Development at the Lance Armstrong Foundation embodies seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s demon drive to empower cancer survivors.
Seventy-nine percent of donors and prospects who open direct mail appeals will read the postscript first, maintains direct mail copywriting and creative consultant Ray Jutkins. Only the running headline and Johnson Box at the top of the letter fetch more attention, he says, and a good P.S. can help you reach your direct mail objective by restating the benefits or offer, or urging action. “The primary thing not to do with your P.S. is state a new fact, introduce a new idea or start fresh with a different thought,” Jutkins cautions. “The P.S. is a place to repeat the call to action, remind the
More than 50 million consumers have had their personal data compromised this year, a statistic grim enough to elicit spasms of paranoia in donors’ hearts about identity theft, data security and privacy. But, in reality, there have been few cases of privacy infringement reported in the nonprofit world — not enough to spawn a skittish donor pool.
It does, however, raise two important questions for nonprofit fundraisers. First, with the explosive growth in data collection and compilation, to what extent is it moral, ethical or legal to mine data on potential donors? And secondly, what proactive measures can be taken to safeguard donor privacy?
It’s safe to say Benjamin Hart is a fan of direct mail. In his book, “Fund Your Cause With Direct Mail: Secrets of Successful Direct Mail Fundraising,” Hart takes a comprehensive look at the benefits of direct mail and how they can be harnessed to capture more funding for nonprofit organizations, tracing everything from the role direct mail had in the American Revolution and in strengthening democracy, to the importance it plays in conjunction with the Internet.
For nonprofit mailers, knowing what your donors want is paramount. That’s why DOROT, a New York City-based charity providing Kosher meals to homebound Jewish elders in the tri-state area, tested, tested and tested some more to pinpoint how best to attract new contributors.
Its current No. 10 control package is simple in design and approach, and contains just three elements: a four-page letter, donor form and BRE. For all the flashy, four-color brochures and glossy inserts available, it often is the plain, white printed letter and envelope that carry the most impact — and cost the least — in the mail stream.
When you assess the sophistication, innovation and e-commerce prowess of Web sites in the nonprofit sector, it’s hard to accept the fact that e-giving accounts for only 1 percent to 2 percent of all funds raised by U.S. charities.
Not so long ago, online fundraising simply meant being able to accept credit card donations through a Web interface.
Building organization capacity is about systematically investing in developing an organization’s internal systems (for example, its people, processes and infrastructure) and its external relationships (for example, with funders, partners and volunteers) so that it can better realize its mission and achieve greater impact, writes Mike Hudson, director of Compass Partnership, a U.K.-based management consultancy specializing in the nonprofit sector, in his new book, Managing at the Leading Edge: New Challenges in Managing Nonprofit Organizations.
In order to plan an appropriate strategy for each planned-giving or major-gift prospect, you need to know as much as possible about the prospect’s family and personal considerations, business and professional affiliations, financial situation, hobbies, memberships, and other interests, writes Massachussetts-based planned-giving consultant Debra Ashton in her new book, “The Complete Guide to Planned Giving: Everything You Need to Know to Compete Successfully for Major Gifts” (Third Edition). You need to know if the prospect has supported other organizations like yours and at what levels, Ashton says, as well as be sensitive to the prospect’s stage of life. For example, does she have several
Of all the elements that go into a direct mail effort, the most important single purchase is the list, according to direct-marketing consultant Paul Goldberg. There are two ways to order lists, he says: Use a broker or do it yourself. “By broker I don’t mean an organization,” Goldberg explains. “Basically, all brokerage companies are the same. They have access to the same mailing lists; they charge the same prices; their data cards are more or less the same. Instead, choose a list broker for the specialist working there.” Ask this question: Does he or she know the market and do the hard work
An effective case statement grabs a person and never lets go. It inspires and motivates the reader to go from her mind to her heart to her purse, writes Jerold Panas, fundraising veteran and author of the new book, Making the Case: The No-Nonsense Guide to Writing the Perfect Case Statement.
Although Panas claims not to be a writer in his opening passage, he has penned eight books on fundraising, the most popular being Mega Gifts and ASKING. His latest offering includes anecdotes and step-by-step tips for crafting a case study to jolt donors into action.
Generation Y is one of the first population segments that knows the true meaning of instant gratification, according to Kelly Mahoney, president of marketing agency Newport Creative Communications. A three-week fulfillment window as a standard response is not going to help you cultivate a long-term relationship, she explains. Here, Mahoney discusses what Generation Y’ers mean for fundraising.
For more than 20 years, Volunteers of America has operated a donation program for automobiles, boats and recreational vehicles with its local chapters and participating 501(c)(3) organizations. Recently, the spiritually based social-services charity has taken its successful turnkey vehicle-donation program online — and in a big way.
Search-engine optimization is nothing more than modifying Web page content and code to get free, organic lists in the search engines for targeted search terms. But as online strategist Liz Murphy, partner at Red Boots Consulting, explains, effective search-engine marketing also employs pay-per-click advertising (buying relevant search terms from the search engines at a per-click cost) and search-engine PR (getting your Web content and press releases top visibility in search engines, news sites and search-engine news pages). Here, Murphy offers five quick tips for search-engine marketing success: 1. Be creative and strategic in selecting keyword-search terms. Keyword research identifies new opportunities to drive
Often times people confuse creativity with a specific skill, like writing or drawing, says direct mail copywriter and consultant Alan Rosenspan. But those are just techniques that can be learned. Creativity is the process of solving problems, of seeing things in a new way, of coming up with ideas and of connecting things, he says. Does your organization do brainstorming? Rosenspan offers the following tips, including lessons he’s learned in leading and attending hundreds of brainstorming sessions over the years. 1. INVITE THE RIGHT PEOPLE. You might have assembled a bright and creative group of people, but they might have little experience with the
When CBS and NBC refused to run its 30-second television commercial, the development office at the United Church of Christ was more than a little miffed.
The ad, which employed images of bulbous nightclub security guards standing behind velvet ropes in front of a church — railed against the perceived non-inclusiveness of Christian faiths. In rejecting it in early 2004, the networks said the message was too controversial and amounted to “issue advocacy.”