Fundraising strategy

Published on February 20, 2017 by

Donor complaints – 7 ways to handle them

Donor complaints – 7 ways to handle them


Following on from my post about donor complaints, I promised some positive ways to deal with donor complaints.

Because it's always unpleasant having to deal with a donor who is unhappy.

But first, I should point out there are some complainers who are actually loony. For example, they think some key person associated with your organisation is a member of the Illuminati. Yes, truly, I have heard of this.

Or they have an agenda and the mail you sent them somehow set them off on a rant. I could give examples but am a little concerned that it ...

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Published on February 7, 2017 by

8 donors complained – what would you do?

8 donors complained – what would you do?

Would you change your fundraising based on 8 complaints? It seems like a lot when you’re the person who’s copping the angry donors… but in the case of my client, it was 8 complaints out of 42,000 people mailed. That’s 0.019%. ...

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Published on March 24, 2016 by

Are you making this mistake with your fundraising strategy?

Are you making this mistake with your fundraising strategy?

When we start working with a new client, we often work on direct mail because that is a pressing need for the non-profit or charity. When we begin talking to clients about fundraising strategy… this is NOT primarily about direct mail. Although direct mail is a tactic used in the execution of a fundraising strategy, it’s not the strategy itself. It’s not about taking a calendar of direct mail appeals and newsletters and calling that a strategy. Developing a fundraising strategy is first about looking at your organisation’s strategic plan. Yes, the overall strategic plan. Not the fundraising strategic plan. ...

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Published on March 1, 2016 by

How the poverty mentality is killing your fundraising

How the poverty mentality is killing your fundraising


I believe the poverty mentality of non-profits is one of the biggest killers of fundraising success.

It makes it impossible to succeed in fundraising because the overarching goal of the organisation becomes:

How can we spend as little as possible?

Instead of:

What do we have to do to achieve our mission?

Below are three major warning signs of the poverty mentality.

If your non-profit exhibits this kind of behaviour, I strongly suggest some mindsets need to change.

You urgently need a shift from a poverty mentality to a stewardship mentality.

You may be familiar with the parable of ...

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Published on July 14, 2015 by

What’s your donor lifetime value: $50, $2500 or $10,000+?

I’ve been discussing acquisition with various clients this year.

And the importance of following up – FAST – on any new donors you get.

Because if you don’t do this, the lifetime value of those donors will remain low.

In fact, you may never recoup the cost of acquiring them… if they never give to you again.

Today’s lesson is: if you’re going to invest in acquisition, have a plan to steward and upgrade your new donors.

Here are the numbers on lifetime value.

A new donor who never gives again has a lifetime value of their first gift only. ...

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Published on October 9, 2014 by

6 income boosters for your Christmas appeal

With Christmas appeals in the works, here's my list to push up the dollars you raise.

1. Your core messaging does NOT include “changing lives” or “transforming lives”. This is a pet hate of mine. See why here. I see it so frequently that I’ve made it No. 1. (Although I will concede the very, very occasional only use of these phrases for brevity.)

2. Send donors more than one communication. I always recommend more than one Christmas direct mail appeal pack. One DM appeal plus a reminder. A DM appeal and a ...

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Published on July 2, 2014 by

Why did your tax appeal do so badly… or so well?

Now that June 30 is over and charities are tallying up their results, it’s time to debrief.

Were you well over target, right on or did you raise less than you hoped? Whatever the case, it’s crucial to debrief on why you got the result you did.

So, what if you didn’t reach your appeal goal? Try to resist the urge to blame others. It’s time to take a closer look at what went wrong – and apply those learnings to future campaigns. An appeal is really only a complete failure if you refuse to learn from your mistakes.

If ...

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