Direct Response

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?...

When Stories in Appeals Kill Your Fundraising Results
August 31, 2016 at 10:01 am

With all the articles, blog posts and white papers about storytelling in fundraising, it's easy to think that all you have to do is drop a story into an appeal and there you go—success. Not necessarily so. Network for Good research showed 44 percent of nonprofits polled said that stories had no impact on results or were unsure…

Revisiting the Lowly Postcard
August 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

Earlier this year, I received a postcard mailing from the Share and Care Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in New Jersey. In just four panels (one of which was the address panel), the postcard tackled one of those funding needs that make many fundraisers cringe—toilets...

4 Tips to Survive the Year-End Fundraising Extravaganza
August 24, 2016 at 9:22 am

OK, why am I talking about year-end? It’s August! Well, because that’s how our weird world of fundraising works—at least for direct response. I started presenting holiday campaign ideas to my clients back in July. Literally Christmas in July. That’s what makes the world of direct response marketing agencies extra weird. Because of the lead…

Hey Fundraisers: It’s Time to Show Your Stuff!
August 23, 2016 at 9:22 am

Since 2006, NonProfit PRO has held a competition for the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. This year's competition opened last week. If you’re with a nonprofit or agency (or know someone who is), and you’ve achieved some stellar results, it's time to get the ball rolling. Why should you submit your campaigns? Because great work deserves to be seen and rewarded...

5 Questions to Shape Your Direct Response Fundraising Project
July 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

"We need money! Can you send out an email/mailing/newsletter?" Have you heard some variation of that in your career? It’s tough enough doing a great job when you can plan a project, but when you have no time for the "luxury" of rumination, take a few minutes to answer these five questions to help your direct response fundraising be as effective as possible...