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 […]

The value of personalization in your direct mail (Tip #15)

Personalization is key.  With the technology available today, there’s no reason you should be sending targeted direct mail to any donor or prospect and addressing it to “Dear Friend” (or anything other than the donor’s name).  That’s no way to start or build a relationship. But donor name isn’t the only level of personalization you […]

Communicating differently via mail with middle and major donors (Tip #14)

Middle and major donors require a different treatment in the mail than your regular donor base.  These donors tend to prefer longer letters.  Closed-face envelopes, higher quality paper, First Class postage (both on the outer envelope and the reply envelope), and true handwriting are all techniques you should use when soliciting middle and major donors […]

Direct mail as part of an integrated fundraising strategy (Tip #13)

Donors don’t behave in silos.  They consume media via e-mail, print, TV, radio, mobile, social media and face-to-face.  And recent studies suggest that in many cases, they consume multiple media at once. Direct mail, because it still captures the majority of responses, should be central to your efforts.  But leveraging an integrated multi-channel strategy will help […]