How to Start a Legacy Giving Program from Absolutely Nothing

January 2, 2018

Unless you’ve been living on another planet for the last decade or so, you’re no doubt aware that legacy giving (also known as gifts in wills or charitable bequests) is the biggest source of new revenue for most charities in Canada these days. If you’ve been paying any attention to me and my fellow Good […]

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 […]

6 Steps To A Winning #GivingTuesday Campaign

September 18, 2017

I know, I know – it’s only September. You have loads of time before #GivingTuesday and you have a ton on your plate right now. It can wait, right? Wrong. If you really want to make the most of the influx of philanthropy that comes with #GivingTuesday (which falls on November 28th this year), then […]

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. […]

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. […]

How To Create An Unbeatable Fundraising Brochure

June 19, 2017

In the age of web-based information such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, there is still something to be said for the printed page, at least from my middle-aged perspective. I’m always game for a good read, not to mention, the sensory experience of glossy pages and beautiful, colour photos. These are things that, if done […]

My Take on Poverty Porn

May 29, 2017

A fellow Good Worker asked me into her office the other morning to ask for my help. She was struggling with new creative material for a series of fund appeals for a client. Now, I’m not going to name this client – but I am going to say that when it is successful in its […]

The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a Fundraiser

May 1, 2017

After decades of being embarrassed to tell people what we do, likened to used car salesmen, and facing myths that ‘surely you aren’t paid to do that,’ fundraising is finally being recognized as a vocation. Thank goodness for that. I think back to the early 1990s. I was a recent graduate, proud of my Master’s […]

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 […]