Campaign highlight: Showcase your donors

You never know who might make a donation to your cause. That’s why Population Services International makes sure they know who is donating and why. Every donor who makes a gift gets a handwritten card thanking them for their support and asking how they heard about PSI. Every inquiry gets a timely response, which often uncovers… Read more

All the feels: Emotion is an output

You are in the emotion business. Emotion should be an output for everything you put in front of your donor. Do you want her to feel passionate, angry, relieved, grateful, joyous or sad? You need to know what you want her to feel. So before you write your next letter, email or Facebook post, think… Read more

Navel Gazing and the Art of Content Creation

Navel gazing is defined as the excessive absorption in the self. Just like those people at the party who only talk about themselves, non profits are notorious navel gazers. And just like those people at the party who only talk about themselves, non profits have trouble making long-lasting friends (AKA donors). Are we truly narcissistic?… Read more

Stand out copy

Every time you sit down to write, you have a chance to make an impression. Your emails to donors, your thank you notes, your receipts… they can all stand out. But only if they don’t sound like the same old same old. Is your copy up to snuff? Are you reflecting your unique brand personality… Read more

What Quentin Tarantino can teach you about fundraising copy

Quentin Tarantino knows how to write dialogue. His characters’ conversations intrigue (from Pulp Fiction), provoke suspense (from Inglourious Basterds) and entertain (from Reservoir Dogs). His dialogue often reveals more about his characters than anything else onscreen. While crucial to screenplays, dialogue is often missing from fundraising copy. But why? I presented at Fundraising Day NYC a few… Read more

The Ask Should Be A No Brainer

Here’s my No Brainer Ask principle. The strength of your relationship with someone directly correlates with the amount of time it takes that person to say yes to one of your requests. If you’ve built the trust, if you’ve been generous, if you’ve given more than you’ve received, the ask — when you make it… Read more

A Ferris Bueller Trick: Break the Fourth Wall Unpredictably

Ferris Bueller was far from the first comic lead to break the fourth wall and address the audience directly. Woody Allen (wait for 1:58), Groucho Marx (in Horse Feathers), and many others did it before Matthew Broderick’s iconic character endeared himself to 80’s audiences everywhere. No matter who’s at the helm, there’s something very powerful about… Read more