For fundraisers, our holiday wishes are simple — good income, good income and, of course, good income! But looking ahead to 2012, here are three things I'd like to find under the tree Christmas morning that I guarantee will bring happiness to me through the new year.
Women teasingly taking off lingerie; obscene language flying left and right; graphic violence both bloody and disturbing. Is this the content of some R-rated film? Could be. But these days, eye-opening scenes like this can also be found in charity marketing campaigns.
Marketing consultant John J. Burnett understands that in these tough economic times, charities are trying harder than ever to get attention.
However, he cautions, “the risks are greater than the level of awareness they are going to create. You could end up trivializing the cause or diminishing the actual problem.”
You can't change the economy, but you can do your best to keep your fundraising on track. Here are five steps for fundraising in a recession and making the most of the year-end.
Sure, there are important differences in creative approach for mail and electronic media. But many marketing and fundraising best practices transcend the medium involved. Here are a few examples.
Fundraising consultant Nancy Schwartz shares seven steps to take to motivate your network to take the actions you need
- Abstraction is deadly. Be concrete and specific.
- Feature a single individual, rather than a group or - far worse - daunting stats that seem absolutely insurmountable.
- Focus on a positive story - with specifics - of someone whose life is improved as a result of your organization's work!
ACTION Against Hunger, a nonprofit group that fights malnutrition, is running a public service ad campaign that uses nontraditional, abstract imagery, rather than photos of starving children, to gain support.
Instead of employing photographs of starving children, the ads take a different tack. One shows a line of seven simple paper dolls; the doll in the middle is a stick figure compared with the other six. Copy in this ad says, “3.5 million children die each year from acute malnutrition. Take action. Save a child. ActionAgainstHunger.org.”
Following are the remaining four commandments that can help you apply best practices and time-tested strategies in your fundraising — and avoid the mistakes that undermine our best efforts.
If your fundraising hasn't been going well, you might have been telling yourself it's not your fault — it's the economy. But it's not. At least not entirely. Here are five much more likely reasons your fundraising doesn’t work.
Ted Hart speaks with veteran fundraising professional Julia Walker, author of "Jump-Starting the Stalled Fundraising Campaign," about her book and how to deal with the current challenges in the fundraising environment on his Nonprofit Coach radio show.
Veteran fundraising consultant Tom Gaffny provided 10 timeless keys to fundraising success that he's crafted over the past two decades during his session, "The 10 Commandments: 10 Ageless, Irrefutable, Non-Negotiable Keys to Optimizing Your Fundraising Success," at the DMA Nonprofit Federation's 2011 New York Nonprofit Conference held last month.