Why McDonald’s Doesn’t Sell Big Macs to Vegans

And you shouldn't either!

Have you ever seen a McDonald’s ad campaign focused on convincing vegans to buy a Big Mac? That’s crazy, right? Makes no sense. I mean, maybe there are a handful of vegans who could be convinced — after much effort — to try one. But it would take a whole lot of time, money, and […]

Does your nonprofit need a strategic agency partner?

In the nonprofit sector we often hear board members, CEO’s, and even development officers argue that they shouldn’t invest in fundraising agency partners, and instead should just “go it alone” in order to keep costs down. There’s a belief that fundraising strategy and communications are easy to create, and that anyone can be successful in […]

The 4 Myths that keep homeless service organizations from major gift success

Working with over 200 organizations that focus on serving people who are homeless, hungry, and living in poverty, I’ve come to conclude that there are 4 myths that keep organizations like this from achieving their full potential in major gift fundraising. As you read this post, maybe you’ll recognize some of these myths. Maybe you’ve […]

Fundraising Pro Tip – Your Direct Mail is Useless Without This


In the last month I’ve reviewed direct mail samples for about a dozen organizations. In all but one of those assessments there has been a major, and apparently common strategic problem with these appeals…

Every one of these appeals suffered from a weak or entirely missing ask!

Your fundraising letters are FUNDRAISING letters. If you don’t ask, or if you soft sell your ask, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Gently nudging donors to respond because you don’t want to offend them will have one result. It will not offend donors. BUT, it also WON’T raise you any money.

If you want to raise the most money possible, include a clear, direct call to action in your appeal. In fact, if you want to be really effective, repeat it more than once, and close with a killer P.S. statement that encapsulates your offer and ask entirely in those 1-2 sentences to further reinforce the need.

For more tips and tricks like this, get my 52 Direct Mail Fundraising Tips e-book today!


Upcoming Presentations – #MCHConf

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting two sessions at the upcoming Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless annual conference. This year I’ll be presenting on Raising Major Gifts for Homeless Service Organizations, and Creating Effective Fundraising Offers.

Both sessions will help fundraisers in the homeless services / domestic poverty space to more effectively identify, engage, and solicit high value donors…and ultimately raise more money for their causes!

If you lead a homeless service org in Minnesota or fundraise for one and aren’t yet registered for this conference, there’s still time to sign up! Use this link to register.

And when you attend one of my sessions, you’ll also get a free copy of my book, Rainmaking.

I hope to see you there!