Category Archives: fundraising

When thanking your donor is a weak fundraising approach

It seems like the most natural thing in the world to open a letter or email to a donor with something like: “Thank you so much for all of your generous support.” It’s putting attention on the donor. It’s conversational. … Continue reading

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Our idea of a “fundraising story” is way too small

Tell great stories. It’s the fundraising mantra. We’re led to believe that if our fundraising is going to have any hope of raising money that we have to be able to create protagonists, work out a plotline, and build the … Continue reading

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Why informing donors doesn’t work in fundraising

It’s all too easy to think that if donors had enough information about a nonprofit’s work that they would donate in droves. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Truth is, as fundraisers we run into a roadblock called confirmation bias. … Continue reading

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What’s wrong with using emotion in fundraising?

When we use strong emotions in our donor appeals, is it poverty porn or just good fundraising? See my guest post on the topic here. One of the conclusions of a recent article in SOFI is that negative emotions can … Continue reading

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Why we get mediocre fundraising

The appeal opened with a description of a sweet little baby, and proceeded to deliver this bombshell: “Then he’s dead. Dead in 24 hours. Lying open mouthed to the night air, with his mom and dad weeping.” Strong language for … Continue reading

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Giving is way up for 2016, but what’s ahead for 2017?

2016 has been a banner year for nonprofits, according to a report from NPR. Fundraising is up about $35 million over last year – a big jump. Giving Tuesday alone was up an amazing 44 percent over last year, totaling … Continue reading

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Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Lessons for Fundraising

Herschell Gordon Lewis passed away recently. He was known as the “Godfather of Gore” for his campy movies. But more importantly, he will always be remembered a master of direct-response copywriting, both for business and for nonprofits. See my guest … Continue reading

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