Fundraising: A True Story

Fundraising: A True Story

I just came across this video from Bloomerang TV. Steven Shattuck, Bloomerang TV’s host, and John Lepp from Agents of Good bring up some great points about an important aspect of fundraising.

I’ve never met John Lepp. He’s not a client. I guess he’s a colleague. But before this afternoon, I’d never heard of him. And I love everything John Lepp has to say.

Direct mail is most powerful when we make donors feel like heroes. It allows us to empower people and…

Read More

Only Pick Two

Only Pick Two

Have you ever seen one of those triangular diagrams asking you to “only pick two” of three seemingly essential options?

Sometimes they’re used to represent a college student’s painstaking decision of how to spend their very limited free time on activities like studying, sleep, or socializing. 

Bill Jacobs posted a diagram on the Analytical Ones website that applies to business and fundraising (or almost anything). 

Read More

Have We Found the Recipe for Fundraising Success?

Andrew Fegley takes a really interesting look at the rapid evolution direct mail is undergoing in his article, How Chief Marketing Officers Can Innovate With Direct Mail, on Entrepreneur.com.

Data and technology are being used in new and exciting ways we hadn’t dreamed possible just ten or fifteen years ago. I wrote a little bit about one example of this in my last blog.

As Andrew notes, we’re constantly improving how we use data to appeal to the right people.

Read More

Ben Franklin: Founding Father of the Fundraising Ask?

We’ve long lived in a do-it-yourself culture.

Though we teach our children the value of teamwork from a young age--we also tend to see independence as a sign of strength and capability.

Conversely, we could as easily view those who constantly ask for favors and help as needy, selfish, or helpless.  Maybe this is why we’re so uncomfortable asking for help: we don’t want others to think we’re greedy or weak.

Read More

Entitled Boomers, cynical Gen X-ers, and those darn self-obsessed Millennials: who’s right when it comes to generational giving?

Rotary phones to smart phones.  Commodores to MacBooks.  8-tracks to MP3 players.  The world is always changing for each new generation.

But one thing that may never change is the all-out war between them: from the music they listen to, the clothes they wear, their schooling, jobs, hobbies, and even they way they talk, practically EVERYTHING is up for criticism when one generation decides to start talking about another.

Read More

What I learned about direct mail this morning...from Facebook

I haven’t reached the point that I only log into Facebook to see photos of my grandchildren--yet.  But I have to admit that I’m not quite sure what Instagram or Snap Chat are all about.  

So when I spent time this weekend with my friend Mark Murphy who embraces Social Media to promote his books, seminars, and studies at LeadershipIQ, I was surprised by how interesting Social Media can be.

Read More

Scientists discover giving just may be the key to happiness

 It might seem romantic to say true happiness lies in what we are able to give to others--not in what we are able to gain for ourselves. 

But logically, generosity doesn’t make sense: if we want to better things for ourselves as much as possible, why do many of us give so much of what we have to others--especially when we don’t appear to benefit from the transaction?

A team of researchers in Zurich may have found the answer.

Read More

Can I trust you?

Trust gains you new donors and retains your past donors.  Trust is what makes a donor comfortable making a sacrifice to support your cause.  Trust is what makes a donor keep giving to your cause even if he won’t personally see the direct results of what you’ve done with his donation.

In the mind of a donor, your ability to inspire trust is incredibly important.  It may even be the most important part of your relationship.

Read More

Your stories can transform nonprofits -- a TEDx Talk with Andrea Proulx Buinicki

Andrea Proulx Buinicki is the founder of Giving Focus, a philanthropy consulting firm specializing in helping smaller nonprofits ditch the professional fundraisers and take command of their own fundraising.  Buinicki started Giving Focus in 2011 after 15 years of working in nonprofit fundraising and marketing, and was recognized in 2012 by The Northwest Indiana Times as one of Northwest Indiana’s top “20 Under 40” for her exceptional career in philanthropy

Read More