Is Your Annual Report Worth it?

Is Your Annual Report Worth it?

If you’ve been thinking about no longer printing and sending your Annual Report, keep reading.

But for you “Steven, just tell me what to do” people, here’s the summary: if you have a good donor-centered newsletter, published multiple times per year, you don’t need to send your annual report to the vast majority of your donors.

Because they don’t need it. And in all likelihood, it’s a waste of money.

Annual Reports Meet a Need… in the PAST

My personal theory is that in the past, annual reports served a useful purpose for donors:

  • They made the organization look professional
  • They made the organization look like they are good at what they do
  • They showed some of the impact that the organization made

All good things.

But here’s the Main Thing: most donors, most of the time, don’t make their giving decisions based on whether an organization is professional or good at what they do.

Smart fundraisers have figured out that most donors make their decisions based on how you make them feel. On emotions.

(I should mention that annual reports are very good at generating one emotion in donors: boredom.)

A Better Idea: Make Your Donors Feel Their impact

How do you make donors feel strong emotions? Send them a donor-centered newsletter that focuses on the donor’s role in the work your organization does, not on your organization’s role. Tell stories of individuals, and tell the stories with emotion.

Those emotional stories that show a donor what her gift did are what makes so many people give gifts in response to receiving a newsletter.

Listen to that again: when you send donors a good newsletter, donors respond with gifts.

When you send them an annual report – no matter how good it is – what do they respond with?

Nothing.

So you get to pick. The choice is pretty clear.

The Two Mis-directed Arguments to Send Your Annual Report

There are two arguments against cancelling your annual report. Neither hold water (in my experience) and they go something like this:

  1. “Even though donors don’t respond, we know they like it and it helps drive future gifts.” I have cancelled a bunch of annual reports over the last ten years. We have NEVER seen a drop in giving. Not even once.
  2. “We must give it to Major Donors, they need it.” No, they don’t. They do need regular Reports on what their giving has accomplished. The annual report is, at best, an OK Report. What’s far better? Customized reports that are aligned with the donor’s passions and interests. Stories of beneficiaries. Pictures of beneficiaries. Meetings on site. Etc. All higher effort than sending an annual report, and all more effective.

The Real Reason to Keep Your Annual Report

There’s one very good reasons to keep your annual report:

  • You have some Foundation partners, and/or large grantors, who require an annual report.

Then, by all means, make them one. But figure out exactly the requirements and just do that. Don’t do anything else. And print it only for them (if they even need it!).

What to Do With Your Freed-Up Time and Money

Create a donor-centered newsletter. Or if you already have one, make and send another issue. A great newsletter will outperform – and cost less than – an annual report.

Another idea we’re seeing that’s working: about once a month, have your ED send out an email that tells the story of one beneficiary. Make it feel really personal. Strip out as much of your organization’s standard email formatting as you can.

If You Are Forced To Do an Annual Report

If the Powers That Be require you to make an annual report, try to make it a Gratitude Report.

I first heard this idea from Agents of Good in Toronto. It’s a bit of a mind-hack, because the simple reframing of the name helps people see that even though the content is largely the same as an annual report, the goal of the content is to express gratitude to donors for their role. So the “Letter from the Executive” gets written to express gratitude, rather than the standard chest-thumping. The headlines are written to use the word “you,” which makes the content more likely to be read.

But here’s the thing; I think a Gratitude Report is pretty much the same thing as a donor-centric newsletter. Both of them focus on the donor’s role, not the organization. Both of them give credit to the donor.

You can do either one. Do both!

If you can’t do that, do the work to get your annual report stakeholders – the people who feel powerfully about it – to clearly define the purpose of the report and how you are going to measure success. Then measure it to see if it achieves that purpose. And think hard to see if there’s something else you could do to achieve that purpose for less money.

I bet you’ll come back to two ideas: a donor-centered newsletter or a Gratitude Report.

A Big Opportunity…

If you’re still doing a classic annual report, you have a big opportunity in front of you. How are you going to use it?

How to Tell Unfinished Stories

How to Tell Unfinished Stories

I’m going to tell you something that is counter to what most nonprofits think.

But it’s tested and proven. Hundreds of times for hundreds of organizations, large and small. Here it is:

If you want to raise the most money, tell a story that is not finished and ask the donor to finish it with a gift today.

That’s a bit conceptual so here’s an example. Most fundraising appeals tell stories that go something like this:

“Lisa was homeless and in dire straits. But thanks to our 4-step program, Lisa is doing great today. Will you please give a gift to help us continue this good work?”

