Posts by David Allen

Will Your Fall Appeal Get Hit by a Hurricane?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in Featured, Fundraising Letters | 0 comments

Will Your Fall Appeal Get Hit by a Hurricane?

Last year’s fundraising appeal challenges had names: Trump and Clinton. We watched as money poured into not only the presidential race, but lots of House and Senate races as well. And at least prior to November 8, we wondered how the election would affect year-end fundraising. Were donors going to keep giving to us also? On November 9, we started worrying about how the election results might affect fundraising. Planned Parenthood received 80,000 donations in the three days following the election. ACLU raised more than $24 million online. Meals on Wheels and Sierra Club weren’t far behind....

Read More

Three Short Takes to Get You Thinking This Fall

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Foundations | 0 comments

Three Short Takes to Get You Thinking This Fall

Short Take #1 – Crafting newsletter headlines and email subject lines “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” – David Ogilvy   In a blog post from last February, Claire Axelrod listed five ideas for writing more effective headlines and email subject lines. I suggest you read the entire article, 5 Proven Content Strategies to Convert More Nonprofit Customers to Donors, but here’s the gist: Testimonial – use a direct quote from a donor or a landowner to draw the reader into the article or email. “I just couldn’t imagine condos there”...

Read More

A Sweet Spot

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership | 1 comment

A Sweet Spot

Quick Question: How would you go about doubling your operating revenue in the next five years or so? In a recent Learning Center thread, a writer asked for information about membership numbers and growth rates. She explained that she was “not wanting to promise wildly inaccurate numbers and also want to know what type of growth rate for which to realistically aim.” Several people, including me, responded with experience and ideas – all of which were helpful for the question she asked. But was she asking the right question? I was reminded of the story of a person climbing a ladder. S/he was...

Read More

PS Notes

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Featured, Fundraising Letters | Comments Off on PS Notes

PS Notes

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how important the opening paragraph and the PS note were to the success of fundraising letters – because of the way people actually read them. (See The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters.) Both last week and this, I’m on vacation, so I pre-programmed this post as a follow-up. Over the course of time, I join many organizations – always at the $50 level – specifically so I can see their fundraising material later. And I see a lot of bad and ugly – as well as quite a lot of good to great. Last week, I posted a series of opening lines that...

Read More

Opening Lines

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Featured, Fundraising Letters | Comments Off on Opening Lines

Opening Lines

Last week I wrote about how important the opening paragraph and the PS note were to the success of fundraising letters – because of the way people actually read them. (See The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters.) This week, I’m on vacation, so I pre-programmed this post as a follow-up. Over the course of time, I join many organizations – always at the $50 level – specifically so I can see their fundraising material later. And I see a lot of bad and ugly – as well as quite a lot of good to great. What I’ve collected here are some opening lines for appeals that I...

Read More