Which approach raises the most funds: (1) a well-argued appeal that explains the problem and offers statistical proof; or (2) an emotional appeal that tells a sad story? In short, which is better: stories or statistics?
Not trying to raise money with your newsletter? Think again: it's a "donor happiness meter."
Feel free to reprint, with attribution, articles from this website and Ahern's Love Thy Reader e-newsletter. Many already do. Please let your readers know that they can SUBSCRIBE to my e-newsletter for FREE. Thank you!
Martie K. writes, "On another note, I am happy to tell you that I received one $1K gift and one $2K gift from my end-of-year appeal letter -- done the Tom Ahern style. That is AMAZING for Girl Scouts! Most gifts are between $25 to $100. So your influence has found its way to our donors. Thank you!"
How-To E-News Issue 9.17
The Domain Formula
...for donor newsletters: PURE GOLD
Once upon a time, in Seattle, a small rebel force of direct mail fundraisers set out to challenge accepted wisdom and find out exactly how donor newsletters worked best. Destination ahead? Breakthrough!.... Read it now.
How-To E-News Issue 9.16
"Planned giving" newsletters
Does anyone really need these things?
Pity the trees that died in the pursuit of lackluster results. Vendor-generated planned giving newsletters are well intentioned. But they are so wrong, it's hard not to laugh. Read it now.
How-To E-News Issue 9.15
In DM, all response is good
Hoping you'll offend no one in your direct mail? Wrong star to wish on. You know what? Complaints from donors are a good thing ... for all sorts of reasons. Read it now!
How-To E-News Issue 9.14
The Verbatim Rule
You know, it just makes sense.
Jeff Brooks dropped me a line... "Is it true you have a clause in your contract that clients can't change copy? I had dinner with Kivi and she told me that. I find it a bit hard to believe, but it sure would be a blow for fundraising sanity!" Guilty as charged. Read it now!
How-To E-News Issue 9.13
The sales formula, not the opera
This oldie but goody makes writing a direct mail letter faster and far easier. When you're having a "stupid day" (I have lots), the AIDA sales formula can rescue you. Read it now!
How-To E-News Issue 9.12
You're selling forest.
You're not selling trees.
Charities worry: "How do we explain our overhead?" The real question is, "Why bother trying?" Donors give to the mission. If you're getting great results, feel free to spend their gifts as you see fit. (Though Charity Navigator might disagree.) Read it now!
How-To E-News Issue 9.11
A gentle nudge in the right direction
Dr. Sargeant finds that the mere mention of what another donor gave leads to copycats & increased giving.... Read it now!