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?
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Fundraiser: "We need to write our direct mail at the 6th-grade level, professionals tell me." CEO: "Over my dead body. All our donors are university graduates. We will not demean their intelligence by dumbing things down." Who's right? The fundraiser. Who's ignorant as a pancake griddle? The CEO. Grade level has zero to do with vocabulary or content. It has to do with how fast I can absorb your deathless prose. A low grade level is a fast read. A high grade level is a slow sinking death in the La Brea tar pits. Find out the truth here .
AFP International Conference 2015: What Would Game of Thrones Do?
AFP's MANDATORY logo slide
I'll be doing 4 sessions in Baltimore
For the first time in 2015
Ahern webinars now approved for CFRE continuing ed credit
Register/more info through Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com
There's good news for the eager and accredited in 2015. Tom Ahern's webinars for Kivi Leroux Miller's Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com now qualify for CFRE continuing ed credits. Learn to write direct mail appeals, learn to write a fabulous case for support, learn how to market bequests ... and you can also earn credits at the same time.
Because I'm not Canadian
I have no shame and will share with you messages like this
"Hi Tom, I just wanted to wish you a very happy New Year and to thank you for making me look good in 2014."
-- [Jim S., big hospital annual fund manager]
Slaying the Dragon of No
Getting the boss to do what you want in donor communications
"Bow before my knowledge, worm!" How to successfully "manage up" and avoid conflict. Here ...
Tom's BIG prediction for 2015
"We must find younger donors!" Not so fast, my darlings. Aging baby boomers will be the greatest giving generation in history ... if your charity gets its act together. Read the tea leaves.
This PDF explains everything you really need to know about making your donor newsletter into a money-maker
Go here to download a copy for your own personal PDF reference library.
Results just in!
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh sees 366% uptick in newsletter-triggered giving
Adopting extreme donor-centricity does the trick
[Click to view Carnegie's 2014 donor newsletters one and two.] Charla Irwin-Buncher, Annual Giving Manager at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, wrote, "I hope this email finds you doing well. I was catching up on your Love Thy Reader emails and I thought I would check in with you about the results we are seeing following our [Ahern] audit.
"We completely revamped our approach to our donor newsletter with a focus on making it far more donor centric. We also took all the packaging tips you suggested (#10 envelope, 4 pages, separate reply device, etc.)