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 […]

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 […]

Get Out of Your Storytelling Box

October 14, 2014

By far the most common question I’m asked when I’m speaking about storytelling is along the lines of, “We’re a women’s shelter. How do we tell our stories if we have to maintain our client’s privacy?” Whether you work with a women’s shelter, a hospital foundation, a charity focused on children, or one addressing a […]

Donor Quotes Are Your Chance to Touch the Heart!

August 12, 2014

I’ll never forget my first ‘voluntary’ fundraising effort. It happened when I was 12 years old. Now, I’d done a bit of ‘involuntary’ fundraising before that. As a cub scout, I’d sold apples outside the beer store on Saturday morning. At Halloween, I got my orange box at school and collected change as I accumulated […]