Published on August 19, 2013 by

Donors need simple asks – Part 1

I’m now working on a fundraising letter for a client that has a complicated offer. I’ve spent considerable time trying to whittle down the offer into something easy enough for donors to grasp when they scan the headline.

This problem often arises when your offer has multiple strong benefits. Note I say strong benefits that each could stand on their own as an offer.

For example, say your charity provides clean water wells to villages in developing countries. So the offer is something like:

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Published on August 15, 2013 by

How agencies sabotage fundraisers – Part 3

Good for everyone… non-profit, fundraiser and agency

Yesterday, I talked about 10 things an agency should tell a non-profit about hiring a fundraiser. Here's a little recap.

  1. Fundraising is a long-term investment which cannot be handled by one person alone.
  2. Direct mail appeals require a mix of skills – writer, graphic designer, web developer, printer and mailhouse – which cannot be found in one person alone.
  3. Donor nurture requires a proper donor database (not an Excel spreadsheet).
  4. You need nice people to accept donations by phone. You need simple online forms to get donations through your website.
  5. Recruiting monthly ...
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Published on August 13, 2013 by

How agencies sabotage fundraisers – Part 2

Yesterday, I had a little rant about agencies that fail to set the right expectations when they encourage non-profits to hire a fundraiser. You can read it here.

Now for today’s post. If you’re an agency who’s going to tell a charity to employ a fundraiser, this is what the CEO, board and upper management need to know.

10 things agencies should tell non-profits about hiring a fundraiser

1. Fundraising is a long-term investment with input required from staff throughout the organisation.

This includes the CEO who personally thanks a major donor ...

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Published on August 12, 2013 by

How agencies sabotage fundraisers – Part 1

One issue has been really annoying me lately.

It’s fundraising agencies who set up in-house fundraisers for failure. This is stupid, unfair and possibly unethical since agencies are supposed to help fundraisers succeed not fail. So how does this happen?

Such agencies come into non-profits and do fundraising audits or something similar. Fundraising audits are good. I’ve got no issue with that.

The agencies spend time talking to the CEO and board about the importance of fundraising. The potential to raise stable income from a pool of individual donors. The need to take care of the charity’s long-term financial needs.


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Published on July 30, 2013 by

Fundraising Conference

If so, see you 4-6 September! Come and say hello!

I’m off to the Australasian Fundraising Forum 2013. Stay connected for pearls of wisdom from some organisations doing great work in fundraising.

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