Premiums are more than just “stuff”.

Premiums are more than just “stuff”.

I was lunching yesterday with a fundraising executive at a large charity that works with intellectualy disabled children, and she was lamenting the “tactical” nature of premium direct mail.

To her — and I think she speaks for many people — it feels like a never-ending series of seemingly frivolous decisions about greeting card designs, photography vs. illustration, glitter vs. die-cutting, and what should the matching envelope look like?

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All About the Data — Term Deposits at 30% — deposit NO money. Click here!

All About the Data — Term Deposits at 30% — deposit NO money. Click here!

Last week I attended a very interestesting breakfast presentation hosted by the Fundraising Institute of Australia. It was held at the Commonwealth Bank’s headquarters in Sydney’s CBD. The presentation was called something like “All About the Data”.

A delicous buffet was served on the 20th floor. There was a panoramic view of the city out of huge windows across one entire side of the long function room. Then, once everyone was settled in and

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How to Survive — and Thrive — as a Neanderthal Fundraiser

How to Survive — and Thrive — as a Neanderthal Fundraiser

My feet are very good at chasing after new donors because I know that many of my current donors are going to stop giving even if I have the best retention program in the world. There is no such thing as 0% attrition. And I know that I need to replace those donors just to stay the same size next year and I need to add even more new donors if I want to grow and get bigger.

My ears work just fine and I can hear what donors say to me.

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How a Lower ROI Raises More Money

How a Lower ROI Raises More Money

Return on Investment is one of the most commonly used measurements of fundraising performance, and it is often misunderstood. A lower ROI actually raises more money and a higher ROI raises less. Here’s why and how:

ROI is the same as an interest rate. Take a fundraising program that returns an ROI of 500%, meaning for every 20 cents spent, you raise a $1. That is the same as having a bank account that pays a 500% interest rate.

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Could you add a zero to that donation please?

Could you add a zero to that donation please?

Back in the 1990’s, British fundraiser Ken Burnett wrote a book called Relationship Fundraising. In that book he advised, among other things, not to ask for money in a thank you letter. Too pushy.

He advised not to ask for too much money at the beginning of the donor “relationship”. Don’t look grasping or desperate. If a monthly donor quits, wait a year before asking again.

I first encountered this theory working in the UK from 1997 to 2000.

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