Dear Tom, [the letter began] You care about kids! I know you do. You know why? Because your gift of $250 just came across my desk. It’s been a tough legislative session for our kids in the public school system, but you are a bright spot! Your generosity will help us continue the fight for our students. Tom, I know you live out of… Read more »
We hear it all the time in fundraising: tell stories. But stories by themselves do not raise money. There has to be emotional involvement, too. Stories “that involve us emotionally are the stories that move us to action,” psychologist Paul Zak discovered in his research. And moving us to action can = making a gift.
Over decades in the social sector, I spent countless hours in the grant-seeking trenches and saw my share of things that left me wondering whether to laugh or cry. But then I became a foundation funder and encountered a prospective grantee’s “toxic diaper excuse” (more on that later), which truly left my head shaking. Reflecting on my experiences, I am aware of how deeply… Read more »
1. Why Eleven and Three-Quarters? Be a little less predictable. “10 Top Tips” is predictable. “11 Top Tips” is a little less predictable, but still pretty obvious. I ripped this idea off, as most of you immediately recognized, from Harry Potter’s Track Nine and Three-Quarters at King’s Cross Station. Steal well. And often. But don’t steal from failures. Which means you’ll have to learn… Read more »