Notice how Lisa’s story is finished? She’s already been helped. The only role for the donor to play is to ‘help the organization continue the work.’

We talk about this in detail in our free ebook on storytelling that we’re launching soon, but that type of story works OK at best. Your best donors might give to it. But most of your donors won’t.

If you want to raise more money — and catch the attention of more people — tell an unfinished story of need like this:

“Lisa is homeless and in dire straits. Will you please give a gift today to help her stay in our shelter?”

Do you see the difference? Lisa still needs help! The donor feels that and sees exactly how a gift today will help Lisa.

Lisa’s story is unfinished, so your donor has a role to play. And your donor sees how her gift will do something simple and powerful — providing a night of shelter — which donors love.

Here’s another way to think about it:

  • Most nonprofits ask donors to help them do more of what the nonprofit has already done.
  • What works better in fundraising is to ask donors to help people who have not yet been helped or are currently being helped.

The is one of the fundamental principals we teach in our training on how to Ask powerfully. Use it in your next appeal and watch your results soar!

This post was originally published in July 2017.

Make “The Leap” to Acquire a LOT of new donors

Make “The Leap” to Acquire a LOT of new donors

This post is about acquiring new donors.

But it’s for nonprofits at a very specific stage in their development.

Keep reading if the following three things are true for your organization:

  • You’re actively trying to grow
  • You realize that to achieve that growth you need more new donors each year than you’ve been acquiring
  • You know that your current ways of acquiring new donors won’t achieve your new goals

I’ll give you an example. We work with a handful of organizations that have between 500 and 4,000 donors. These organizations want to grow… but the ways they acquire new donors are labor-intensive and are hard to expand:

  • Tours of their facility
  • An event or two a year
  • Word of mouth
  • A major donor connects them to another major donor
  • Vision Meetings

All good things – but small nonprofits can only do so many of them each year.

So the organization is stuck: they want to grow, know they need more donors, but don’t have the staff to do more.

If That’s You, What Do You Do?

If that’s you, please know that you’re in good company. A LOT of organizations are in your shoes.

But your question remains: how do you begin to acquire significantly more new donors than you have in the past?

It starts with thinking differently about acquiring donors. The Big Idea is that there is a cost associated with acquiring new donors. You’re going to need to pay for the attention of potential donors via media like radio, the mail, Facebook ads, etc.

In my experience, most smaller nonprofits never make the leap from homegrown, labor-intensive methods of acquiring donors. These smaller nonprofits don’t want to pay (or don’t think they can’t afford) the costs needed to do this.

But if they really want to grow, they need to.

Making the Leap

Below are my tips for “making the leap” to a new way of acquiring new donors.

And I need to say right away that I’m not providing the solution to your donor acquisition problem. This is not “7 easy tricks to more donors than you can count!” (That post would probably get a lot of readers, but it wouldn’t hold water because there is no silver bullet.)

The Current Situation

Most small nonprofits have no line item in the budget for donor acquisition. They also really don’t know their current cost for every donor acquired, because those costs are buried in other expenses.

For example, they might spend $50,000 on an event that acquires 100 new donors. But the expenses are only looked at in relation to how much revenue came in, not how many new donors were acquired.

What’s needed is a dedicated budget for donor acquisition.

How to Grow

Smaller nonprofits basically have two options for growth. You can pursue either one, or both:

  1. Start a scalable Donor Acquisition program. This means doing specific activities like buying radio spots and/or mailing lists, upping your online donor acquisition game, etc.
    • For example: doing a radio share-a-thon for $15,000, getting 500 new donors, then doing that every year moving forward. And this is scalable because you could do two radio share-a-thons for $30,000 and acquire 1,000 new donors. Or 3 radio share-a-thons for $45,000 and acquire 1,500 new donors.
  2. Do more of what you’re currently doing. (For clarity’s sake, I would define what most smaller orgs are doing in donor acquisition as not scalable. Could you expand your event and get 250 more donors? Maybe. Could you add three more events and get 750 new donors? Probably not.)

In my experience, “doing more of what you’re currently doing” almost never results in the type of growth a motivated organization is looking for.

So they have to bite the bullet. They have to pay the costs to start up a donor acquisition program.

