Direct Response

Did the Grinch Steal Your Fundraising?
December 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

Maybe that’s how you feel about some of the people who seem determined to steal fundraising by making it next to impossible to succeed.

The Art of Suggested Donation Amounts
December 15, 2016 at 8:00 am

How does the size of suggested donations affect charitable contributions? That’s the question researchers from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business set out to answer in a recent study. Oleg Urminsky, associate professor of marketing, and Indranil Goswami, then a doctoral candidate at Booth and now an assistant professor at the University at…

Is Your Fundraising Too Much Like a Family Christmas Letter?
December 14, 2016 at 8:00 am

I love family Christmas letters. Six-year-old Elmer is reading nearly 100 grade levels above his age. He has already secured a free-ride scholarship at the Sorbonne when he's ready for college, which will be just as soon as he finishes his school project of rebuilding a flood-ravaged village in New Guinea, using nothing but toothpicks…

What 'Where’s Waldo?' Teaches Us About Designing Better Pages
December 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

What can “Where’s Waldo?”, the lovable children’s book series of the '90s, teach us about designing better page layouts? A lot, it turns out. In UX, we use different page layouts to help organize information and guide the user's eye path. The “F” pattern, for instance, is commonly used for article-heavy sites to guide the…

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,…