Letter from a disgruntled donor

A donor writes a letter to the president of the organization. It's an articulate critique of what the donor dislikes about their fundraising: It's simplistic, repetitious, and emotional. What do you do? What do you say? We read an actual letter from a real donor and talk through the right -- and wrong -- response. There's a disastrously bad response that many organizations make to letters like this. There's also an affirming, correct, and revenue-enhancing response.

Program #70

Play: Letter from a disgruntled donor (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:

The evil cousin of fundraising

Discover fundcrushing, the common practice that persuades so many donor not to give. Find out why it doesn't raise funds -- and how you can avoid being a fundcrusher.

Program #69

Play: The evil cousin of fundraising (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:

Time: 12:01

(See some examples of fundcrushing at futurefundraisingnow.com)

3 steps to effective storytelling in fundraising

Storytelling that persuades donors to action isn't magic. You just have to make sure your has these elements:

  • It's about the donor (not about your awesome organization)
  • It leads to the donor taking action -- entering the story
  • It's unfinished -- you want to donor to create the satisfying end to the story.

    Program #68

    Play: 3 steps to effective storytelling in fundraising (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 12:57

    Interested in mastering the art of storytelling? You should attend the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, November 6-7 in Seattle.

  • 4 hallmarks of donor-focused communications

    Do you ever wonder if your donor communications are truly donor-focused? Check what you're saying against this list:

    1. Donors are the heroes of most of the stories you tell.
    2. Donors get prompt, detailed, and frequent information about the impact of their giving.
    3. Donors has control over how you communicate with them.
    4. Design is appropriate for donors -- not aimed at internal audiences.

    Program #67

    Play: 4 hallmarks of donor-focused communications (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 13:00

    3 things your donors should be able to find on your website

    Your nonprofit website does a lot of things. If you want it to be helpful to your fundraising, make sure it has these three elements:

    1. Information that tells them than can trust you.
    2. A clear statement of what you do.
    3. Easy-to-use donation form(s).

    That's not a complete list of everything you should have -- just three musts you' shouldn't let slip. These things will help you raise more money, both online and offline.

    Program #66

    Play: 3 things your donors should be able to find on your website (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 7:13

    5 ways to drive away donors

    Are you getting too much fundraising revenue? Do you need fewer donors to support your work? Here's how you can help solve that problem:

    1. Write and design for your coworkers (or yourself).
    2. Change the subject between your acquisition and cultivation messages.
    3. Educate your donors.
    4. Develop your website differently from your offline messages.
    5. Have sloppy donor data.

    Program #65

    Play: 5 ways to drive away donors (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 15:19

    Branding for real-life fundraisers

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    Here's an excerpt from the new book The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand: Motivating Donors to Give, Give Happily, and Keep on Giving.

    Find out what branding can and should do for your fundraising, and why it often doesn't. Learn how fundraisers are like forklift drivers, and what you can do to build a money-raising brand for your nonprofit.

    The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand is available at:

    Program #64

    Play: Branding for real-life fundraisers (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 8:31

    How to learn when you can't test

    Everyone knows that direct-response testing is the path to the truth in fundraising. There's just one problem: The large majority of nonprofit organizations cannot do direct-response testing. Their quantities are too small and/or they don't have the budget to pay for testing.

    Here are three ways to learn the right things to do when you can't test:

    1. Read books about fundraising.
    2. Read blogs about fundraising. (See our blogroll over there to the right for some of the best fundraising blogs.)
    3. Donate to larger national organizations so you can observe how they do it.

    Program #63

    Play: How to learn when you can't test (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 13:22

    How to learn when you can't test

    Everyone knows that direct-response testing is the path to the truth in fundraising. There's just one problem: The large majority of nonprofit organizations cannot do direct-response testing. Their quantities are too small and/or they don't have the budget to pay for testing.

    Here are three ways to learn the right things to do when you can't test:

    1. Read books about fundraising.
    2. Read blogs about fundraising. (See our blogroll over there to the right for some of the best fundraising blogs.)
    3. Donate to larger national organizations so you can observe how they do it.

    Program #63

    Play: How to learn when you can't test (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 13:22

    Getting the most out of survey research

    Survey research can lead your fundraising badly astray. Focus groups can kill the strongest fundraising programs. If you use them wrongly. There are great ways to use qualitative research to best your knowledge and inform your strategies. Find out some of the pitfalls as well as the gold nuggets of surveys and focus groups.

    Program #62

    Play: Getting the most out of survey research (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

    Or subscribe via iTunes here:

    Time: 17:58


    Jeff Brooks is creative director at TrueSense, the growing, innovative fundraising agency for organizations that care about donors. Steven Screen is founder of UberDirect, an advertising agency specializing in direct response marketing and fundraising. Between them, they have more than 35 years of experience helping excellent nonprofits raise money for their causes. That's a lot of years, but they aren't all that old, really.




          

          


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