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Dan Harmon’s Story Structure Guide – Free eBook

on Jan 18, 2016

Storytelling continues to be a popular topic amongst fundraisers, but I find that practical advice for beginners is difficult to find. Many of us know why storytelling is important by now, whereas how to tell a great story remains unclear for many.

Agreed? If so, then this (free) eBook is for you…

If you can’t answer this question, quit.

on Jan 12, 2016

There’s one question a fundraiser needs to be able to answer with unshakeable confidence:

What’s next?

Not in the broad “what are your goals for the year” sense. I mean in the literal, “what is the next task you’ll take on, because nothing else is as important right now” sense.

At War Child, our five year strategic plan has provided the broad strokes. For everyone on our team, we know the progress has come because of our consistent disassembly of those big multi-year goals into manageable projects and tasks. We couldn’t execute everything at once. Risk mitigation, investment ability, and staff capacity come to mind as obstacles along the way (so far).

Knowing where to start is sometimes the hardest part…

Your donor is crying. Now what?

on Jan 6, 2016

Every fundraiser earning their pay knows that emotion drives the majority of giving, especially in annual and monthly programs. At a recent IFC conference Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success said:

If you want to be successful at fundraising, the more you make people think, the less they feel; and the less they feel, the less they are motivated to give.

This has been true in my experience, until gift sizes begin to outstrip a donor’s own budget for an impulse buy. When the gift crosses that line – which is different for everyone – emotion alone isn’t enough to put them at ease. Trust, logic, and accountability become primary drivers.

What’s not a primary driver for giving? Read on…

The Mindful Fundraiser

on Jan 2, 2016

The topic of stress has been covered here more than once, specifically about how achieving your goals should be a source of conviction and energy, not stress and uncertainty. I’ve also written about how fundraising is fundamentally a stressful job, so we need to learn to use it to our advantage.

What’s been helpful for me is trying to be more mindful. Is mindfulness trendy right now? Yes. Does that mean being mindful doesn’t work? That’s up to you to decide. I want all of you to be the best fundraiser you can be, and that’s only possible if we deal with the issue of workplace stress head on. If that means being a mindful fundraiser, then let’s try it…

Radical Fundraisers: less is more, least is best

on Dec 27, 2015

A radical fundraiser doesn’t add a fresh coat of paint to a broken down car. They know there is as much value in knowing what not to do, as in knowing what’s next. They’ll never stop striving for the most effective, stripped-down solution to achieving their goals. They know that less is more, but least is best…

How Much Money Does Movember Raise using Twitter – Part 2

on Dec 9, 2015

Not long ago, I posted my summary of a study that looked into the amount of money actually raised online by Movember. As a follow up, I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the study’s authors…