Ask a Good Question

The most successful organization leaders, when they want to grow, are asking one of these questions:

  • “I have $XX,XXX to spend on getting new donors in 2018. How many new donors could we get for that?”
  • “I need X,XXX new donors in 2018. How much is it going to cost me?”
  • “By 2020 I need to have our income be 50% higher than 2017. How many new donors do we need to reach that level, and how much will it cost?”

If you know how much you have to spend, we can estimate how many new donors you can acquire.

If you know how many new donors you want to acquire, we can estimate how much it will cost you.

If you know how much you want to be raising 5 years from now, based on how your current donors are performing, we can tell you how many new donors you’ll need, to reach your goals.

Helpful Big Ideas

For organizations who want to begin scalable donor acquisition, there’s a set of ideas that more-or-less must be present in your organization for it to work:

  • If your organization is serious about acquiring new donors, you’ll have a line item in your budget for Donor Acquisition.
  • Measuring the Cost Per New Donor is a sign of maturity for an organization. It means you’re running the thing like a business, with known (and measured) inputs and known (and predictable) outcomes.
  • Scalable methods of donor acquisition require an investment mindset. Usually in donor acquisition you lose money in the short term, but you make money in the long term. For example, you might spend $1,000 and get 10 donors who each give you $50. So you spent $1,000 to raise $500. BUT, if you do a good job retaining those 10 donors they’ll give you $3,000 over the course of their time with you. So you actually spent $1,000 to raise $3,000.
  • There’s no way to know exactly how much a new donor will cost for an organization without testing. But there are industry standards and deep experience for every media channel – even Instagram, believe it or not. Find somebody or some organization who is doing a lot of donor acquisition, and ask them. In my experience, people will help you.
  • The Cost Per New Donor is always higher when you first start scalable acquisition methods. That’s because you do not know what will work best. Over time, you figure out which messages and mediums work best, and the cost per new donor comes down over time. (This is another reason it’s so important to have an investment mindset when you start to scale your acquisition.)
  • There is a “minimum level of investment” to start a donor acquisition program. For instance, if a radio share-a-thon costs $20k and gets you 200 donors, you can’t buy half a share-a-thon for $10,000 and get 100 donors. And by the way, Dear Reader, I don’t think you need to hear this. But I share it because there’s always someone on a Board that says, “Could we just buy seven commercials and see if that works?” What you want to do is figure out what the “minimum effective test” is, and do that. Not half of that.

Moving to this type of donor acquisition is a great sign of growth and maturity for an organization. It’s almost always a sign of a nonprofit being run like a business – and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s being a great steward of the resources given to us by donors to maximize their impact.

Good luck out there – and get in touch if you’d like to talk about donor acquisition!

How to Choose What to Underline and Why

Underlining your letters.

I’m going to teach you to raise more money by showing you what to emphasize in your fundraising letters.

Because if you underline or bold the right things, you’ll raise more money.

NOTE: for brevity, I’m going to lump all forms of visual emphasis as “underlining.” You might use underlining, or bolding, or highlighting, doesn’t matter. All of those are different tactics. I’m talking about the strategy of visually emphasizing small portions of your letters and e-appeals.

First, let me tell you why your underlining is so important.

Underlining has two purposes in fundraising writing. Almost nobody knows the second – and more important – purpose.

  1. Bolding or underlining signals that a sentence is important. This is true of almost any writing.
  2. But underlining also serves a second, more important purpose. The most effective fundraisers use underlining to choose for your donor which things they are most likely to read.

Because remember, most of your donors won’t read your letter from top to bottom. They will scan your letter – briefly running their eyes down the page. And as they scan, when they see a sentence that has been emphasized, they are likely to stop scanning and read.

It’s this second, more valuable purpose that most organizations don’t know about. So they underline the wrong things.

My Rule of Thumb

Here’s what I try to do. This doesn’t apply to every letter, but I try this approach first on every single letter I review or write:

  • The first thing underlined should be a statement of need, or a statement describing the problem that the organization is working on.
  • The second thing is a brief explanation of how the donor’s gift will help meet the need or solve the problem mentioned in the first underlined section.
  • The third thing is a bold call-to-action for the donor to give a gift to meet the need / solve the problem today.

If you do that, I can basically guarantee that your letter will do well. A MASSIVE number of fundraising letters don’t even have those elements, let alone emphasize them. If you have them, and you emphasize them, here’s what happens:

  • Donors know immediately what you’re writing to them about
  • Donors know immediately what they can do to help
  • Donors know immediately that they are needed!

