5 Quick Thoughts to Help You Raise More

Counting on Hand.

Here’s a quick list of 5 things that should help you raise more money:

1. Letters that look like letters tend to do better.

A “letter” is a proven way to effectively raise money. But if you break the “form” too much – too many photos, too many graphics, a big color banner across the top – it begins to feel more like a brochure than a letter. And brochures do not work.

2. You do not have to be a great writer to be great at raising money through mail and email.

The things that make mail and email fundraising effective are rarely what most people think of as “good writing.” Really, you just need to know a handful of ideas – all of which I’ll be teaching in a free webinar Friday, March 22.

3. When someone at a nonprofit says they are going to “innovate,” really what they should say is that they are “attempting to innovate.”

Not all innovation works. If we explicitly name that going in, we’ll all be smarter about whether attempting to innovate is a good use of time and budget.

4. If you really want to get better at direct mail and email fundraising – as in actually study good teaching, not just read tips – study Siegfried Voegele.

Start with this article by Chris Keating.

5. “Fundraising Offers” are the most powerful, least-understood tactic in fundraising.

The teaching in our industry on Offers, even my own, isn’t cutting it. So I’m working on a better way to teach the organization-upgrading skill of creating a good offer. Watch this space.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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