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May 2013

Fundraising Reading Round-Up

 Next Thursday SOFII and Open Fundraising are holding the second 'I wish I'd thought of that' event.

I was lucky enough to speak at the first one last year and it was a fantastic event. One of my favourite conferences/events I attended all year.

Tickets are still available (£25-£100) and I'd highly recommend going along if you can. There's a fabulous line up of speakers who will all be sharing a great fundraising idea. If you don't come away inspired and with a number of ideas you can copy, then I'd be amazed!

You can read my summary of last year's event or read on for a list of articles that have caught my eye recently.

The May nonprofit blog carnival is hosted by the Donor Dreams blog. It features open letters from nonprofit workers to their boards.

Paul shares some 2013 internet trends.

From the mouths of donors by Agents for Good.

Ken Burnett on the real point of face to face fundraising.

Rachel on 101 Fundraising asks why digital fundraising is still so rubbish?

Karen asks why don't people  read your appeals or e-mails.

The foibles and follies of donor conversion.

Sean Triner on direct mail in NZ and Australia.

The Data Monkey with networking tips for introverts.

Veritus Group with the seven absolutes of major gift fundraising success.

Clarification reveal the 'Oh Goody!' rule of e-mail appeals.

Lot's of love for Katya Andersen as she writes her last blog post on her non-profit marketing blog. The Agitator leads the tributes and Fundraising Success share ten of Katya's best posts. Thanks  for the inspiration and good luck!


Fish with the bait you know the fish love

I'm currently doing some work on fundraising propositions and offers and received a timely reminder from the Wizard of Ads in his Monday Morning Memo about the importance of offering the public what you already know they want.

It is really tempting when your charity does lots of good work to try and fundraise off every service. Yet the likelihood is that only one or two of the things that you do are going to appeal to the general public.

It takes a lot of internal discipline to do this and the temptation is always there to try and promote your latest new service.

However, your job as a fundraiser is to maximise funds for the cause, not 'educate' the general public.

It's for this reason that many WWF recruitment ads feature tigers. Why Marie Curie always talk about their nurses and the reason child sponsorship is so important - these are the things that most donors want to give to.

Once the bait has been taken you can then (when the time is right) talk about the other great things that donors can help you achieve.

This is what Roy had to say about the subject in his newsletter when talking about products. Much of his advice equally applies to fundraising:

    "Your copy, indeed, was fabulous. You employed an excellent angle of approach, held the     listeners' attention and made your point in a clever way. Well done! But your fundamental     strategy was flawed; your ad answered a question that no one was asking.

    "You walked into the trap when you failed to question why the client was overstocked on the item     he wanted you to advertise. The real problem is that no one wants the item. It's a loser, a dog, a     mistake. Your client assumed - and you assumed with him - that if people "only knew and     understood," then they'd rush in to buy the product. So you told the people, you made them     understand. And they still didn't want the product.

    "Advertising will only accelerate what was going to happen anyway.

    "Convince your client to let you offer the public what the public already wants. This is what     drives traffic into a store. And many of those people will find other things to buy from your     client. In other words, fish with bait that you know the fish love. Don't try to convince the fish to     swallow bait they don't really like."


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Another fortnight has flown by and it is time for another summary of recent articles that have caught my eye. Enjoy.

Two excellent 101 Fundraising articles:

Karen with 15 ideas for testing in direct mail.

Pamela Burk shares some great comments from donors.

Agents of Good on jargon.

Stephen with the 21 habits of poor fundraisers.

Kevin on why charity branding is good for fundraising.

Beth with six steps to great graphs and charts.

John Baguley on zombie fundraising techniques.

Flat Earth Direct on value v values.

ifundraiser with 10 things to if you were to start again from scratch.

Good Works on creating a warm welcome for new donors.

The Fundraising Coach shares 21 social media tips from nonprofit experts.

Ian McQuillin explains why fundraisers are angry.

The Agitator: Generosity pays

Seth on typography.

Another new blog to share - Charity Winehouse. Check out this post which asks, "Who is your 'go to' guy?".


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Time for another round-up of some of the articles I've been reading recently.

Katya hosts this month's non-profit blog carnival featuring 25 great pieces of advice.

The Agitator with two articles on direct mail: Stop Mailing! Don't stop mailing! and a look at the ACS decision to stop direct mail acquisition. 

Aline on editing and advice from David Oglivy. If you are interested in David Oglivy then Drayton Bird has a fascinating look at his life: Part 1 and part 2.

Simon George on fundraising and organisational culture.

Karen Zapp on the power of handwritten notes.

A new series from Agents of Good. It starts with three things you can do to love your donors more.

Wild Woman Fundraising shares how to write a story for an appeal letter.

Jeff's nine part series on the levels of fundraising hell ends with level 9: The treacherous.

Charlie asks if you are ok with ok?

Clarification with seven little-known secrets that will get you a visit with your donor.

Open Fundraising share a some fascinating research on attitudes to mobile giving.

The Far Edge of Promise share a story about ugly socks and major giving.

Seth asks about your manifesto and culture.

Out of office replies are normally pretty dull. Sean shares how he makes his stand out and be memorable!