Because of those things your donors are more likely to read more. And more likely to donate more.

There Are Some Sub-Rules

  1. No pronouns. Remember that it’s very likely that a person reading the underlined sentence has not read the prior sentences. So if you underline a sentence like “They need it now!” the donor does not know who “they” are and what “it” is. The sentence is basically meaningless to the donor. Their time has been wasted.
  2. Not too many. You’ve seen this before; there are four sentences that are bolded, five that are underlined, and the result is a visual mess that only a Board member would read. Be disciplined. I try to emphasize only three things per page, sometimes four.
  3. Emphasize what donors care about, not what your Org cares about. If you find yourself emphasizing a sentence like, “Our programs are the most effective in the county!” … de-emphasize it. Though it matters a lot to you, no donor is scanning your letter looking to hear how good your organization is at its job. But donors are scanning for things they are interested in. So emphasize things like, “Because of matching funds, the impact of your gift doubles!” or “I know you care about unicorns, and the local herd is in real danger.”
  4. Drama is interesting. If your organization is in a dramatic situation, or the story in the letter has real drama, underline it. Here are a couple of examples from letters we’ve worked on recently: “It was at the moment she saw the ultrasound that life in her belly stopped being a problem and became a baby” and “The enclosed Emergency Funding Program card outlines the emergency fundraising plan I’ve come up with.”

And now, I have to share that I got the idea for this post when I saw this clip from the TV show “Friends”. It turns out that Joey has never known what using ‘air quotes’ means – and he’s using them wrong (to hilarious effect). I saw it and thought, “That’s like a lot of nonprofits trying to use underlining effectively.”

If you’re offended by that, please forgive me. I see hundreds of appeal letters and e-appeals a year. I developed a sense of humor as a defense mechanism. 🙂

The good news is that learning how to use underlining is as easy as learning to use air quotes!

You can do this. Just remember that most of your donors are moving fast. Underline only what they need to know. That’s an incredible gift to a compassionate, generous, busy donor!

And if you’d like to know how Better Fundraising can create your appeals and newsletters (with very effective underlining!) take a look here.

This post was originally published in March 2018.

New Podcast Up: Learn ‘Donor Love’ from the Experts

New Podcast Up: Learn ‘Donor Love’ from the Experts

If you’ve never listed to “Fundraising Is Beautiful,” the podcast I host with Jeff Brooks, now is a great time to start!

We just released a fantastic interview with Jen Love and John Lepp from Agents of Good in Toronto. Not only are they fun people, but you’ll absolutely be a better fundraiser after listening to their perspectives on donor love, how fundraisers can take care of themselves, and why innovation so often doesn’t work.

I’ve been doing this podcast since 2007 and can say – without a doubt – that this is one of my favorite episodes.

And it’s the first in a series of interviews we’re doing with smart fundraisers you can learn from – both how they succeed in fundraising and the important lessons they’ve learned along the way.

If you’d like to listen or subscribe to this free resource, here’s where to go:

iTunes  —  Google Music  —  SoundCloud  —  Stitcher

My personal recommendation for a podcast app for your phone: Overcast. The feature I love: you can play podcasts a little faster than normal speed. I don’t know what software magic they use to make the words still easy to understand, but it works great and saves so much time.

I hope you’ll take a listen to the podcast!

Five Tips for the First Sentence of Your Next Appeal Letter

Five Tips for the First Sentence of Your Next Appeal Letter

The first sentence of your next appeal letter is really important.

Most readers will use it to decide whether to keep reading . . . or start thinking about whether to recycle or delete your message.

So yeah, it’s important. We’ve written hundreds of appeals and e-appeals over the years, and studied the results. Here are five tips to make your first sentence GREAT:

1. Short and Sweet

Your first sentence should be short and easy to understand. If your first sentence is long, complex, has lots of commas and clauses, and maybe a statistic or two, would you want to keep wading through? Remember, your reader is using it to decide whether to keep reading . . . or not.

2. Drama, Drama, Drama

Fill it with drama or make it interesting to your donor. Drama and tension are two of the best tools you have for engaging their interest. Or make it something that would be interesting to your donor – which is likely something different than would be interesting to you!

The worst example of this I ever saw was a first sentence that said, “Recently we hosted a staff leadership seminar.” Ouch.

3. What’s The Point?

One of the best first sentences is, “I’m writing to you today because . . .” That sentence forces you to get right to the point – which donors really appreciate. You want to know why so few donors actually read fundraising letters? It’s because they know how long it takes most nonprofits to get to the point! So if you and your organization get to the point quickly, your donor will be far more likely to read more.

