Alan Sharpe

“Remember this: You can mail a perfectly respectable donor acquisition package to the wrong list and lose everything, including your job. But you can also mail a mediocre (or even bad) package to a good list and lose money. Testing reduces your risk.” — Fundraising letter writer, instructor, author and newsletter publisher Alan Sharpe in the Sept. 21 edition of his free weekly e-newsletter, Raiser Sharpe Focus. Sign up at

Transform First-time Direct-mail Donors Into Repeat Givers Feb. 14, 2006 By Alan Sharpe I know an executive director who, over the course of a 20-year career at the helm of a national charity, signed every single donor acknowledgment that left his office. He took them home after work, sometimes working his way through a pile of 300 thank-you notes before retiring for the evening. To my knowledge, he never tested his method against generic, computer-generated gift acknowledgments. But you can imagine which method worked best at turning his first-time donors into repeat givers. He seemed to know intuitively that the most important gift in

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