Direct Mail: Why Should You Invest?

March 26, 2018

All of us responsible for annual giving, or supporting clients who manage these programs, know that direct mail is more often than not the backbone of a charity’s annual fundraising strategy. It’s also the most cost-effective way non-profit organizations can build a stable base of donors from which they can leverage additional support. But it’s […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]