Pamela Barden

Pamela Barden

Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.

Welcome to Your Donor’s Story

Writing a successful fundraising communication — be it an e-appeal, social media post, direct mail letter, personal letter, program copy or anything else — can feel daunting. Especially given the high rate of failure (since 100% response is rare), having to write the ask can seem like a pathway to failure.

Be a Smart Small Fundraiser

While the concept of fundraising via e-appeals and mail may sound so last century, I assure you it is an important foundational piece for a fundraising program of the 2020s.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Direct Response

Direct response is not as sexy as taking donors to the golf course or hosting the annual major donor cruise, but I’m proud of what I do because I have seen the results of the money I have raised over the years. And if someone says to me, “Oh, you do junk mail?” that’s OK.

Rethinking Employee Retention

When nonprofit staff discuss employee retention, the consensus is typically that employee turnover is a problem we need to fix.

Hidden Treasures for Fundraising Copy

As a writer of fundraising copy, one of my frustrations is having to create copy on a regular basis with little material to work with.

Retention: Still Your Best Strategy

Much of what we knew about fundraising before COVID-19 seems to have gone out the window, and “nimble” has been the new No. 1 skill.

Research for the Future

Many fundraisers can point to specific successes that are a result of doing research and applying the findings to create a new program or refine an existing strategy. While surveys are still used for many research efforts, I had an opportunity to probe 21st century research for nonprofits with Dave Goetz, president of CZ Strategy, a marketing firm that helps organizations make sense of their data and then implement messaging and communication changes based on the findings...

Fundraisers Have No ‘Summer Slump’

For many nonprofits, fundraising energy becomes sluggish as the temperatures rise. It may not be prime event season, donors may be too busy for a visit, mailing an appeal letter might be put off until fall, and online efforts take a back seat to vacation and “summer hours...

Fundraiser, What Are You Selling?

I was speaking recently with Dave Goetz of CZ Strategy, and our conversation turned to challenges facing nonprofit organizations. When he asked what I thought was the biggest challenge fundraisers had to deal with, I didn’t answer with the usual suspects...

Should You Know or Do Fundraising?

I’ve been debating (with myself) lately about the difference between knowing fundraising and doing fundraising. This internal conflict came up as a result of a class I am helping develop. Although I have taught university-level courses in fundraising and nonprofit management, I still consider myself a fundraising practitioner, not an academic...