8 Fundraising Ninja Tricks
4. Colored paper
I've heard that when regular ninjas create direct mail, they use all black paper and invisible ink that becomes legible only when boiled in dragon blood.
The fundraising ninja has a similar trick, but it's much easier on everyone (especially dragons): Use colored paper for the return envelope. This usually boosts response rate.
5. Don't use a photo
This trick requires the courage of a honey badger and the guile of a jackal. Because everyone knows that photos can be powerful motivators for charitable giving. They have the power to touch the heart directly in ways words can't.
But fundraising ninjas know that photos can also be significant demotivators when they fail to communicate the right message — which happens astoundingly often.
Photos often accidentally give the message "everything is just hunky-dory here" more loudly than the words that are desperately trying to say there's a problem that needs solving.
Sometimes, people in photos look like they have the wrong emotion for the situation. You mean to show need, but they look annoyed or even furious. Many photos are just messy and confusing, so viewers don't get any particular message.
No photo at all is much better than the wrong photo. Don't be afraid to let words do the work for you if you don't have the right photos. It's far better than letting the wrong image hijack your message.
6. Be old-fashioned
It's said that ninjas are so fast, they can slip back through time and hit you back before you've hit them in the first place.
Fundraising ninjas have a similar ability: They are always a few decades behind the times in their communications and design styles. This gives them power, because fundraising is aimed overwhelmingly at older people. That's who gives.