Tom Ahern

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.

“The ‘you’ test is the quickest, surest way I know to judge whether materials are basically ‘donor ready.’ And it’s dirt simple. I invented this test, and I fully expect to get the Noble Prize in Usefulness some day. With [a] red pen in hand, circle each time the word ‘you’ appears in your material — any form of ‘you’: you’d, you’ll, your, you’re, yours, you’ve. “Gaze at the results. If you see red circles all over the place, you’ve passed the ‘you’ test. “If you see few red circles and there are large spaces without any circles, you’ve failed. Passing the ‘you’ test

“You don’t need a degree in journalism to publish a newsletter that will keep donors inspired (and generous). You just need a few skills and insights.”

Hire Well, Train Quickly Jan. 3, 2006 By Abny Santicola, associate editor, FundRaising Success As the government steps away from the business of providing social services, society is attempting to fill the void with more and more new nonprofit organizations. And as the number of nonprofits grows, so too does the number of positions available within the nonprofit sector. That's an encouraging trend for 2006. But according to Tom Ahern, founder of Foster, R.I.-based consultancy Ahern Communications and author of "Raising More Money With Newsletters Than You Ever Thought Possible," many of the people hired to fill those positions don't have a lot of

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