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!


18 Steps to Maximize Year-End Giving

Make the most of your Q4 fundraising efforts!

Over the next three months nonprofits will raise over 30% of their annual revenue. Some of you might even raise as much as 50% of your budget between now and year-end. With that kind of opportunity in front of you, it’s essential that you’re focused on the activities that will get you the most leverage […]

5 Culture Problems That Can Kill Your Fundraising

#3: We don't INVEST in philanthropy

If you haven’t checked out my first and second posts in the series of 5 Culture Problems That Can Kill Your Fundraising, check those out now!  This series is adapted from a presentation my good friend Derric Bakker, CEO of Dickerson Bakker & Associates gave at the 2017 Association of Gospel Rescue Missions conference. Today we’ll look […]