RSS feed for this section

Archive | Direct Mail Appeals

On the delicate topic of approvals

approved_back

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

magic

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 […]

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

penny1

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?

ps4

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….

oxfam

[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

dublin2

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?

20

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 […]