RSS feed for this section

Archive | Direct Mail Appeals

A gifted fundraising consultant seeks to move into full-time copywriting: What do I recommend?


Dear Tom… “Can I succeed as a copywriter?” she asked. My opinion and some book recommendations follow… I’ve admired Tina Cincotti’s talents for a long time. That’s her in the photo, grassing with her best pal, Penny. Recently Tina emailed me, excited and doubtful, her hopes spinning like a pinwheel: “Can I do it, do […]

To PS? Or not to PS?


Crazy, what people get tied up in knots over…. To quote Professor Siegfried Vögele, author of the influential Handbook of Direct Mail, “Over 90 percent of readers read the ‘PS’ before the letter. It is the first paragraph, not the last.”[1] This discovery means your PS can be one of the hardest-working elements in your […]

Sad photos: They work, but….


[Left: Oxfam built one of the world’s largest relief agencies with “in your face” newspaper ads like this. Today, those ads would be branded “poverty porn.” Image courtesy Mark Phillips’ Pinterest collection of Old Charity Ads]   Reducing a life to a single sorry snapshot: Are fundraisers feeding a negative stereotype of “those people”? It’s […]

F-Bombs Fall on Dublin


I’ve never attended a more loving, passionate or pissed-off professional gathering. It’s been a year of curated new fundraising conferences. This one felt awesomely revolutionary. —— Who, what, when, where, why To mark the 10th anniversary of Ask Direct, Damian O’Broin’s fundraising agency in Dublin, Ireland, decided to host a conference. Bombs away I don’t […]

Can You Pass the 20 Questions Quiz? MORE IMPORTANT: Can Your Boss?


It’s free. It’s downloadable as a PDF. It can be used for party games at staff and board meetings! It’s exclusively about donor communications … and today’s best practices. It’s world-sourced and recent. Top experts from Europe, North America and Australasia contributed their latest data and wisdom. And, as you check your answers, you’ll learn […]