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?

Why So Many New-donor Acquisition Efforts Stink
April 1, 2005

The failure to immediately obtain second gifts from new donors is a grave error. In fact, many new-donor acquisition efforts stink because of this failure.

As a fundraiser, one of your primary obligations is to acquire new donors so your organization’s revenue will increase. This means, of course, that you need to acquire more new donors each year than you lose to offset natural attrition.

Insert Success Story Here
April 1, 2005

In the for-profit world, insert media no longer is considered an “alternative” marketing channel. Program managers are seeing significant usage by mailers seeking vehicles to brand and sample their myriad products and services. But for most nonprofits, an insert is still just an alternative, a substitute, a backup.

One of the greatest challenges for charities considering insert media, according to Curt Weigel, account supervisor at Seattle-based direct-marketing agency the Domain Group, is finding enough relevant programs to accommodate a campaign’s fundraising needs.

The Fundraising Landscape, Circa 2005
January 1, 2005

You might be thinking that the new year will just bring more of the usual fundraising grind, slogging forward step by step, scratching for every dollar.Well, I have good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, the smartest fundraisers are paying attention to what promises to be next in breakthrough fundraising trends, strategies and tactics that will revolutionize the way funds are raised in the years ahead. So get on board if you want to ride the coming surge of fundraising effectiveness.

Avoiding the Not-So-Fab Four
March 1, 2004

Why do some nonprofit organizations thrive while others, just as worthy, languish in fundraising mediocrity, barely able to raise enough money to keep the doors open?

Sure, the fundraising environment is getting tougher and tougher every day because of increased competition. But even in this climate, organizations can achieve remarkable results and thrive.

Feeding the Need
January 1, 2004

It’s a development office’s dream: You’re a nice-sized nonprofit and you score some big corporate and foundation partners who start throwing money at you.

Sweet. Lots more cash in your coffers. Lots more people getting help.

But what about when those project grants time out? If you’ve put too many of your fundraising eggs into that big-ticket basket, you might find yourself a yolk or two short of an omelet somewhere down the line.

Hope is Not A Strategy
November 1, 2003

Donor and member attrition is an eternal challenge in fundraising. But in the past three years, the problem has magnified to the point that it’s causing hardships for some of even the largest nonprofit organizations.


Prospecting Lists that Work
November 1, 2003

You can have the most deserving cause and a highly compelling appeal, but your direct mail is going to be wasted if it’s sent to the wrong lists. That’s why, for any direct mail fundraising campaign, the list is the most important element within the nonprofit organization’s control — that, according to Mal Warwick, chairman of Mal Warwick & Associates Inc., Berkeley, CA.