Direct Response

What AB Testing Gets Wrong
November 30, 2016 at 10:50 am

AB testing can take the guesswork out of optimizing your online presence and marketing efforts. Unfortunately, AB testing can also leave a lot to be desired if you don’t execute it properly. Here are three of its shortcomings—and how to avoid them...

Now You Can Vote for the Best and Worst Charity Ads of 2016
November 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

There are two awards up for grabs—one you want to win and one you definitely don't want to win. Yes, it's time for the Radi-Aid Awards! From now until Dec. 6, the creators of the awards are asking people to vote for the best and worst charity ads of 2016—known respectively as the Golden Radiator…

Study: Carefully Chosen Wording Can Increase Donations 300 Percent
November 8, 2016 at 9:31 am

A forthcoming study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, based on the psychology of sympathy, shows that small changes in the wording of a fundraising letter can increase donations by more than 300 percent. With more than a million registered public charities in the U.S., fundraising for good causes has become more difficult than ever.…

What Do You Need the Money For?
October 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

It’s a straightforward question for any fundraiser, but you’d be surprised at how difficult it can be to answer. As a donor, I usually phone up charities to give them my money. I like to speak to a human being and have the chance to ask questions if I want to. I always ask the…

Your Biggest Marketing and Fundraising Weakness: Yourself
October 27, 2016 at 11:21 am

I haven’t posted for a while, as the nonprofit sector loves to jam all its conferences right in the middle of the busiest time of year, apparently. (Why do we do that?) But after trips, conferences and discussions with people all over North America, I’m more convinced of one thing: I’m a bad marketer/fundraiser. OK,…

Use the Wall Exercise to See Your Direct Marketing Program More Clearly
October 18, 2016 at 9:25 am

Last week, I had the pleasure of talking to someone who runs one of the largest direct marketing programs in the nonprofit industry. This program is not just massive from a revenue perspective, but also from a complexity perspective. Running this program is a large job. So, I asked how she manages to keep her finger on everything. She told me about the "wall exercise"...

Hail to the Receipt: 10 Tips for Better Receipting
October 13, 2016 at 8:00 am

With the holidays coming, have you checked it twice? I’m speaking of your receipting program, of course, not your gift list. Any regular reader of Old Dog Fundraising knows that I am a fanatic about sending out receipts. Donors stick with an organization past one or two gifts when they have a relationship with that organization, and part of maintaining a relationship is saying “thank you.” If your receipting method or message needs a tune-up before the year-end rush, here are some things to consider...

20 Things You Can Do Right Now for Better Fundraising in 2017
October 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

The next 60 days promise to be hectic. Holiday spirit, tax planning and general procrastination collide at this time of year to create a perfect storm for nonprofit fundraisers. Charities need to embark on an all-out effort to ensure the maximum amount of dollars flow to their cause. Here are 20 things you can do right now to help ensure success next year and long into the future...

Yes, I Really Want to Unsubscribe
October 4, 2016 at 9:00 am

I cleaned up my personal email and I am shocked at how many companies do not easily allow you to unsubscribe. Please note, this is not a best practice. Here's what I learned from the experience...

Can Telefundraising Survive the Cellphone Age?
September 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

As anyone with experience in telefundraising for nonprofits will tell you, the donor conversations are typically 
engaging, inspiring and positive. Results are real-time and exciting. And the channel is dynamic, on the front-lines of fundraising. Even aside from the dollars and positive donor cultivation, telefundraising is also an immediate, laser-focused marketing research vehicle. But can it survive the age of the cellphone?...