4. Who Cares?

Another great tactic is to make the first sentence about the donor. Think “I know you care about Koala bears” or “You are one of our most generous donors, so I think you’ll want to know . . .” Listen, most of the other organizations she donates to wax poetic about totally unrelated things or about how great they are. When you write her and talk about her, she’ll love it!

5. Less is More

After you’ve written the first draft of your appeal, you can often delete your first couple of sentences or paragraphs. This happens to me all the time in my own writing, and in appeal letters that I edit for clients. In the first draft, the first couple sentences or paragraphs are often just warmup. They can be deleted and your letter will be stronger because now it gets right to the point.

So next time you’re writing, pay special attention to your first sentence. Keep it short and easy to read. Fill it with drama if you can. And when more people read your writing, more people will donate!

This post was originally published in June 2017.

Six Helpful Ideas for Smaller Nonprofits

Some non-profits want to grow!

Recently I spent the day working with a bunch of smaller nonprofits who wanted to grow.

On my bike ride home that day – which is when I do most of my best fundraising thinking – I thought, “There should be a simple list of things smaller nonprofits need to know if they are serious about growth.”

When I got home I dictated the following list into my phone. It’s a little rough, but it’s my attempt to summarize what small nonprofits tend not to know – and the “upgraded” ideas that in my experience help them break through.

#1 – Small nonprofits don’t know what they don’t know

There’s a whole set of “best practices” out there that small nonprofits should make an organizational priority to discover and put into practice. Things like donor segmentation, a systematic approach to major donor fundraising, having a great fundraising Offer, to name a few.

My advice is to actively seek out best practices and to rely less on making decisions by finding out what the staff likes or doesn’t like. Case-in-point: nobody likes telemarketing, so small nonprofits rarely use it. But it works like crazy and is a fantastic investment.

#2 – Small nonprofits usually don’t know that their donors are not paying close attention

Small nonprofits tend to think that every donor reads every word of every piece of donor communication. That’s just not the case. What does this mean? You need to communicate to your donors more than you think you need to. And know that most donors won’t read every word of what you send them. They might scan it though, so make sure your message comes through even if they scan it!

#3 – Small nonprofits don’t know that they are going to have to talk differently about their organization if they want to grow

In a word, small nonprofits need to simplify their message if they want to grow.

Most small nonprofits assume that a person needs to understand the depth and complexity of the organization’s work before they will become a donor. In my experience, a potential donor is most likely to give when presented with a simple, emotional, powerful current need the organization (or its beneficiaries) is facing. Then, over time, the donor may come to understand your depth and complexity. But start with simple – you’ll get more people in the door.

#4 – Small nonprofits don’t know that repetition is a strength

They try to describe their organization in new ways each time – and as a consequence their message to donors is all over the place. Or they communicate to donors as if donors ‘read every word of everything’ so they only say important things once. (Remember #2 above.)

Instead, find out what message most of your donors are most interested in, then repeat that message to drive it home.

Take this lesson from the world of advertising: it’s a general truth that people need to hear a message three times in a short amount of time before they take action. So if you have two appeals a year, one in the spring and one at year-end, your message isn’t getting through to whole swaths of people.

#5 – Small nonprofits don’t realize they should be spending more time and money on their Major Donors

To be clearer, most small nonprofits do understand this – they just don’t do much about it.

And that’s too bad. Because major donors are more important to small orgs than to large orgs!

What a small nonprofit should do is identify and rank their major donors, then devote real time and energy to getting to know those donors, learning about their passions (why they give) and actively looking for ways the donor can exercise their passions through the organization. Asking, Thanking, Reporting on an individual basis to all Majors is a good idea, too.

#6 – Small nonprofits don’t know that what they say to donors matters more than what their materials look like

Another way of putting this is to say that an organization’s visual brand (colors, logo, typeface, website design) matters far less to donors than things like being donor-centered, having a good offer or Reporting back to your donors on what their gift accomplished.

Wrapping Up

If you’re a smaller nonprofit, I hope this is helpful.

If you know a small nonprofit that would benefit, please pass this along to them.

Jim and I firmly believe that helping small nonprofits raise more money is the biggest area of opportunity in fundraising today. There are just so many of them! More than a million of them in the U.S. alone.

