Three Laws of Fundraising Dynamics
July 1, 2009

We’ve been hard at work here at Easier Said Than Done Laboratories on the holy grail of fundraising — a new Unified Theory of Fundraising. I’m happy to announce some breakthrough discoveries: Three Laws of Fundraising Dynamics that will give you the theoretical platform for great fundraising.

Merkle Wins Three Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association “Benny” Awards
June 18, 2009

COLUMBIA, Md., June 17, 2009 — Merkle (, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing database marketing agencies, was recently honored with three 2009 “Benjamin Franklin Awards for Direct Marketing Excellence”, or “Bennies”, by the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the Farmhouse at People’s Light in Malvern, Pa. on June 4, 2009.

Choose Your Budget-Cut Battles Wisely
June 1, 2009

If you haven’t gotten it yet, the memo is probably on its way. It says, with a great many words: You must cut your fundraising budget!

Merkle Acquires CognitiveDATA
May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 — Merkle (, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing database marketing agencies, announced the acquisition of Little Rock, Ark.-based CognitiveDATA, a marketing technology company with award-winning, data quality innovations that help recognized retailers, insurance providers, nonprofits and financial services organizations ensure the accuracy of mail files and eliminate waste in their direct mail programs.

25 Random Things About Fundraising
May 1, 2009

If fundraising were a person, and he or she was on Facebook, I’d tag her/him with the nasty “25 Random Things” meme. We’d learn some surprising things about fundraising. But since fundraising itself is a mute nonentity, I’ve taken the job upon myself …

Merkle Ranks Among Top Firms in New Advertising Age Agency Report 2009
May 1, 2009

COLUMBIA, Md., April 30, 2009 — Merkle (, one of the nation's largest and fastest growing database marketing agencies, announced its top rankings in a new report from Advertising Age magazine. The Agency Report 2009 ranks Merkle among the nation's top 10 Direct Marketing Agencies, in the top 25 U.S. Marketing Services Agencies and among the top 30 Agency Companies worldwide. With a 16.8% growth rate from 2007, Merkle holds the distinction of being the fastest growing direct marketing agency in the Top 20. The rankings were published in the April 27 issue of Advertising Age magazine ( The magazine's annual report ranks marketing and advertising companies according to their 2008 revenue.

Tips to Energize Your Donor Newsletter
April 21, 2009

Donors want newsletters. Research has told us so. But most donor newsletters go unread. In last month’s Forum For Fundraising webinar on creating highly profitable donor newsletters, Tom Ahern, principal at Ahern | Communications | Ink, explained the disconnect and the reader psychology behind it, told attendees how to speak to donors' personalities, and shared some key secrets behind great donor newsletters.

When PC Equals BS
April 1, 2009

My first leper: I was riding in a cab in crawling traffic from the airport into Calcutta, India, thrilled to be there and mesmerized by the sensory overload I was experiencing.

What Goes On in the Mailbox?
March 1, 2009

When I was new to fundraising, one thing about direct mail really bugged me: response rates. I’d look at the 5 percent to 8 percent response rates that are common and think, “That’s fine, but what about the 92 percent to 95 percent failure rate?”

Nonprofit Fun With Focus Groups
February 1, 2009

As you’ve probably deduced by now, this column is not a money-making enterprise. For some inscrutable reason, a snarky advice column for fundraisers just doesn’t rake it in; must be the recession.