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 […]

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. […]

Don’t tell me how easy it is to leave a legacy gift – inspire me!

April 16, 2018

I want you to pick up your planned giving brochure – or go to the legacy giving pages on your website – and check something for me… Do you stress to supporters how EASY it is to leave a legacy gift in their wills? Do you stress the convenience and efficiency of legacy gift-making? Because […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Once Upon a Time: Telling the Perfect Legacy Gift Story

April 24, 2017

Once upon a time there was an aspiring fundraiser. She worked for a wonderful charity that was engaged in a truly great cause. Now, this fundraiser was a dedicated soul. She was always striving to learn more, to get better at her work and to perfect the noble craft that had called to her so […]

The Science of Stories (Nonprofit Storytelling Conference 2016 Session)

November 22, 2016

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in Chicago. I go to a LOT of conferences, and this one is a special favourite of mine. The speakers are amazing and passionate, the tracks have so much real-world practical use – it’s a whole conference that really gets to the […]