Uncovering Philanthropic Passion

Uncovering philanthropic passion sounds like a big job, doesn’t it? It isn’t, really—as long as you are a good listener, enjoy spending time with people and know how to build authentic relationships. Uncovering someone’s philanthropic passion is simple. You ask key questions, then shut up and listen. I mean really listen. Don’t spend the time […]

Rainmaking: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Landing Big Gifts

Two years ago my good friend Roy C. Jones and I had the bright idea to write a book designed to help fundraisers build better donor relationships and raise more money. It’s been a long road. We’ve learned a lot in the process, and had the opportunity to talk with dozens of great leaders in […]

The fundraiser’s spring cleaning checklist

It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out your development operation, reorganize and re-prioritize your efforts and rid your organization of the fundraising clutter that keeps you from maximizing your success. Use this fundraiser’s spring cleaning checklist to help get your house in order and get you focused on the most important tasks […]

Analyzing Your Direct Mail Campaigns (Tip #52)

There are many ways to evaluate your fundraising performance.  Response rate.  Average gift.  Cost per dollar raised.  Cost per donor.  Those are all important metrics to track.  But the one you should focus on more than any other is Long-Term Donor Value (LTDV). LTDV takes into account the cost of acquisition and cultivation, and the […]

To Tease or Not To Tease (in your direct mail)? (Tip #51)

Blank outer envelopes tend to outperform envelopes with teaser copy or images.  You don’t have to clutter your appeal envelopes with all sorts of teaser copy.  Sure, test teasers.  But you’ll do just as well – if not better – by simply mailing your appeal in a blank envelope.