Category Archives: fundraising

How NOT to begin a fundraising appeal – and one way that almost always works

A fundraising appeal from a social services nonprofit opens with this: “What would we do without you? How would we help local families like Michelle’s?” That’s the opening paragraph, the first thing that donors will see, and for some, the … Continue reading

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Coronavirus fundraising and what not to do

Fundraising for the coronavirus emergency is, well, unusual so far. A soup kitchen sends an email with the subject line “A message from the president.” If you’re a donor scanning your email inbox, that could be just about anything. Then … Continue reading

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Ask yourself, “Would I donate to this?”

A direct mail appeal from an international aid and relief charity opens with: “Five of Sayo’s children died because of dirty water. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?” Okay, we have a statement of need that maybe the donor can … Continue reading

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One reason why fundraising appeals go bad

“The letter doesn’t sound like me.” That’s something a president/CEO or executive director of a nonprofit might say when she’s reviewing a fundraising appeal. It’s actually a frequent comment, and it’s understandable, really. After all, the president probably believes passionately … Continue reading

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The single best — and easiest — way to improve your fundraising

If you’re heading up a nonprofit (or part of the team that does), one of the best things you can do for your fundraising is to come to terms with a hard truth: You are not your donors. But don’t … Continue reading

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Are your fundraising appeals repetitive? Good

Effective copywriting for fundraising is weird. It has a lot of characteristics that seem to be the opposite of what’s right. One of these is repetition. Good copy for an appeal tends to repeat some things over and over. To … Continue reading

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New Year’s Fundraising Resolution: Connect with your mid-level donors

You probably hear a lot about mid-level donors, and that’s for good reason. For most nonprofits, these donors represent the single largest opportunity for short-term and long-term growth. Cultivating mid-level donors increases their giving but also cultivates donors who can … Continue reading

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