Forget about the money

I often am introduced as a “fundraiser who doesn’t care about the money.” It always gets a laugh at conferences, but the irony is that in many respect it’s true. To me, the rewards of fundraising lie in fostering a community of people united around an urgent cause. That they express their solidarity with their… Read more

The Cadence Trap

As most email fundraisers have discovered, increasing the frequency of emails almost always raises more money. In the short run. And if you are chasing monthly targets, you have almost certainly indulged in a couple, or six, more emails as the month drew to a close. But when we do that, here are the questions… Read more

Get the Music Right and the Hearts and Minds Will Follow

“Whoever controls the music controls the mood of the room.” That’s one of my favorite aphorisms shared by auto-didact marketing genius Roy Williams during Alia’s and my visit to Wizard Academy a year or two ago. “Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation,” wrote Oliver Sacks in a book he devoted to… Read more

An Ode to Doom and Gloom

“We want you to be edgy. Just don’t offend anyone.” If I had a nickel for every time we’ve heard that from a client… Usually the asker is unhappy with the answer, though it’s the correct answer: “because that’s what works in fundraising.” Turns out this phobic shunning of doom and gloom is bigger than our nonprofit… Read more