As a direct marketer, it’s never bothered me so much. In many ways, crassly it’s a numbers game. For me, ‘no’ simply means, “there’s nothing to see here”.
And on I move. Looking for more and better ways to find people who say ‘yes’.
Until recently. (more…)
It started for me with direct mail. See, today, my clients do not segment for gender. They send the very same appeal letter to men and women. But, you have to wonder, could we attract Read more…
Right now I feel like throwing a bucket of ice over the sector we fundraisers work in and shouting “wake up!”.
Years ago I knew something had changed in fundraising. I didn’t know what. Like us all I could see the symptoms such as rising acquisition costs, and falling response rates. I could certainly feel the pressure. So in between jobs I sat and read and read – books like Sticky Marketing, The Networked Non Profit and The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Surfacing from these fantastic reads I knew the rules of fundraising had changed. Over the last three years at SolarAid I have been learning how and doing by best to apply them.
This blog summarises my learning. (more…)
Where do most non-profits tend to start when it comes to telling their story? They start with themselves. “Who We Are”, or on their website “About Us”. And then they move on to “What We Read more…
So, you have a new donor. What now?
“My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.”
It all begins with two magical words; thank you. Not hard to say. Someone has gone out of their way to send you a donation, so the least you can do is take the time to respond properly. Don’t treat donations as simply items to be processed, no matter how big your mountain of mail. (more…)
Along with the World Cup (depending on the team, of course), we celebrate fund raising achievements. We look at results and trends from last year and partly with a sigh of relief and hope for this year: in 2013 in US charitable giving was at the same level it was before the financial crisis and in UK there was an £800m increase in donations. So, why we shouldn’t do better this year? In reality we should also ask ourselves if this is the result of more people giving or if we are simply fishing in the same pond with a lower offer. Mark Astarita, the fundraising director of British Red Cross and outgoing chair of UK Institute of Fundraising, simply put it “Over 30 years of professional fundraising have we grown the pie, are more people giving? I’m not so sure.” And Ken Burnett argued that the actual costs of acquisition with typical low retention rates are not sustainable and charities would be stupid if they don’t take action to avoid eating their seed corn. (more…)
July will mark 100 years exactly since the beginning of the First World War – a battle that witnessed global carnage on a scale few could have imagined. Britain, for its part, lost just under Read more…
- Acquisition ain’t what it used to be, and retention is abysmal. It’s time to really love our donors!
- Donor-centred fundraising – do it. You can’t thank these guys enough!
- What’s the next thing after direct mail? WHAT IS IT?!?
- You are a bad fundraiser. Bad! Work harder!
- What’s with this high fundraiser turnover?
“I no longer support Autism Speaks and this is why.”
Those were the words a friend posted on her Facebook timeline a few months ago. This is a friend whose son is affected by autism, a friend who has dedicated thousands of hours to raising money to find a cure for this terrible condition. For her to be moved to reject a charity committed to her common cause, the crime must have been serious. (more…)
Why do we fundraise? Is it all about the money? Is it all about the donor? Is it all about the mission? That’s a tough question – and there isn’t an easy answer. Every single Read more…
This is a tough one.
Since I’ve been working in fundraising, and especially over the past year, I’ve been noticing the similarities and the differences between fundraisers that I really admire.
They all live by the principles of Relationship Fundraising, but some really take donor-love to the next level, while others simply use the building of donor relationships as another tool to achieving great results. (more…)
Philanthropy as we have known it is changing. And while donors continue to focus their time and money on the causes to which they have the most personal connection, our understanding of ‘community’ has evolved so fundamentally in the wake of globalisation that one may have just as much tangible experience of a starving child a hemisphere away as of the patrons of a breadline around the corner. And yet, despite the increasing sophistication of our donor communications and marketing strategies, the security of our success as Western fundraisers is irrevocable gone. (more…)