The perfect donor newsletter? How likely is it that one of the world's most donor-centered newsletters comes out of a small, local charity in the Berkshires? And a literacy charity in Milwaukee blows the doors off the envelope teaser?
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!
Rachelle N.: "When I started in January 2014, we changed all of our communications to include far more 'you's' than 'we, us, our, etc.' and we really stepped up our stewardship revitalizing our donor newsletter with your recommendations, calling every donor to say thank you after their gift is received, sending stewardship/thank you messages shortly after gifts are made, among many other things. I think I'll get an even bigger bump this year, and I'm really hoping to get past 70% retention (we were 58% last year, up from a consistent 49%). I am so lucky to have a job where my boss lets me be the expert and implement best practices."
Does donor-centricity work? Oh, yeah....
Some charities outrace the pack, thanks to donor-centricity. Others deride the very idea. The observable difference? Fundraisers either have an ignorant boss or an up-to-date one. See what we mean, here. BTW: hot kitchen ahead.
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Boosted revenue by 50%
"I am new to this organization but have followed Tom for the past two years, read almost all his books, attended three seminars, webinars, etc., and with his suggestions boosted the fundraising at my previous organization by 50% (without FB). One revised appeal letter brought in over $75k which is 40% more than previous letters. If he is pointing me to you, I am in great hands!!!"
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Oh, yeah, THIS is what we're talking about
Thank you so much for speaking at the Grant Professional Association day conference on Monday, June 8th.
I am in the process of a career change into the field of Development and came to the conference to learn more about writing grants. One of the things that resonated was that it takes hard work, discipline, and an open mind.
You made a wonderful point about taking an hour a day to read about the field and all the "How To" books that you have. It was very humbling to learn that even though you are one of the most sought after people in Development you also have people that you continue to learn from.
When I came home yesterday I signed up for Seth Godin's newsletter and started reading some other things that he wrote. I am eager to challenge myself and growing into this very dynamic field.
Please sign my up for you newsletter, I am eager to learn from you. Warmly, Paula S.
We must have more emotionally compelling messages!
Gabe Cook, ED, DEBATE-Kansas City : "Tom Ahern’s lessons also caused an immediate realization of the need for change. DKC must have more emotionally compelling messages and as a public speaking teacher I cannot believe it took Tom’s presentation for me to apply this knowledge to our donor communication. He helped me really see communication from the perceptive of the donor and had me thinking DKC should find a way to afford a hard copy newsletter mailer. His presentation unleashed new ideas for donor language and I even revamped our donation website tab during his session as the ideas were flowing. I plan to review his book and presentation in great detail as I revise DKC’s donor communication."
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Made an immediate difference
Spoke at the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues ("Urban Debate Works"), in Chicago on June 4. Ashley is the ED of RIUDL. This soon came in from John: "The suggestions you and Tom Ahern made yesterday created a situation where we received a favorable response from the founder of a family foundation today. Thank you! Please tell Tom that he has made an immediate difference as the result of his presentation."
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"Our best year ever"
Jim Sardina, Annual Giving Manager, Sharp HealthCare Foundation (San Diego): "Tom, Thanks again for your work on the 2015 Doctors' Day appeal ... so far we've received more than 2,600 direct mail and online gifts — our best year ever."
Brilliant donor newsletters ... from small organizations
You know what, in the nonprofit world, size DOESN'T matter. Small orgs. can easily ourperform major orgs., in the majesty and impact of their donor communications. Here's the proof.