If you’re going to hide the ask, just don’t mail at all (Tip #17)

Don’t hide your ask deep in your letter.  If you’re spending the money to send out direct mail solicitations, don’t be shy! Prominently and repeatedly make your ask.  In fact, some of the best direct mail fundraising letters not only make the ask several times in the letter, but also in the outer envelope teaser […]

This is why your special event doesn’t raise more money

  Do you ever wonder why your events aren’t raising more money? Why more people don’t make pledges and why pledge amounts are decreasing instead of increasing? It’s the economy, right?  That must be it.  People are hurting, so they aren’t giving as much or as frequently as they used to.  That’s got to be the […]

Focus on user experience in the mail too, not just online (Tip #16)

Increase response rates by pre-filling your donors’ personal information on your direct mail reply cards.  It might be tempting to just leave these blank (it’s probably modestly cheaper than pre-filling), but don’t give in to the temptation! If you pre-populate donor name, address and ID code, that makes it quicker and easier for donors to […]

Qualifying major gift prospects is a lot like fishing…

I’m not a big fisherman, but I know enough to get by. Here’s why I think fishing and qualifying major donor suspects is similar… When you’re out in the boat with your line in the water you could go for hours without getting even a bite.  But when you finally do get that bite, everything […]

What story is your nonprofit telling?

In Dan Portnoy’s new book, The Non-profit Narrative, (a great read, by the way), Dan says: Nonprofit organizations weren’t started to consistently ask for money and talk about the troubles of keeping the lights on.  Remember, they were started to change the world.  This is the story you need to be telling. On this point, Dan is so […]

Why your nonprofit story needs tension and emotion

Tension is the element of story-telling you need to communicate well in the midst of your organization’s crisis moment.  Tension draws the audience into the experience…Emotions are an essential part to a master storyteller’s repertoire. That’s from Dan Portnoy’s newly released book, The Non-Profit Narrative.  I couldn’t agree with Dan more on this point, except […]