LW Robbins Associates

Case Study: The Home for Little Wanderers
May 1, 2007

Most larger nonprofit organizations have an aggressive major-donor program in place. Once a donor — whether connected with the organization via direct mail, the Internet, special events or other medium — reaches a certain giving level, the major-gifts folks take over and treat him very differently than other, lower-value donors. The contacts are more personal and focus on face-to-face solicitations.

5 Tips for Improving Your Acquisition Program
March 19, 2007

Recent discussions we’ve had with clients, prospects and colleagues have centered around launching or re-energizing acquisition programs. Here’s a list of tips you can use to make your acquisition program more successful as you continue planning for the year ahead. 1. Aggressively test list categories and lists. Work with your agency and list broker to audit your current list universes, then create a testing plan for list markets that might have been successful but are not fully tapped into. Explore new categories: Direct response-acquired donor lists work best, but also test subscriber lists, catalog buyer lists and specialized compiled lists. Analyze the list-usage patterns of other organizations

Basic Strategies for Multi-Channel Integration
February 6, 2007

It’s one thing to fundraise via multiple channels, another thing entirely to integrate those channels so they work in concert with one another during fundraising or activism campaigns and foster the best possible relationship with donors. For advice on some basic strategies to get from the point A of multiple channels to the point B of integration, I spoke with L.W. Robbins Associate’s Amy Beaudoin, senior copywriter, and Bryan Terpstra, VP of client services. First, organizations have to build their database of names and capture the information necessary to contact donors across multiple channels. Include e-mail captures on all of the organization’s printed

The Little Mailing That Did
February 1, 2007

The Vermont Foodbank is the only food bank in the state of Vermont. For years, CEO Deborah Flateman says, it had relied on volunteers to produce its acquisition and renewal mailings in-house. The pieces themselves were inexpensive, consisting mostly of a letter with the organization’s letterhead and simple reply elements.

And The Winners Are ...
February 1, 2007

Please join us in congratulating the winners of our annual Fundraising Pofessionals of the Year Awards, as well as thanking them for their hard work and dedication. And if you think we missed someone, make a note for next year and be sure to nominate him or her.

And the Winners Are …
September 1, 2006

Grueling is the word that crossed the lips of the intrepid judges for our 2006 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence as they made their way out of our offices one hot afternoon in August.

Not that we’re particularly demanding taskmasters, but the competition was, indeed, fierce. Much to our glee, it grew from 33 packages in 2005 to nearly 90 this year (sent in by 21 agencies and four nonprofit organizations). Some of the categories remained the same, but we added a few and tweaked a few others.

Mutual Trust Is a Must
September 1, 2006

Every day we hear about the lack of trust between nations, between citizens and their governments, between employees and customers, customers and corporations, and between individuals. Advances in technology have aggravated the problem by making it easy for individuals and organizations to steal or misuse sensitive information.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
March 1, 2006

A professor stood before his class, picked up a large jar and filled it with golf balls. He asked his students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Then he poured pebbles into the jar. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. Again he asked if the jar was full, and the students responded, “Yes.” Next he poured sand into the jar, and it filled up everything else. Again he asked the students if the jar was full, and they said, “Yes.”

An Alluring Proposition
March 1, 2006

Let’s face it. As direct-response fundraisers, we don’t spend enough time trying to renew lapsed donors. Most of our effort goes into acquisition and current-donor programs — and for good reason.

Current-donor mailings generate the bulk of your income, so that’s always your first priority. And even though most acquisition mailings lose money in the first year, they do create future donors. (Note: If you’re making money or breaking even on your acquisition mailings, you’re doing a great job. You should request a raise from your boss immediately, and write to us here at FundRaising Success and tell us how you’re doing it.)

Gold Awards: And the Winners Are ...
September 1, 2005

What a grand time. FundRaising Success ventured into the tricky awards arena for the first time this year. And even though it was all new to us, it was a terrific experience from start to finish. We had a better-than-expected showing — 33 packages in all, submitted by 10 agencies and two organizations — a small but enthusiastic group of judges and a lot of fun.