How to Increase Your Email Open Rate by 14%
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
2h ago
A client of ours started sending monthly “e-stories” last November. And since November, their average email open rate has increased from 24% to 38%. Most organizations would sacrifice a Board member for a 14% increase in open rates! So you might ask, “What’s an e-story?” An e-story is a low-fi, simply-formatted email from your E.D. to your donors. It tells one “before and after” story. Here’s the outline: Warm, personal greeting Directly tell the donor that you are going to tell them a story that’s a good example of how their gift made a difference Tell a “before and after” story from your or ..read more
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The #1 Story that Raises the Most Money [VIDEO]
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
5d ago
I think this is the most helpful video I’ve ever made. If you’d like to know how to: Tell stories in your appeals, e-appeals and events so that more donors will respond Tell stories so that your donors become more bonded to your organization Tell stories so that you raise more money Say what’s needed when sharing this thinking with the people in your organization who don’t like powerful fundraising It’s all in there. Take a look! The post The #1 Story that Raises the Most Money [VIDEO] appeared first on The Better Fundraising Company ..read more
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You Don’t Need to Convince Your Donors
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1w ago
There’s an approach to fundraising that believes that your fundraising must convince the donor that what you’re working on is important before they will read your message or give a gift. This is happening any time you see an appeal start out with a statistic.  “There are over 14,000 children in the LA area aging out of the foster care system each year” is one example.  “43% of the wetlands in Okanagan are currently unprotected” is another. These stats are meant to communicate to the donor that what’s being written about is Important, that this is a Big Deal.  The organization’s ..read more
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Two Audiences = Two Approaches
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1w ago
There’s a big difference between writing appeal letters and writing grant applications. When you’re writing a grant application you know that it will be read.  In fact, someone is paid to read it. When you’re writing an appeal letter (or an e-appeal) you know that it will arrive in a mailbox in competition with everything else the donor is receiving.  No one is paid to read it. That’s a big difference. The audiences for grant applications and appeals are completely different.  This explains why the writing style for an appeal is different than the writing style for a grant appli ..read more
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Net Revenue Available to Program
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
2w ago
Here’s a counter-intuitive truth to tuck away: As a nonprofit’s donor file shrinks, their response rates for direct mail and email will tend to increase. Wait, you might say… if a nonprofit is losing donors every year, why would their response rates be going up? Response rates go up as an organization’s donor file is shrinking because the first donors to leave are the donors who are least engaged.  This means that the remaining donors are more engaged – and are more likely to respond to a piece of fundraising. I saw this earlier today when I noticed that the year-end letter for one of our ..read more
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Direct mail and… Kale?
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
3w ago
Direct mail is like kale – nobody likes it the first time they try it. Kale is a tough, leafy vegetable that tastes like a hedge. But over time, a person can come to see the benefits of eating kale.  You start to appreciate kale.  And with the right prep and dressings, even enjoy it. Direct mail is a tough, counter-intuitive, expensive way to raise money. But over time, an organization can come to see the revenue that direct mail brings in and the relationship it builds.  You start to appreciate direct mail.  And with the right approach and understanding, even enjoy it. Kal ..read more
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Don’t Let Your DAF Donors Fall through the Cracks of Your Thanking Process!
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Sarah Lundberg
3w ago
Could you imagine a situation where one of your most dedicated and generous donors gives your organization a gift… and you never acknowledge or thank them? That would never happen, right? But it’s happening accidentally more and more often… More and more donors are giving gifts through Donor Advised Funds (DAFs).  Because the gift is often labeled as from “Fidelity Charitable” or “Network for Good” (or something similar), the donor who initiated the gift mistakenly goes un-acknowledged and un-thanked. You might remember that a few years ago, when Twitter was still Twitter, there was an ac ..read more
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2.4 Gifts Per Donor Per Year
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
3w ago
At the Big Fundraising Agency I used to work at, we noticed a trend: The individual donors who gave two or more gifts per year were the donors who were most likely to give again the following year. Think of it like physics: a donor’s relationship with your organization has momentum.  If a donor is giving often, they are more likely to keep giving.  If a donor is giving infrequently, they are more likely to stop giving. The data analysts further identified that if an organization’s individual donors averaged 2.4 gifts per donor per year, that seemed to be a “sweet spot” for revenue an ..read more
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The Squiggle
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1M ago
What you’re looking at is called “the squiggle.”  It was created by Damien Newman to describe the product design process. I think the squiggle pretty well describes most people’s fundraising journey, too.  Moving from left to right, all of us…             Start our journey careening wildly to figure out how fundraising works…                         We begin to develop an understanding of how it all works…  &nbs ..read more
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The Work of Your Organization vs. The Need for Your Organization’s Work
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1M ago
Last week I wrote about how “generating attention” should be a bigger part of the nonprofit fundraising toolkit. This is a quick post about how there’s a big difference between creating attention for the work of your organization versus the need for your organization’s work. If you’re trying to get the attention of people who have expertise in what you do – think Foundations who focus on your cause, government agencies, partner organizations, and major donors who understand why your work is unique – then I would point people’s attention towards the work of your organization.  Those people ..read more
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