Author Archives: Dan

Fundraising’s neglected “Thank You” opportunity

Every good fundraising book, workshop and blog will tell you how important it is to thank your donors.  Quickly.  And often. Yet almost every organization neglects one compelling point of “Thank You” … at the beginning of each appeal to … Continue reading

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Copywriting quote of the day

“We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.”   –Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), c. 35-100 CE

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The #1 Secret to Writing Fundraising Letters that Maximize Results

I’ve beaten a fair number of fundraising controls over the years, but only recently did I stop to compare my overall approach to that taken by most copywriters.   Here it is: Most writers assume that readers will start at the … Continue reading

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Zen and fundraising response metrics

British philosopher Alan Watts is most know this side of the pond for his books on Zen Buddhism.  One Watts stand-out that has value for fundraisers beyond mystical matters is Wisdom of Insecurity, from which I quote … “If you … Continue reading

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A/B testing in fundraising and beyond

I hadn’t realized how much A/B testing was being done online by ALL KINDS of organizations and enterprises until seeing this article in a recent Wired Magazine.   Read it.  Won’t take long. You probably can’t do this kind of … Continue reading

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The statistical dark side of lifetime value

Warning:  Today’s post is for stats geeks. The potential lifetime value of our donors drives many of our fundraising decisions, quite rightly.  Perhaps, though, we too often overlook a downside … the actual lifetime cost of maintaining each donor. Acquisition … Continue reading

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Fundraising: Price on the head of a renewed donor

Only one number really counts in rationalizing the cost of a fundraising renewal:   Your cost of acquisition of a new donor. Is it worth doing a second renewal mailing? … or a third? Do the math.   Keep sending renewals until … Continue reading

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How to begin a fundraising letter

In consumer direct mail marketing, the rule is “always start with the reply form.”   That’s often the first thing recipients look at, since you must there lay out your proposition. Ok, a clear proposition is a good place to … Continue reading

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Emotion is the prime donor driver for mail/email fundraising programs (not reason!)

A couple of recent posts in The Agitator have touched on the issue of whether reason or emotion drives donations.  Good material, take a look, and subscribe to The Agitator. The one distinction that might be clearer in that debate … Continue reading

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Why donors don’t read your fundraising letters …

As someone who writes direct marketing fundraising letters, I can boast that more people have read my scintillating writing than the words of most published authors. Little solace, however, when acknowledging how many people have received this compelling prose, but … Continue reading

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