envelope?”   “We need a teaser that will ‘grab’ our donors.” “A teaser alone won’t work: we need to add a great photo that connects to the tagline.” […]

How To Pick Your Perfect Signatory

May 2, 2016

I’m amazed at the number of organizations I talk to who have only ever sent out appeals signed by their Executive Director or CEO. And, when I question why that’s being done, they’re not really sure. It’s just always the way it’s been done, so they continue to do it. Usually, they haven’t really thought through […]