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DECEMBER 2014
Upcoming Workshops
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Click here to download a list of workshops offered by Tom Ahern.
Recent Newsletters
14.20: "Gift of joy" + Dr. Frankl's pursuit of purpose: "Reciprocity" goes both ways
They gave you their hard-earned money. What can you give them back, to fulfill the psychological dictates of "reciprocity"?
14.19: Name the #1 distraction in fundraising? Bosses, bless their hearts
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?
14.18: The Evil Robot Haunting Your Donor Communications and Making Good Things Turn Out Bad
How Splash.org, a fast-growing international charity with a great reputation, lost my eager monthly gift
14.17: Could the Feds be any clearer, folks? "If your nonprofit does not aggressively promote charitable bequests, then your nonprofit is by definition an irresponsible loser."
High-ranking agency official: "I can't believe people are still on the sidelines about this. It's like being on the sidelines about cigarette smoking."
14.16: "You know what a newsletter is really great for?" Measuring your donors' true mood
Not trying to raise money with your newsletter? Think again: it's a "donor happiness meter."
Reprinting Material
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!
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Free downloadable PDF
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Donor Communications Best Practices
It's a PDF. It can sit on your computer desktop for easy reference. It's a compendium of best practices for your appeals, newsletters, cases, annual reports, as well as your all-important digital realm. And it's free. Get it!
01/14/12
Incoming testimonial
"...done the Tom Ahern style..."
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!"
01/10/12
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.
12/15/11
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.
12/02/11
How-To E-News Issue 9.15
In DM, all response is good
Even complaints
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!
12/02/11
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!
12/02/11
How-To E-News Issue 9.13
Meet AIDA
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!
12/02/11
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!
12/02/11
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Copyright © 2005-2013, by Tom Ahern and Ahern Donor Communications, Ink. All rights reserved.
10 Johnson Road, Foster, RI 02825, Phone: 401-397-8104, Email: a2bmail@aol.com Twitter handle: thattomahern.