Can Bad Fundraising Kill?

If you’re an American, you may have missed the $hitstorm that erupted in the UK recently over the suicide of a 92-year old poppy seller. It was alleged that incessant demands for money from charities drove her to take her own life. Whether or not oversolicitation killed poor Olive Cooke, the resulting brouhaha has laid… Read more

Do you speak Spock or Captain Kirk?

Spock is rational. He likes facts and figures. He weighs pros and cons and then makes the most logical decision. Spock is not human. Your donors are. If you speak to your donors like Spock, you are not speaking their language. Emotional, cognitive and social factors influence human behavior more than reason does. So next time… Read more

How great ideas get shot down

You’ve had one. A great idea. You’ve stewed on it. You’ve gotten excited about it. You’ve garnered up the will to pitch it to someone. Immediately, it gets shot down. “That won’t work.” “We’ve tried it before.” “It’s too out there.” “[Insert name here] won’t approve.” Of course, the opposite reaction is just as troubling.… Read more

Is it Just Me?

Is it just me, or is the DCCC “flood the zone with SCREAMING subject lines, short hyperbolic copy and link after link with contribute amounts” email strategy spreading like the Spanish flu? Once this was merely an in-box migraine that occurred the last couple days of each fundraising quarter. But now I am getting these… Read more

A bunch of birders taught me this…

I spent last weekend with a bunch of birders at the National Audubon Convention in Virginia. I did a storytelling workshop with a bunch of front line workers who are helping stop unwanted teenage pregnancies as part of my work with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. I’m going to Uganda  next… Read more

Why do you REALLY want millennial donors?

“We need younger donors,” seems to be the battle cry du jour from the C-suite lately, so it bears repeating: Millennials only contribute 11 percent of all money donated by individuals each year. Compare that with the more than 75% that comes from Boomers and their elders. And in the immortal words of Monty Python, we’re… Read more