Scott Swedenburg

Though not specifically about fundraising, Scott Swedenburg’s new book, “Lessons From a Mama’s Boy … How Mom Taught Me to Be a Success in Business and Life,” is a fun and easy read for anyone who might need a little refresher course in the basic guidelines for success both in the business and “real” worlds, as well as anyone who could stand to improve his or her relationship skills. Extrapolated to the fundraising world, of course, that means donor, volunteer and staff relationships. Scott is a partner with Birmingham, Ala.-based direct-marketing fundraising consultancy Mail Enterprises and an occasional contributor to FundRaising Success. As charming

For this week’s Advisor, FS asked a number of agencies and other companies that serve the nonprofit fundraising sector for tips on making the most of the client/vendor relationship. Here are some of their thoughts. “The No. 1 thing we’ve found is to clearly identify every task, lay it out on a spreadsheet, get agreement before beginning, then update the spreadsheet weekly with the status of each project. This helps to pinpoint problems, document progress, track mission creep and keep clients happy. It’s a technique I took from my Disaster Incident Management System training. They call it a ‘Tasks in Progress’ list.” — Rick

Editor’s Note: This article contains some words and passages that some readers might find offensive or unsettling. We chose to leave them in so that the author could make his point, as well as to illustrate the powerful effect they can have on a reader. We apologize in advance for any offense. 

Every Direct-Mail Campaign Needs a Little Weeding Sept. 20, 2005 By Scott Swedenburg I'm a farm boy, and by this time of year everything has been planted. Your field or garden is full of healthy, growing plants, but there could be a problem -- weeds. And if they're not eventually pulled, weeds will damage the crops. Direct mail is the same way. Over time, weeds have sprung up in your direct-mail packages that are choking out the response. Take a look at your package, and see if there's anything that needs to go. Weeds you may want to pull: A brochure that's

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