Thanks for Nothing

Admit it, you’ve done this: Year-end fundraising is over. Everyone is exhausted. Now all that’s left is the thank you email. How to segment? Oh wait, you think, why segment at all? Send it to everyone! The people who actually gave will be thanked and the other deadbeats who didn’t give? Maybe they’ll feel guilty… Read more

How Many Emails Are Too Many?

The “how many is too many” question has supplanted the “which day is best” question as the most pondered issue in email fundraising. The planetary alignment of a grueling presidential campaign followed by the usual end of year email fire hose has made this question especially timely. There’s no easy answer. Maybe that’s why people… Read more

Is Brandraising the Same as Fundraising?

I have a confession to make. In the many tensions between communications and fundraising folks I often feel like a man without a country. My true love was strategic communications, but after 16 years I no longer wince when I am introduced as a ‘fundraiser.’ Among intramural tensions between fundraisers and comms folks, few issues… Read more

It’s a long game

A client just told me that a donor who has been giving small gifts each year for several years, just increased her support to six figures. Why? She said she received a thank you call from a volunteer. Investments in cultivation pay off.

You’ll Thank Me for This

There’s a lot of bad fundraising advice lurking out here on the interwebs, so when we come across something so on point, so valuable, and so ‘right,’ we can’t not share it. This brief video conversation with writer-God Jeff Brooks and Steven Screen offer essential advice on how to incorporate storytelling into your fundraising communications.… Read more

A Credible Witness: Jury Duty and Fundraising

I just spent two weeks serving on Brooklyn’s Grand Jury. Throughout my experience as Juror #15, I saw first hand how credibility sways people making important decisions. If the witness stumbled, dressed inappropriately, mis-recalled something, or mispoke, the group of jurors – myself included — immediately called their testimony into question. Humans are hardwired to… Read more

Then This Happened

I gave a research presentation to a well-respected albeit obscure conservation-oriented trade association last week. The Board chair of the development committee kept haranguing me. He kept asking why they couldn’t reach their goal of $3.5 million in annual unrestricted giving. He was getting increasingly annoyed that I didn’t have a simple answer. Finally, this… Read more