So if we – you, Jim and me – can help the small nonprofit ecosystem get better at fundraising, we can make a meaningful impact on our culture and society. That’s the goal. Let’s get to it!

PS – And if you’d like to work on it together, drop us a line!

Weeds In The Garden (Or, “How I learned to stop worrying and love off-target fundraising”)

Weeds In The Garden (Or, “How I learned to stop worrying and love off-target fundraising”)

Almost no piece of fundraising anyone sends out is ever perfect.

As a Fundraiser, you have to get used to having a few “weeds in your garden.”

Weeds In The Garden

That’s what we call them around here. The little things that creep into fundraising because you’re in a hurry. Or because your approval process is a committee. Or because your ED loves a certain phrase.

They happen to me. They happen to you. They happen to everyone.

But they are just weeds. They don’t destroy the beauty of a garden. You have to pay attention to them, of course. But they are just weeds.

Here are a couple quick examples:

  • The on-point email with the prominent link to an Instagram feed that has no posts that have anything to do with what the email is about.
  • The brochure or letter with the first sentence that states the year the organization was founded. (Really? We only have people’s attention for a few seconds and how long we’ve been incorporated is the first thing we’re going to share?)
  • The letter that’s written in clear, easy-to-read prose with the exception of the one sentence that’s 109 words long with 4 clauses that no one besides the writer’s mom will read.

Here’s the Big Idea I want to share…

Weeds Do Not Doom Fundraising!

I’m writing you today to let you know not to stress too much about weeds.

If you’re writing to your donors about something they care about, a couple of weeds don’t make a measurable difference.

If most of your letter is easy to read, don’t worry about the long paragraph put in there by a Program person.

If your event is mostly about the problem you’re trying to solve, and how the donor’s gift tonight will solve it, you’re fine if some Board Member with 5 minutes to talk drones on for 10 minutes about their childhood.

If you get the main stuff right, you’ll do fine. Do the best you can at having a strong offer. Get to the point quickly. Be repetitive.

But know that donors are overwhelmingly generous. Know that they LOVE giving gifts to your organization.

Want to know why?

Because It’s About HER Garden, Not Yours

Why don’t donors care much about weeds in the fundraising materials you and I make?

Because our donors don’t care that much about OUR gardens. They care about THEIR OWN gardens.

If we write to her about what she cares about, she’ll read our emails and letters. She’ll come to our events. Because every gift she gives you is a rose in her garden. It’s something she’ll celebrate. And every time she hears from you with news about something they helped accomplish, she’ll feel better about your organization and about herself.

This, by the way, is why so many donors still respond to off-target, overly-educated, organizational-centric fundraising. They see through all the poor writing and jargon to the thing they care about. The generosity of donors never ceases to amaze me.

Ultimately, it’s ok that all of us Fundraisers have weeds in our gardens. Because our donors know that life is messy. It’s imperfect.

But if we consistently write to our donors about what our donors care about, weeds don’t matter. They’ll keep us around. Because our fundraising success is much less about how we present what we do, and much more about how good we are at helping donors see that a gift helps her do what she wants to do.

The Gift of an Extra Week – and Extra Money [VIDEO]

The Gift of an Extra Week – and Extra Money [VIDEO]

It’s a cloudy and cold August Thursday up here in Seattle. That’s not something we’d normally celebrate, but it’s a welcome respite from the recent heat and smoke from the forest fires.

Wanted to share something with you today that Chris Davenport (of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference) and I have cooked up.

Two things, actually.

First, a Helpful Video

This video shares a practical plan for how your organization can take advantage of the extra week in this year’s “year-end fundraising season” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

How do we have an extra week this year? Because Thanksgiving is so early!

You’ve been given a gift of an extra week when donors are extra generous. Make the most of your week!

Year-End Fundraising Summit in Seattle

The second is that Chris and I are hosting a special year-end fundraising summit in Seattle in September. It’s for just 10 organizations, and after our two days together you’ll leave with a customized year-end fundraising plan for your organization that’s based on what’s working best in fundraising today.

We’ll help you write all of your letters, emails, web page updates and social posts.

It’s expensive, but for the right organizations it’s an incredible value. Not only will your most important year-end fundraising work be done in September (!!!!), we’ll show you how each element of your campaign is a repeatable asset that you can use to raise more money (with less work) next year too. And the year after that.

The organizations that have already signed up are excited – and we are, too.

There’s an application on this page; I hope you’ll fill it out if you’re thinking about joining us!