You’ll be equipped and inspired by this interview with Jen Love and John Lepp of Agents of Good in Toronto. They are powerful spokespersons for the idea and practical expression of loving donors. You’ll learn how Courier font is a practical tool for donor love, why innovation in fundraising so often doesn’t work, why ugly powers great fundraising, and how fundraisers can take care of themselves in our sometimes emotionally draining work.
11 amazing fundraising truths discovered by new writers
We asked two new fundraising (and very successful) writers who have been doing some very great work what they know about fundraising that’s making them succeed.
Here’s what they told us:
- Write as one person connecting with one person.
- Avoid the word “we” — unless it very clearly means you the reader and I the writer.
- Start your first draft with this phrase: I’m writing to you today because…
- Use the word you a lot.
- Articulate the fundraising offer early and often.
- Tell a story of need, not success.
- Ask clearly for money. (Don’t hint around!)
- Write at a 6th grade reading level.
- Include a P.S. and restate whatever is the most important thing in your message.
- Have a deadline, and mention it often.
- Keep the organization out of the way — make it about what the donor can do.
If you’re new to the work, or feel intimidated by it, this list can push you way up your learning curve, and fast!
Fundraising is about so much more than money
Steven shares his short poem, “A Benediction for Fundraisers” (based on “Christ Has No Body” by St. Teresa of Avila [1515-1582]).
We hope this very brief podcast inspires you to love the important work we do when we motivate donors to give.
Engagement fundraising — how you raise the big bucks from the happiest donors
This is a powerful and super-informative interview with Greg Warner, founder of MarketSmart who also hosts a great podcast called Engagement Fundraising.
The secret to accelerating your fundraising program is this: find the right level of engagement and giving for every donor, especially:
- Those who will leave your organization a bequest.
- Those with the capacity to become mid-level or major donors.
How do you discover this? Some combination of science and magic?
Or just ask them?
You’ll love Greg’s energy and passion as he describes all the love we’re missing by not asking — engaging with — donors.
How to conduct interviews that get you the fundraising stories that stir your donors’ hearts
We all know how important it is to tell great stories in fundraising. Those stories almost never drop out of the sky! We have to go and get them.
In this quick discussion, you’ll get some great interviewing tips, including:
- Know what you want to get what you want.
- Dealing with language barriers and working with translators.
- “Lead the witness.”
- The “Columbo” technique.
And more. Don’t miss this opportunity to collect the best stories.
Ultimate Fundraising Lesson
The most important thing you can learn about fundraising — the one thing that can make the difference between mediocrity and big-time success — it’s this: It’s not about you. It’s about your donor! It’s so easy to talk about how great our organization is … and to forget that donors don’t give because you’re awesome. They give because they are awesome. That’s why successful fundraising is about donors, not about us.
3 things that are probably wrong with your nonprofit website
We’ve looked at a lot of nonprofit websites. More than is good for our mental health, frankly.
And we’ve found three things to be wrong with nearly all of them:
- Your website doesn’t present some kind of need that the donor can meet.
- The idea of giving is not clear and strong.
- You’ve created it to make your leadership and board happy.
We’ll show you how to fix these common issues and transform your website into the fundraising vehicle you want.
How to use photos in fundraising
Take note of this:
A picture is worth a thousand words. So choose your pictures carefully!
We take a look at the ways photos can emotional depth and measurable pull-power to your fundraising … or undermine your message entirely!
A good fundraiser knows when to use “negative” images and when to use the positive ones we prefer. Find out in this episode the rhythm and balance of images that motivate donors to give. And to keep giving.
Does your fundraising subtext tell donors they matter, or that they don’t?
What’s the subtext of your donor-communications stream? That is, what’s the overarching message they’re getting, even though you might not be saying it out loud?
For many organizations, it’s:
- We’ve got this.
- We’re taking care of the problem.
- You can partner with us if you like.
But for the really effective fundraisers, the subtext is more like this:
- There’s a problem.
- We’re looking for great people like you to help solve it.
- Are are helping solve it!
This is the basis of donor love. The big message you communicate with them.
We’ll show you how to change your subtext into one that thrills and involves donors — and keeps them giving.