The danger of nonprofits chasing discounts

A few years ago one of our nonprofit clients fired our firm because they found another fundraising agency that quoted them a cheaper price for their direct mail services. This other firm was cheaper. By almost six figures. That’s big. However, focusing on cost only, rather than on value, is dangerous. 18 months after moving their business to […]

Fundraising Myth Busters: Solicitation Frequency

This is installment number three of seven in my series on fundraising myth busters. By now I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the first post on donor acquisition, and the second on brand advertising and direct response fundraising. Today we’re going to look at yet another hotly debated topic. Solicitation frequency. Myth […]

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 […]

Direct Mail Fail – Alumni Acquisition Package

The minute I saw this envelope I knew the package was doomed.  The OE (outer envelope) had a huge flaw. Unfortunately, the OE wasn’t the only thing wrong with this piece. There were three significant problems with this appeal. 1. Dirty data. This mailing is addressed to my wife. Sort of. You see, my wife’s […]

Direct Mail vs. Digital: The Battle Continues

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released findings from a new study today showing that direct mail (and phone outreach) still deliver significantly higher response rates than digital (specifically e-mail) campaigns. Note: Importantly, this study and the findings highlighted here are not specific to nonprofit marketing/fundraising.  These are commercial marketing results (though there’s still value for […]

23 Questions for More Effective Fundraising Copy

Do you want your fundraising letters to raise more money?  If so, be sure to ask these 23 questions each time you write a letter: Do I have a compelling hook? Have I humanized the problem? Does my copy inspire action? Are my sentences and paragraphs short? Did I use headlines & subheads to break […]