Archive by Author

“In a billion-dollar campaign case,” she wondered, “where DO you stick the ‘letter from the Dean’?”

“In a billion-dollar campaign case,” Echo from the university wondered, “where do you stick the ‘letter from the Dean’?” Ummmmmmm…. Good question, Echo. In our little world [The Case Writers], where we pretty much get to write and design whatever we think is best, working with a group of clients who want exactly that, every […]

My 11 most popular Tweets

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I’ve found that Twitter is my favorite professional feed. I follow the people I want to follow. It lets me kill ads dead. (And there’s gossip!) Here are my most highly rated Tweets… A.1 I have this PPT show, “Everything I know in 60 slides.” #43: “I know Kris Hermanns was right.” VO: “Her rule: […]

Managing Up

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Meet the frustrated: So MANY fundraisers quit so fast. They learn “best practices” … and then collide with the “Ignorance Ceiling.” I.e., bosses and boards insisting: “I don’t like it. No way.” A.k.a., Approvals Gone Wild —— This was the promising tweet from first-term AFP president and CEO, Mike Geiger: How to Manage Up for […]

“Are we there yet?”

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Return On Investment: A new age of business-mindedness dawns for nonprofit enterprises ~ Suddenly it seems like everyone’s talking about it. Or maybe “finally” is better than suddenly. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has gotten weighty on the subject. On June 7, it featured a scathing article by Amanda Pearce, CFRE, under the headline, “Nonprofit is […]

On the delicate topic of approvals

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If you’re an ambitious fundraiser, advice for your next job interview…   ¶ What is the Mt. Everest-sized obstacle which prevents many nonprofits (yours?) from taking advantage of “donor-centricity”? Surprise! It could very well be your charity’s reely stoopid approval process. Said another way: IGNORANCE in positions of authority. I’ve seen it over (2001) and […]

For the love of OFFERS

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Offers win new donors. Offers help you keep the donors you have. How high is your “offer IQ”? Recently, one of my all-time favorite clients (open to new ideas, fun to work with, relaxed, smart, talented) sent me a sketch of an ad cooked up by senior fundraisers at her hospital. This proposed ad URGES […]

Fundraising communications are the work of specialists, not generalists

Why profitable fundraising communications are the work of specialists, not generalists … and why a standard-issue, untrained university marcomms department will almost certainly fail to deliver strong results when given a fundraising assignment which depends on an effective call to action Thank you for subscribing … and for getting in touch with all sorts of […]

“Curated” conferences are different … & maybe a better bang for your buck, if you’re at a certain point in your career

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You already knew this, right? “Curated” conferences are trending. Ireland has its Ask Direct Summer School; this year, 2018, inviting fundraisers to the Emerald Isle for a third edition. Traveler’s hint: Bring an umbrella; they don’t call it the Emerald Isle for no reason. (BTW: Even if you’re not an Irish charity, the Summer School […]

“How can I convince my boss?” You shouldn’t have to, unless he/she’s an abusive idiot.

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At this latest conference, I at last began to wonder… “What is abuse?” verb: (1) misuse (2) treat a person or an animal with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly; synonyms: misemploy, mistreat, maltreat, molest; antonym: nurture noun: cruel and violent treatment of a person or animal; synonyms: mistreatment, maltreatment, interference; antonyms: care, nurturing […]