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8 Mistakes that Hurt Fundraising

Everybody makes fundraising mistakes. Hopefully, everybody learns from their mistakes. But, wouldn’t it be nice if we could learn from others’ mistakes without having to endure the error ourselves? Here are eight fundamental fundraising mistakes: 1: Treating Donors as ATM’s This is my number one pet peeve and I have written many articles about...

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Who is the Superhero Today?

Almost twenty years ago saw the birth of the comic-book-turn-to-movie phenomena. Storytelling went from comics to the big screen. Marvel Comics was at the forefront of this movement. And with all of those movies, who was the one constant? Stan Lee, who passed away November 12th at the ripe old age of 95. Stan...

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Is Using a Sad Photo Manipulative?

I have spent many blogs writing about emotions — how you need to have emotion in your case, your direct mail letters, and your canvasses. I have written about what part of your brain lights up when dealing with emotional issues and that donating is indeed an emotional exercise. But, are using emotions manipulative?...

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Lead with emotions

Fundraising is an activity full of emotions. So many folks out there focus on the cerebral — tax benefits, mechanics of donating, etc. To put it bluntly, they are missing the boat. Or more precisely, they haven’t even boarded the boat for the journey. As Tom Ahern puts it “In fundraising, it goes something like...

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What if our charity disappeared tonight?

Presumably, every charity out there has a raison d’ĂȘtre — a reason for being. (And the reason for being is never about raising money — that is merely a means to a greater end). Tom Ahern uses an exercise that examines the raison d’ĂȘtre with stakeholders (staff, volunteers, donors, etc.). He poses the question: Let’s pretend. Let’s...

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Feasibility Study vs Action Plan

A lot has changed in the last 20+ years in fundraising. I remember (fondly) performing Feasibility Studies prior to the launch of a capital campaign — essentially to solidify 3 main areas: Is the case cogent and compelling (and ultimately worthy of support)? I remember working for a charity in Kitchener-Waterloo and we tested...

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The Top 10 Myths About Fundraising Part 1d

Last article, I spoke of Planned Giving (or better yet, Legacy Giving). Here is the next revenue stream that I am going to mention — Major/Campaign Gifts. Major/Campaign Gifts are the holy grail of fundraising. These are what separate a successful endeavor from an unsuccessful endeavor. These gifts tend to be much larger and usually pledged...

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