man-and-woman-back-to-back.jpg

Surprising Science: Do Men and Women Respond to Different Fundraising Appeals?

Male Donors Respond Best to Pitches That Stress Self-Interest, Study Says.

I came across this Stanford research study in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and I have to say I’m surprised.

The article claims there’s an “empathy gap” between men and women. Because of this, it advises emphasizing how the prospective male donor will benefit from their philanthropy, rather than highlighting the impact of their philanthropy on the beneficiary.

Hmmn…

I’m not certain the right take-away from this research is to smother men with “hard” factual data and women with “soft” emotional stories.

Because I’ve read study after study that show the heart trumps the mind – and stories out-pull data — every time.

Manners-Polite-and-Rude-300x300.jpg

What My Mother Taught Me and How it Informs My Fundraising Practice

 

Why and How to Invoke the Power of Thank You

My mother was known for having impeccable manners. At her memorial service, it seemed as if every other person who shared a memory talked about her manners. They did so not in a nitpicking way, but in a loving way.  It seemed she always knew just the right thing to do to show her appreciation.

Maybe that’s why I love writing thank you notes.  Seriously, it’s my favorite thing to do in all of fundraising.  And it’s undoubtedly why, when I first heard Penelope Burk speak in 2001, it completely changed my approach to the practice of development.

Head-scratcher2.jpg

6 Types of Modern Jargon to Avoid in Your Fundraising Appeal

Who writes your annual appeal letter? If it’s your executive director or your board chair there’s a very good chance it’s filled with jargon. This (pardon my non-jargon language) sucks.

Jargon is the opposite of constituent-centered writing.

It’s not your writer’s fault. Most of us use jargon all the time without being aware we’re doing so. It’s the language we speak when we work together in groups. It’s a sort of short-hand. Acronyms. Labels. Terms of art. It pops up all over the place. But, again, when it comes to using it in your fundraising appeals it’s bad news. Yet it’s exceedingly difficult to avoid. Why?

Home-run-300x201.jpg

10 Reasons this Fundraising Appeal Hits it Out of the Ballpark

It’s not about the money. It’s about the mission and the impact.  This year-end fundraising blog post from 2013 by a recent nonprofit client of mine, One Justice, absolutely nails why we ask folks for support. It’s about what will happen if we don’t engage in fundraising.

I encourage you to read and consider the full post. For while we may be at the beginning of the calendar year, there’s no reason you can’t use the key elements of this approach year-round. It’s not just about the prose; it’s about the attitude.

Gumball-Machine-235x300.gif

Are You Treating Your Donors Like Gumballs?

Want your donors to sustain you? Then you can’t consume them in five minutes.

Yet all too often nonprofits treat their donors exactly like a gumball dispensed from a machine. Chew it up. Spit it out. Done.

Oh, yeah… maybe you send a quick thanks to whoever gave you the change to buy the gum.  But that’s as far as your gratitude takes you. You’re over it. You never even think about that gumball again. You probably can’t even remember what color it was. You’re off hunting down your next snack.

Little snacks are nice.  But they won’t sustain you over time.

One-time donations are the same way.  And they’ll stay that way – one time – if you treat them the way you treat your gumballs.

Email-256x300.jpg

Top 10 Tips for Successful Nonprofit E-Appeals

Planning any special e-mail campaigns before the end of the fiscal year? This summer?  If not, think about it. An e-campaign costs pennies on the dollar compared with print marketing. And the right message at the right time to the right market can empower your supporters to help you change the world.

Your success will be measured not by how many you send, but by how many get opened; then how many answer your call to action. Here are 10 basic tips to assure your email engages your audience. Oh, and I left an 11th tip out on purpose.  It’s something that’s super important. If you think you know what it is, contact me with your guess. I’ll pick randomly from among the correct answers – the winner gets a 50-minute top-level review of their next e-appeal (a $200 value), at no cost.

Graduate.jpg

Personal is the New Plastics: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Build Donor Relationships.

This month’s SMIT (Single Most Important Thing I have to tell you):

Remember in ‘The Graduate’ the one word piece of advice given to Dustin Hoffman?  PLASTICS. That was seen to be the wave of the future (oh how long ago that seems, and how quickly something can turn from friend to foe…. but I digress).

Recently I gave another “P” word as my best piece of advice for nonprofit marketers and fundraisers. PERSONAL. I received a lot of feedback, so I’d like to revisit this word and flesh out its multiple meanings – and how getting personal can help you achieve your fundraising and marketing goals.

Broken2520Egg.jpg

A Dozen Fresh Ways to Occupy Philanthropy: Top Tips to Build Community and Broaden Your Donor Base

Philanthropy should not just be about big checks.  We live in times of scarcity. How are you mobilizing your community in fresh and different ways? How are you building long-term capacity to sustain your organization? How are you creating stronger, deeper relationships with constituents? 1.      Identify where your communities hang out.How? Lo for what groups…

The_Mad_hatter__King_of_Hearts_by_MerenSheritra.jpg

Please Stop the Madness in March (and any other time): Integrate Fundraising and Marketing

Shall we join forces? Fundraising is not basketball, but it’s madness not to play as a team. I’ve spen with three nonprofits in the past several months that, rather than joining forces, have decoupled their marketing and development departments. I surmise they do this because marketing doesn’t understand development. Or development doesn’t understand marketing.  Or…