Published on October 17, 2013 by

How to write for donor retention (Part 1)

Gimme, gimme, gimme. Sometimes, that’s all your donors feel they hear from you.

But what we should really be doing is trying to give as much as we can to the donor.

Over the next few posts I will share some "donor gifts" that will hopefully shift attitudes from “How do we get more out of the donor?” to “How do we give something meaningful to the donor?”

Yes, so the donor feels more connected, emotionally engaged, happy or comfortable about giving to you. That’s how you get donors to give – and then keep giving.

Notice I'm not talking ...

Learn more
Published on October 9, 2013 by

Risk-value segmentation – get better ROI on your direct mail

Risk-value segmentation takes into account the risk of losing a donor and the potential value of that donor.

World Vision developed and used this segmentation model to get better return on investment from several direct mail campaigns. The results included average gifts up to $30 higher and response rates 10-20% higher.

Thanks to supporter growth manager Bernadette Kennedy for sharing on this at the recent F&P Forum. I thought this model could be useful to other charities, so I decided to follow up on her generous offer to speak to their Marketing Intelligence team about it. Senior marketing intelligence manager ...

Learn more
Published on October 4, 2013 by

4 ways to raise more money from your Christmas appeal

Everyone’s in the throes of Christmas appeal planning. So I thought it may be useful to throw in some of the “best bang for your buck ways” to raise more money for your charity this Christmas.

1. Review your Christmas offers

I don’t know why but some charities seem to feel that people will give just because it’s Christmas.

This is partly true. Donors will give – but you still need to develop a compelling offer.

A lot of the letters I see around Christmas time go something like this:

Please give $50 to help disadvantaged people in ...

Learn more
Published on September 30, 2013 by

The difference between fundraising and begging

    “I’m not going to beg!”

Frustrated fundraisers (and in some cases CEOs) have told me this is the response they get when trying to involve board members in fundraising.

This is a great shame as it’s costing many charities thousands of dollars each year. Possibly even tens or hundreds of thousands. Money that could be used to help more people, more animals or whatever your cause is.

So I decided to write something to show the difference between fundraising and begging.

Characteristics of beggars

When you’re begging, you have no relationship with the prospect. You develop no right to ...

Learn more
Published on September 18, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities is about shareable content

No point in getting fabulous raw, real-time beneficiary-generated content if nobody sees it. Or cares about it. That’s why your digital storytelling content must be highly shareable.

The success of the GHNI and WaterAid projects outlined in my previous posts were dependent on supporters spreading the word online.

So what made the content highly shareable in these cases?

Close enough real time. People, including your donors, are used to instant status sharing, retweeting or 30-second posting online of what they’re thinking, doing, or looking at right now. ...

Learn more
Published on September 16, 2013 by

Digital storytelling ideas for your charity

I’m going to say upfront, this is an ideas post. It’s based on AJ Leon’s digital storytelling case studies as told to the F&P Forum last week.

It’s about changing the traditional model of storytelling from polished, charity-generated print stories to raw, real-time beneficiary-generated digital content.

Because I think it’s easy to dismiss AJ Leon’s digital storytelling model, I wanted to offer some ideas on how it could be adapted to your non-profit.

I’m not making any guarantees on whether these ideas will work. I just want to get ...

Learn more
Published on September 11, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities – in the hands of beneficiaries

At last week’s F&P Forum, I heard two case studies from self-proclaimed professional troublemaker AJ Leon about digital storytelling.

One featured a tiny, tiny non-profit called Global Hope Network International. Using digital storytelling, a mobile phone and a $250 budget, they managed to raise $72,000 in three hours to fund community development work in the village of Ola Nagale in Kenya.

The other campaign was The Big Dig for WaterAid in the UK. It saw £2.2 million pouring in for water projects in Malawi.

I don’t want to describe the projects in great detail here. Suffice ...

Learn more