Sorry, I’m in a bad mood today. Probably shouldn’t be writing this post. But Roger promised that we would “shake things up a bit more” this year. So here goes.

I opened this recent article in Fundraising Success with great anticipation — 16 Provocative Ideas That Will Raise More Money. Helluva promise. This was supposed to be the best of the IFP International Conference on Fundraising. Who could resist?!

But then I read the article.

Here’s the list:

  1. Go all out for monthly donors on your homepage*
  2. Focus on fewer — not more donors*
  3. Encourage restricted giving
  4. Get rid of the words
  5. Get rid of ‘unmet needs,’ ‘programs,’ ‘services’
  6. Make your case like a series of ads
  7. Hire more fundraisers
  8. Give your fundraising staff raises
  9. Get rid of the raise money now mind-set*
  10. You must give your staff management training
  11. Get rid of lousy board members now
  12. Be blatant
  13. Stop talking about the money you need*
  14. Become a shrink when dealing with volunteers
  15. Don’t believe your prospect, when he says, “I’m just a plain ol’ country boy”
  16. Close down some programs

This is the best advice on offer?!

I’ve placed an asterisk on the four that — in amended versions — might make my top ten list of “ideas that will raise more money.”

Go all out for monthly donors on your homepage — HUGE opportunity, but a tough sell on the home page … it can introduce, but better make sure the jump page really hammers home the case. I suspect that’s what was meant.

Focus on fewer — not more donors — to a point. You know Roger and I always recommend sifting through that file … and spending money on demonstrably valuable donors. But most organizations do need/want to grow. Learn how to clone those ‘best’ donors.

Get rid of the raise money now mind-set — see, to some degree, this is the counterpoint to the previous item. “Money now” would say focus on fewer donors. This is a balancing act folks. And yes, it is possible to prospect for quality. Think lifetime value (i.e., the future), and invest accordingly.

Stop talking about the money you need — this one I buy totally. ‘Need’ is all about your clients or the folks you’re trying to help or the problem you’re solving. It’s not about your bills … unless we’re talking about sustainer giving, where loyalty to your organization begins to come more into play.


Any of the other twelve you think should be on my list?


This article was posted in: Copywriting / creative, Direct mail, Major donors, Nonprofit management.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.