Fundraising

Could Help Be on the Way?
March 1, 2014

How many times in my life have I offered to work for good causes that were in trouble? Pro bono. Free. I remember the development guy from Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences contacted me for pro bono help. I took him to lunch and regaled him with stories of the Who's Mailing What! archive of direct mail—over 200,000 mailings going back 25 years. I assembled a sampling of powerful control mailings from museums around the country and delivered them to him. My explanation: these worked. Let's pick out several we like and "steal smart."

Facebook Trumps Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube as King of Nonprofit Social Media Platforms
February 27, 2014

Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by nonprofit charitable organizations and trade associations, according to a recent survey. Eighty-two percent of responding associations said they are leveraging Facebook; while Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube were being used by 54 percent, 49 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Virtual, Inc., a technology-focused association management company, recently commissioned the online survey to examine characteristics and practices of nonprofit organizations. Responses were received from 266 nonprofit organizations of varying sizes, charitable groups and trade associations. Results differed according to group size and IRS designation.

Denny's Daily Zinger: Two Kinds of Charities: Good & Bad
February 14, 2014

Here's a sleazeball scenario. "Contemplate this only somewhat fictitious example: A "charity" is created to educate the public about the common cold. It hires a professional fundraiser to conduct a direct mail campaign to raise money. (Telemarketing can be easily substituted for direct mail here.) The direct mail copy provides a statistic on how many people annually catch a cold and includes the following tips on how to avoid it: Wear a hat, eat soup and avoid people who sneeze."

Wounded Warrior Project Purple Heart Control
January 30, 2014

Control mailings are controls for a reason — they work. And it's easy to see why the Wounded Warrior Project's Purple Heart direct mailer has reached control status. Joe Boland, managing editor of FundRaising Success, breaks down this control package from Wounded Warrior Project, highlighting all the elements that continue to make this mailer a…

5 Trends in Direct Mail Fundraising for 2014
January 17, 2014

I often get asked about what’s trending in direct mail these days, and so I thought I would give you some ideas of what we have been seeing during the past year. I have received many phone calls from clients asking about acquisition. It seems people have realized that while they were watching their budgets by cutting their mailing lists and eliminating direct mail, they were losing donors. There's more competition now than ever in fundraising, and if you are not communicating with your donors, then you can be sure some other organization is going to capture them.

PETA Offers a New Way to Help Animals
January 16, 2014

With American credit and debit card usage steadily rising during the past several years, according to a recent Federal Reserve report, nonprofits such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are increasingly putting their names/logos on credit cards.

2013 Fundraising Grand Control of the Year
January 16, 2014

When a control mailing has been in the mail for three years or more, it's worth looking closely at this "Grand Control" to see why it succeeds in making money or, for a nonprofit, in attracting donors. Paul Bobnak, DMIQ Research Director and Who's Mailing What! Archivist, breaks down a membership acquisition effort from the…

6 Free Ways to Direct YouTube Traffic to a Crowdfunding Campaign
January 9, 2014

Visual storytelling is a great way to clearly and concisely illustrate your campaign's purpose to an audience while simultaneously personalizing your brand. Multimedia campaigns with compelling video are more likely to attract customers or investors. However, producing, editing and simply posting the video on YouTube is not the most effective way to transform your viewers into customers.

How Not to Do It: A Lesson in Direct Mail
January 7, 2014

I've been on the receiving end of a charity's efforts, and it hasn't ended well. In fact, a charity with which I have a great deal of affection has upset me. Not only have they written to me with a string of appalling DMs (for which there is surely no excuse), but this must mean that there is no way they are raising the amounts they should be for their great work. I will keep this all anonymous, and I tell this story only so others learn from how not to do it

Direct Response Innovator Russ Reid Dies
December 11, 2013

Russ Reid, a direct marketing guru and founder of the agency that bears his name, died on Saturday in his Sierra Madre, Calif., home. According to Russ Reid Chairman Tom Harrison, he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but the cause of death was pneumonia. Reid was 82. “He was a giant in this industry,” said Harrison. “He basically invented a lot of aspects of direct response.” Reid founded his Pasadena, Calif.-based company in 1964. He retired in 2001, but remained interested in and involved with the agency