Results they need to see

When you write fundraising copy for a living, you learn that the proof is always in the results. It used to irk me (now it just humors me) when non fundraisers talk philosophically about what messages will raise more money.  They love to bandy about terms like “theory of change” and “educate people about what… Read more

The Technology Hype Cycle: Your ED Must See This

What’s next? What’s trending? What’s innovative? We all want to be forward thinkers — leveraging the shiniest, newest technologies.  But sometimes hype is just hype — and a waste of time and investment — at least for a while until that technology has proven itself. That’s why I love Gartner’s Technology Hype Cycle. It helps make… Read more

Pare it back

We all want to do it all. But it’s impossible to do it all well. One of the biggest mistakes I see in non profits is trying to do too many things at once. The outcome? None of those initiatives are fully staffed, fully formed, fully executed. It’s like starting a thousand spinning tops with… Read more

Who are you building it for?

There is no shortage of ideas. Let’s promote a $50 per month membership. Let’s build a platform where activists can find and engage in direct action opportunities. Let’s develop a new campaign to bring more young people into our movement. Ideas abound. But research-backed ideas…those are few and far between. Before you build it, who are… Read more

The Bottom Line is Love

Someone please explain this paradox: We do what we do out of passion, but when we try to recruit others to our cause we resort to frail logic. I got invited to see Sylvia Earle receive a very 19th Centuryesque tribute at the Explorer’s Club in New York last week. It was a remarkable experience… Read more

A cautionary tale from Disney for non profits: What do you stand for?

This Disney cautionary tale is one all non profits should heed. (Thanks to Roy Williams for the reminder). Michael Eisner came to Disney in 1984. He initially made Disney extraordinarily profitable at a time when competitors were stumbling. His strategy? Turn Disney’s greatest movie treasures into direct to video sequels of old classics like Cinderella. Did you ever… Read more

Follow up can be your differentiator

Urgent. Take action now. Your help needed. Breaking news! Digital communications and fundraising is all about being in the moment. Responding to quickly evolving situations is what we do. But once those quickly evolving situations fade from the headlines, we often abandon them. We neglect to follow up on the story. We leave the narrative… Read more

Theory and Practice

The fundraising world abounds with conventional wisdom. Volumes of it. The problem is the conventional wisdom often doesn’t work. Here’s an interesting and provocative argument that the problem with email is that we’ve made them too pretty. Is that true? I have no idea, but it sure made me think. People pretty much never behave… Read more