Posts Tagged "Newsletters"

Are You Ready for September?

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Board Development, Communication, Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Are You Ready for September?

Thursday is September the 1st – where has the summer gone? As we cruise toward the Autumnal Equinox, here’s what I’m thinking about for September. What are YOU thinking about?   Handwritten Letters There are serious advantages to writing letters by hand. You can read all of them using the link above, but here’s one: Degree of personalization: Because each letter takes 15-20 minutes to write longhand, and you’re thinking about the recipient the whole time, you are far more likely to make subtle adjustments to language and sentence structure than you would be if you were typing the...

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Write a Better Fundraising Letter

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Staff Development, Uncategorized | 8 comments

Write a Better Fundraising Letter

Last week, I received an Annual Report from a former client. The report was 12 pages, beautifully laid out, a little dense (not enough white space), but great pictures throughout – a nice communication piece for members and donors. On the inside of the front page was a letter, and it broke so many rules, I thought I’d doctor it up as a case study and share a “before” and “after” with you. The letter was co-signed by the Executive Director and the Board Chair. Neither gave me permission to republish it, so I removed the name of the land trust and any reference to geography.   PART 1:...

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Another Way to Think about Fundraising Planning

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Communication, Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Another Way to Think about Fundraising Planning

Another Way to Think about Fundraising Planning

A question I’m getting from several different directions right now relates to fundraising planning. In April and May, the questions are coming from organizations whose fiscal year ends in June, but the questions themselves are universal. The first piece of advice I always give is that planning should always start with the program goal. Starting with the program goal does not necessarily imply that every goal is attainable, but starting there is important. The program goal is a “net” goal for fundraising; that amount needed to run the programs and operate the organization. The purpose of the...

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The Secret to Renewing Event Sponsors – Revealed!

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Board Development, Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Secret to Renewing Event Sponsors – Revealed!

The Secret to Renewing Event Sponsors – Revealed!

If you are hosting a fundraising event this year that you have hosted before, you are probably in the position of “renewing” the support from your business and individual sponsors. If you have a very “mature event,” meaning one that has been repeated several times over, you are hopefully getting to the point where all of your event expenses are covered by sponsors – right? You are completely immune to the weather – right? So how do you secure sponsorship donations year after year? How do you “renew” them? There is a foolproof secret, and I’ll reveal it in a bit, but first, let’s revisit ten...

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All Numbers are GUILTY Until Proven Innocent

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on All Numbers are GUILTY Until Proven Innocent

All Numbers are GUILTY Until Proven Innocent

  We use numbers all the time in our written communications. We depend on them to communicate size and volume – and weight in hopes that they convey importance. Most of the time, however, they simply serve as filler.   20,000 volunteer hours 500 school kids 300-acre farm 240-acre woodland or wetland 160 new members 40% growth What are we trying to communicate here? The problem gets worse when the numbers have too many significant digits. 20,536 volunteer hours 507 school kids 5-acre farm 268-acre woodland or wetland 162 new members 5% growth Am I more impressed that the wetland was...

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