Fundraising costs

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 February 5, 2016 by

Is your charity embarrassed about the cost of fundraising?

Is your charity embarrassed about the cost of fundraising?

Does your charity view fundraising as a cost or investment?

Because this has a huge influence on your donor relationships.

Most likely, your charity has donors that ring up and complain about you wasting money on “expensive” mailings.

What do you tell them?

This is the response of a charity that has an underlying belief that fundraising is a cost.

“I’m so sorry… I hate getting mail too… yes, of course I’ll take you off the mailing list.”

It’s the response of a charity embarrassed about asking for money.

Note that 99% of the time, such complaints amount to less ...

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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 December 23, 2013 by

Don’t repeat my mistake when planning for next year

In a nutshell, here is the lesson.

If you’ve got the funds, spend it.

The reason I say this? It’s easiest if I explain by sharing a story of one my direct mail successes. It also happened to be one of my failures.

I once wrote an acquisition piece for a very small non-profit. It was inserted into a variety of publications and did exceptionally well.

When I say exceptionally well, it recruited 392 new donors (doubling the existing database). Income was almost $29,000. The cost was under $20,000.

Given most fundraisers will say you almost always lose money on ...

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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 ...

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