Limited Time Only! Selling you my ABC’s of Fundraising

Even if you’ve never seen Alex Baldwin shouting, “A: Always, B: Be, C: Closing; Always Be Closing!” in Glengarry Glen Ross (I confess I haven’t myself), you are no doubt familiar with the phrase. It is often referred to as the key to sales, or “The ABCs of Selling.” This got me to thinking, are there ABCs of Fundraising? Is …

Getting an A+ on your next Supporter Survey

Alright class, I know it is sunny out, but it is time to buckle down and go over how to sail through your next supporter survey with flying colours. Remember, there will be a test! Let’s review some key elements of a great survey: The end, is of course, getting lots of responses so you have as much donor information …

Going beyond the Buzzwords: Donor Engagement

Non-profit organizations survive in large part because of the participation, commitment and financial support of everyday citizens who choose to donate to causes of personal importance to them. And while we’ve sort of trained these outstanding human beings (who take it upon themselves to do more than required) to expect a fairly transactional relationship with the organizations they care about …

CAGP 2017 Top Ten Takeaways

Every year, after the CAGP-ACPDP National Conference, I like to write a summary of the top ten learnings I’m leaving with. The first few years were definitely big picture ideas. The value of connecting with people who speak the same language, learning from others, thinking about things from new perspectives and feeling the camaraderie of people who have “been there, …

How fundraising communications are like Tetris

Many years ago, a friend of mine gave me a piece of advice on how to be great at Tetris that has stuck with me through the years, and just recently I realized that it applies to fundraising communications too. In fact, I realized that communication for the purposes of fundraising is really a lot like playing a game of …

Step-by-step strategy to assess your communications material

Now, continuing on with our process of trying to assess our communications material to encourage people to actually read what we send them, I want to highlight some other ways to take a critical view of your existing material so you can have a full picture of where you might make improvements. 1.      First, gather up as much of your organization’s …

‘Read like an Alien’​ to improve your Organization’s Messaging

One of my favourite tips for assessing your organization’s communications is to read your material as if you are from another planet. Imagine you know nothing about your organization. You know nothing of the need you meet or the challenge you seek to overcome. You don’t understand why meeting this need is important even. When you read as if you …

Standing in Front of your Donor’s Mailbox Or, Who is reading this stuff anyway?

I find most organizations believe they are “donor-centric” because they are telling their supporters lots of things they think they are interested in. Important words to note above are “telling” and “think”. I always pose the question: when you are at your mailbox, or sitting down to read your email, do you read all of the information the charities you …

Psst! Can you keep a secret?

I’m starting something big. Of course, when you start something big, it is important to do it right. So I’m going to take a bit of time before I share it with you. But I can’t wait to do so, and I hope you’ll wish me well!