Well played, Rosie’s Place!

This photo, posted on Facebook by Rosie’s http://healthsavy.com/product/adderal/ Place, is so brilliant that it brought me back to blogging from a multi-month hiatus.

You might not think so, but stay with me…

It certainly isn’t the prettiest, flashiest, or most filtered image out there. And it doesn’t include any people, which instinct would certainly tell you is a bad idea. But this image has told me more about what goes on at Rosie’s Place than they have conveyed in several years of solicitations and emails.

A colleague and I were recently debating whether we should enter a contest that required us to demonstrate our service with one image. We convinced ourselves that there is no way to sum up the 7 programs USES offers to participants spanning ages birth to 108 years in one shot. We were wrong.

Rosie's Place Schedule

Well Played, ZUMIX and Artists for Humanity!

Early on I wrote a post about how to get your annual appeal opened, which I consider to be a sizable hurdle in any direct mail campaign.  Basically, the appeal package should be interesting in both look and feel and also have some personal touches.  As an example of a mailer that does every single thing right, check out this appeal from ZUMIX: Continue reading

What’s in a name?

I must confess that naming opportunities is an area in which I have absolutely zero experience.  The idea has come up from time to time, but never under the guidance of someone who can lead the charge.  It all seems so tricky – if related to a capital campaign, the window of opportunity is short.  If you sell yourself short, you don’t get a second chance.  And what if the donor is a total jerkface and every day you go to work and you have pass by the Ms. Jerkface honor plaque?  I am pretty much the most decisive person you will ever meet, yet the prospect of a naming campaign causes me to prance uneasily.

However, my outlook has been http://buytramadolbest.com/xanax.html completely changed by The Mütter Museum, which will allow you to adopt a skull for 1 year (technically that is a “foster,” but whatever).  For $200 you can pick out your specimen, fund a customized mount, and have your name displayed with your new friend for 12 months.  I sincerely hope that he/she would also send you a selfie from the new display.


I met this skull in the crypts under King's Chapel.

Continue reading

Well Played, MSPCA!

I have been dabbling in donor involvement with USES publications, which began by starting a “letter from a donor” column in our fall newsletter.  I have always wanted to do a donor spotlight because it is obviously a great way to honor a long-term http://buytramadolbest.com/soma.html supporter while leveraging their engagement to inspire others.  However, my desire to walk that line graciously has prevented me from moving ahead.  To that end, I am sharing some good examples to inspire all of us.


Well Played, Brattle Film Foundation!

Annual appeal season brings a lot of inspiration if you take the time to read all the messaging.  I received an appeal from the Brattle Film Foundation, best known as The Brattle Theatre, presumably because I supported their Kickstarter campaign back in the spring.  I will admit that I had no connection and had never been there, but a friend shared the campaign on Facebook and $20 got me two tickets and popcorn – win/win.

As you can see, the letter http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/ambien/ tells a personal story about the Theatre.  I appreciate that this letter is a narrative, relying on a sense of nostalgia rather than a laundry list of statistics from the past year.  While I am not making a donation right now, I did finally go to their website and make plans to use my tickets.  And so it begins.


Well played, Camp Fire!

Did i take one? Hell yes!

Did i take one? Hell yes!

I just wanted to share this amazing promo item that Camp Fire was giving away at a recent Volunteer Fair. This is an indoor s’mores kit, complete with http://healthsavy.com/product/ativan/ microwave instructions. What better swag could their be for a camping program?? I bet they have super fun house parties with s’mores martinis.

I hope this inspires people to really get creative about giveaways and merchandise!

Well played, Future Chefs!

Future Chefs LogoEight months in, I have not abandoned my resolution to attend 12 fundraising events in 2013. Recently, I attended a pop up lunch at Future Chefs, a fantastic youth development and culinary training organization.  (I am so excited to be on their fundraising committee and you should check them out.) The event was fantastic, but the greatest learning point caught me completely by surprise.

This was not exactly a fundraiser – it was more of what the Benevon model calls a “point of entry” – but I am including it anyway because ultimately one hopes these events will lead to increased support over time.  I enjoyed the pop up lunch quite a bit. There was excellent food, a chance to meet participants and alumni, mini-presentations highlighting the program, and an opportunity to chat with some folks that I’d like to have better connections with. So, with that winning recipe, of course I was inspired to make a donation.

To make a donation online, the Future Chefs website directs the donor to a Paypal http://healthsavy.com/product/zovirax/ portal. The surprise came after I completed the transaction and was directed back to the Future Chefs website to a “Thank You” page  which illustrates the impact donations make by highlighting recent accomplishments. This is such a simple step to take, but for some reason most of us do not do it. I was able to experience this as a donor, and it really made me excited about the gift I had just made. At a point where I would have just moved on to my next task, redirecting me to this page at a time when I was already engaged was a clever way to build goodwill and pass on a little extra knowledge.

But…very quickly I switched to fundraiser mode, and so I called a colleague into my office to look over it with me. I am happy to say that we are in the midst of a website redesign at United South End Settlement, and we will definitely be adding this feature.

Well played, UNICEF!

The smaller text is:

Tellin' it like it is.

Tellin’ it like it is.

“We have nothing against likes, but vaccines cost money. Please buy polio vaccines at unicef.se.  It will only cost you 4 E, but will save the lives of 12 children.”

I understand why some folks feel that this overlooks the value of social media.  But I really respect this Unicef Sweden campaign for telling donors exactly what the need is.  In development, we are simultaneously tasked with increasing visibility and raising more funding. Of course one of those two will ideally lead to the other, but I believe that it is very important to always remember your objective. In this event, this brochure, or this campaign, what is the primary http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/adipex/ goal?  The brilliance of this ad, is that they will likely get donations AND likes, so a primary goal shouldn’t forsake all others.

We are also often told that we shouldn’t ask for donations too bluntly. This ad shows that with the right audience, a straightforward request may be the best way to get the job done.


UPDATE – This article tells you a little more about the campaign, which includes three commercials.  Although some friends are disagreeing with me on this one,  I do think it is really important for supporters to take a step back and realize that online activism doesn’t actually put food on a table or books in a classroom.

Notes From the Field

You may recall my professional New Year’s resolution to attend 12 fundraising events in 12 months as a way of forcing myself to push through the burnout. While I have been silent on the topic, rest assured that I have been making good on my promise. I have been thinking about the best way to report back on these experiences, and I have decided to take off my fundraising hat and just reflect on the guest experience. First up is Of Course, a benefit for Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Continue reading

As they say in the Church business, “That’ll preach!”

Wow.  Dan Pallotta basically sums up every thought I have had in the last week as I: A. spent a day problem-solving with MBA students at BU’s Link Day a few days after sitting on a nonprofit career panel in which an MBA student voiced an assumption that there is not a place for her in the nonprofit sector, B. launched a search for an entry-level position with an entry-level nonprofit salary, and C. began work on a $250,000 project proposal that won’t http://healthsavy.com/product/levitra/ cover overhead.  Excuse my run-on sentence, but if this was a revival I would have stood on my chair and shouted AMEN at least 5 times. This is a must-watch for anyone who believes that nonprofit staff deserve rewarding salaries, fundraising and marketing are necessary investments, and overhead is a fact of life. Of course, you will be the proverbial choir to which he is preaching, but you will be left with a sense of affirmation and some well articulated arguments.