LW Robbins Associates

How, When and Why to Thank Donors
May 1, 2005

Sending a timely, relevant thank-you letter in return for a gift is the prudent and polite thing to do — both in our private lives and in fundraising. It’s all about preserving a relationship, communicating appropriately, and establishing and maintaining a personal style.

Ms. Manners taught us the rules of etiquette when writing personal thank-you notes, but what about a donor program with thousands of people to thank? What are the rules? And who gets to write them?

Fund for Animals Plans for Risk and Wins
January 1, 2005

In 1989, I was fortunate enough to attend a very intense management-training program that, in hindsight, virtually changed my way of thinking about business and management. The four-day program was called “Skunk Camp,” and it was operated by the Tom Peters Group.

(Peters co-authored the books “In Search of Excellence” and “Passion for Excellence.”)

I Don't Want to Hear It!
September 1, 2004

A chronic non-responder (CNR) is an individual who has been mailed a succession of times and has not gifted your organization. Mailers feel the effects of these non-responders with respect to the expense of postage, handling, list rental and materials. So how long should you continue to mail to these potential donors? Should you suppress these names? Is it worth the special handling? And just how do you figure it all out?

January 1, 2004

Randomness: “Having no specific pattern, purpose or objective.” Could there be another word that strikes greater dread in the hearts of nonprofit fundraisers? Sure, it’s nice to get that unexpected, random gift. But how — HOW, you fret — do you get that person to give again... and again... and... ?

Gentle Persuaders
November 1, 2003

It’s a stunningly perfect, late-summer day in the nation’s capital, and Carsten Walter is doing his best Homer Simpson impression — though maybe not on purpose. The affable, animated Walter slaps the heel of his hand against his forehead, rolls his eyes and explains how certain “duh moments” play into his work as director of membership programs at D.C.’s venerable Heritage Foundation.

FOCUS ON AUDITS Don't Be Afraid of the A-wordUnlike the tax v
September 1, 2000

Unlike the tax v By MAURA SZENDEY and BRYAN TERPSTRA For most of us, when we hear the word "audit," our gut instinct is to run and hide. We've been trained to think an audit means a review of our finances, and sometimes that can be downright scary! But there are other types of audits that can be a lot less stressful and have a big impact on your bottom line. There are two common, basic audits, for example, to help evaluate the annual performance of a direct marketing program: a creative audit and a file audit. For nonprofits with mail programs