The Big Shift
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
2d ago
When most organizations write an appeal letter, they believe that the letter needs to convince the donor to support the organization.  That approach results in appeals that don’t raise as much as they could.  There’s a simple shift in thinking that results in appeals, e-appeals and newsletters that raise more money… The Big Shift The “shift” is this: moving from “trying to get the reader to support our organization” to “trying to get the reader to do one powerful thing for one beneficiary.” That’s the Big Shift. And when you write a letter that asks your reader to do one powerful thi ..read more
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Getting Used to Complaints
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1w ago
There’s a stage every medium to large nonprofit (that’s reliant on individual donors for a significant portion of its income) goes through as they grow. The nonprofit gets used to complaints. These organizations know that, once they reach a certain number of donors, they are going to receive complaints. It’s a certainty. There’s no way NOT to receive complaints because of the number of humans involved. (It’s good to remember that fundraising often reveals tension that the donor holds. That tension usually results in a gift, and sometimes results in a complaint.) When an organization that accep ..read more
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The Habit
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1w ago
There’s a habit your organization can develop that will result in raising more money and keeping more of your donors each year. It’s the habit of regularly using the mail and email to stay in relationship with your donors. Here’s why the habit of regularly sending mail and email to your donors is so powerful… The habit of regularly Asking your donors to do meaningful, powerful things with a gift through your organization results in more gifts. Donors in motion tend to stay in motion. Donors at rest tend to stay at rest. The habit of regularly Reporting to your donors shows and tells them that ..read more
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The Trend in Fundraising I’m Worried About
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
2w ago
I saw a lot of fundraising at year-end. Halfway through December I began to notice a trend: Almost none of the year-end fundraising mentioned that any help was needed. Specifically, I noticed two things: The fundraising did not mention that the organization needed any help. It sounded like the organizations were helping everybody they came across and that everything was going great. The fundraising did not mention that the beneficiaries or cause needed any help. It sounded like everyone was being helped and all the problems had been solved. I don’t know if that’s a big trend. It’s just what ..read more
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It’s Thankuary Time!
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
2w ago
A little over five years ago we invented “Thankuary” – taking the month of January and intentionally Thanking your donors with focus and emotion. Your donors deserve it, and it will help you raise more money in 2023. This post links to several free resources you can use to Thank your donors. A cheat sheet (with examples) for how to run a great Thankuary campaign. Specific advice for how to send your donors a pure Thank You. How small organizations can out-Thank larger organizations. For podcast fans, here’s “The right way and the wrong way to thank your donors” from Fundraising is Beautiful ..read more
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Not All “Awareness” Is Created Equal
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
3w ago
Many nonprofits try to increase “awareness” in order to increase the number of new individual donors to their organization. But not all “awareness” is created equal. I’ve noticed that there are five distinct types of awareness – and that a couple of the types are far more effective at causing new people to donate. Type #5 — Awareness your organization exists This type of awareness comes when potential donors see an organization’s name and logo. It results in very little action and is the least effective form of awareness. (My basic rule is to never, ever spend money for this type of awareness ..read more
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Create things your donors can READ
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Sarah Lundberg
1M ago
The other night I went to a new pizza place with my parents. As we walked up to the restaurant, I began to think the place might be a little too… hip… for us. We got seated at a booth in a dark dining room and we each were handed our own tiny menu. I looked at the menu and… I couldn’t read it! I moved it closer to my face, then further away. I squinted. Not much help. 9-point font, maybe even 8-point. Muted red text. Dark cream-colored paper. Did I mention the room was dark? Ugh. As I looked around the room, I began to wonder. Do they not want us here? Here’s the thing. This what happens to yo ..read more
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It’s a Gift to Be a Fundraiser
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1M ago
Today’s the last day of sharing the stories behind my fundraising posts that got the most reactions on social media. Here’s #7, #6, #5, #4, #3 and #2. And #1 is… The ability to do fundraising as a career is a gift. I was gratified to see that this was the most liked tweet in my “51 fundraising lessons on my 51st birthday” thread. Because if you’re like me, sometimes you find fundraising infuriating. It’s emotionally hard work, there are more tactics to know than ever before, sometimes organizational stakeholders have no idea what they are talking about but are still given equal voice, etc. The ..read more
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Just Say ‘No’ to Online Brochures!
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1M ago
We’re nearing the end of sharing the stories behind my fundraising posts that got the most reactions on social media. Here’s #7, #6, #5, #4 and #3. And today, here’s #2… A nonprofit’s website is only as effective as the questions asked when work starts. “How can we tell people all about our work?” results in a less effective site than asking “How can we make it easy for people to do something?” I want to help smaller nonprofits avoid a very pretty trap. The trap is the belief that a sort of magic will happen when they get a new website up. There’s an unspoken belief that the new site will caus ..read more
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Help Your Donor Imagine Herself Making A Gift
The Better Fundraising Company Blog
by Steven
1M ago
This year for the holidays I’m sharing the thinking and stories behind my fundraising posts that got the most reactions on social media. Here’s #7, #6, #5 and #4. As we get closer to Christmas, here’s #3… In direct response, ask donors to do something that’s doable by 1 donor. “Will you provide 1 new library book” will work better than “will you provide new library books to local children.” Big Idea: if your donor can imagine herself giving a gift, and imagine that her gift will do what you say it will do, she’s more likely to give you a gift. Say you’re a local library and you’re raising mone ..read more
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