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Archive | Donor Communications

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


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.


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 […]

Is “donor-centricity” really worth more debate?


Or is this fundraising’s equivalent of “Which works better? Round tires or square?” Chapter 1 > Let’s be clear. Ian MacQuillin, chief brain at fundraising think-tank Rogare, is not challenging the efficacy of donor-centricity. That efficacy is reported by leading creative agencies around the world. Anecdotally. But in heaps. As a dead-serious academic, Ian’s JUST […]

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 […]

Letters with Friends: Someone asks. I opine.


Hiring a digital-comms specialist? What makes a great one (I’m looking at you, Jennifer Pyron, Arkansas Children’s Foundation)? & why IS “visual” writing SO important to strong reader/donor engagement? Big news… Sally wrote. We are doubling our communications department by hiring a Director of Multimedia Communications. I am looking for someone who can recognize a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Going From Red Ink to Black


With its new emphases on donor-centricity and “let’s get real” authenticity, the donor newsletter at Arkansas Children’s now produces far better results Donor newsletters at many (most?) hospitals are no better than public relations. The core message: “Look how great our medicine is.” Which is predictable. Boring. Self-aggrandizing. Obvious PR. And pays no due tribute […]

Why, if you could hire her, your charity should crave Lisa Sargent to advise you on donor comms


L-r, the MQI team goes audience crazy: Sandie Collette (designer), Lisa Sargent (writer/strategist), Denisa Casement (director of development/strategist) LAST ISSUE, a reader asked me to comment on this dispute: Recently I heard a webinar by Lynne Wester where she vehemently defended the idea that a true donor thank you cannot include an ask, even a […]