The Trinket Dilemma: Considering the Pros and Cons of Premium Incentives
May 1, 2009

Sugarcoat it all you want, but offering premiums in an acquisition campaign is, essentially, bribery. And pretty unsubtle bribery at that.
You’re saying to a prospect, “Look, I’m afraid you don’t care enough about my organization’s work to support it out of 
passion or principle, so I’ll offer you this trinket to try and buy your loyalty.”
The dilemma is obvious. You’re going to have much greater loyalty from people who support you because they believe in your cause. But those premiums sure can bring in more donors. At least in the short run.
To a development director, the promise of the premium can be very alluring. For a relatively small investment in mailing labels or tote bags or whatever, you can reasonably predict that significantly more people will respond to your mailing.

Keep Dire Talk Out of Fundraising Letters
April 29, 2009

April 28, 2009, The Chronicle of Philanthropy — As the recession continues to squeeze donations to nonprofit organizations, fund raisers are feeling increased pressure to refer to their economic hardships in their written appeals to donors.

When PC Equals BS
April 1, 2009

My first leper: I was riding in a cab in crawling traffic from the airport into Calcutta, India, thrilled to be there and mesmerized by the sensory overload I was experiencing.

Fundraising 101 Direct Mail
January 1, 2009

We’ve dedicated four issues in 2009 to our Fundraising 101 series, which we hope will offer a solid look at some of the more fundamental issues involved in nonprofit fundraising. We start this month with a look at direct mail. In April, we tackle acquisition; in June, it’s special efforts, including monthly giving, lapsed donors, capital campaigns and planned giving; and, finally, we look at
e-philanthropy in October.

Whether you’ll be reading as a fundraising newbie looking for some entry-level guidance or as a seasoned professional looking for a refresher course to smooth the waters in this tough economic climate, we hope you’ll find these special reports immensely helpful.