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The Agitator

Fundraising and advocacy strategies. Trends, tips ... with an edge

Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:00:54 +0000


The Same Old Santa

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:00:54 +0000

In my 50 years of writing fundraising copy I’ve yet to hear of a donor saying, “Hey, that’s the same appeal you sent me last year!” Yet too many fundraisers worry (often out loud and in endless meetings) and drive copywriters nuts with screwball briefings like “we need something new and different for this year-end […]

Killing the One-Size-Fits-All Onboard

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:00:33 +0000

Consider these donors to a disease organization: She’s a researcher working on your disease. You featured some of her research in your newsletter and she was reminded to give you a donation. She was diagnosed with the disease you are working to eradicate. She found tips on management and coping on your web site and […]

What to Listen for in Donor Onboarding

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:00:18 +0000

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ― Stephen R. Covey In the previous on boarding post I  emphasized  the imperative to listen as soon as possible. But that brings up the question: listen for what? There are several variables that, when learned from donors during the […]

Onboarding: The Fierce Urgency of Listening

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:00:51 +0000

The unofficial motto of Seinfeld, according to Larry David, was “No hugging, no learning.” In short, there would be no growth in relationships and characters. (For the young’un’s, Seinfeld was a 90s observational comedy show from that guy who talks to comedians in cars while drinking coffee, the titular Veep, and some other people.) Because we […]

The Most Important Step in Donor Acquisition

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 05:00:50 +0000

#Giving Tuesday 2017 is now in the rearview mirror. So, we’ll be using this week to explore the proper onboarding of new donors from that event and the overall importance of proper onboarding generally. First, a brief reprise of #GivingTuesday that you might want to bookmark in thinking about that event next year. In Thank […]

Getting a Fresh Start for Your Organization

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:00:05 +0000

At the beginning of the week, Roger talked about behavioral science cues and how they can help you boost year-end giving. Today, I’m going to cheat just a bit and move the conversation a few days forward: what do you do at the beginning of the year? After the hangover wears off for those who […]

Exceptional Results From Exceptional Expenses

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 05:00:45 +0000

The old saw was that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.  Being part of the herd is a safe, comfortable place to be. But back on Tuesday, we talked about zigging where others zag by avoiding year-end matches to increase revenues.  Now, there’s some concrete proof that doing what you’ve done before, and what […]

Getting to Your Year-end Gooooooooaaaaaaaal!

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 05:00:16 +0000

I bet it’s been at least a decade since you saw a mercury-based thermometer anywhere but the skeuomorphic version used on fundraising pages.  We fundraisers are keeping a tradition alive. And with good reason.  Unlike many “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” techniques, this one has real science to back it up.  In fact, you can probably increase your year-end revenues […]

A Soggy Box of Matches

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 05:00:19 +0000

Last year, I made the mistake of subscribing to the email newsletters of the top 100 nonprofits in the United States for end-of-year giving. The summary version of this story is that the average organization sent ten emails during December.  And the emails were tough to differentiate by organization.  For #Giving Tuesday almost every organization […]

Change, It Is a Comin’

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 05:00:08 +0000

Over the next two months we’ll be working behind the scenes on changes and additions to The Agitator. Changes in how we organize and present information.  Additions to our content and additions in the opportunities for reader engagement. Our editorial content will primarily focus on our view of the changes we see as essential if […]