Pop art Yes bubble

How the 40-40-20 Rule Gives You Freedom, Confidence, and Success in Fundraising

Creativity, Direct Mail
Let me share a rule I learned from a grizzled old-time direct response professional. He learned it from the classic days of commercial direct response, when he’d spent years creating direct mail for magazine subscriptions. It’s called the 40-40-20 Rule. …
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Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes

6 Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes

I once worked at a place where everyone was focused on avoiding mistakes. It was a deeply engrained cultural value that came, I think, from the president of the company, who came from a difficult family background. It was a…
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Book view orbit

BOOK REVIEW: Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Books, Creativity
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie I read a lot of books that are meant to make me better at my work. You probably do too. Every fundraising book I can…
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Pop Art Boring report man fell asleep e1516262595881

How to Keep Writing When You’re on Empty

Creativity, Writing
NOTE: This blog post was written during — and is about — normal times. Now is not a normal time. There are a number of suggestions below — like “sneak out to a movie” and “do your work in a…
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Pop Art Astronaut Woman Saying Fundraising in Space

How to Survive Shiny Object Syndrome

When we asked our community of great fundraisers around the world about their biggest fundraising challenges, one of the big ones was Shiny Object Syndrome — SOS. It’s that need to chase after cool new stuff, often ignoring more immediate…
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Pop Art Musical note

VIDEO: Bass Players and Fundraisers – the Real Thing

Fundraising, Creativity
I play the double bass. That’s the biggest, lowest string instrument in the orchestra. It’s the one that rests on the floor while the player stands or perches on a tall stool to play. Yep — that’s me. Let me…
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Pop Art Senior Woman Riding Scooter e1570866857578

2 Truths Your Donors Wish You Understood about Direct Mail

Creativity, Direct Mail, Donor Care, Donor Love, Donor Psychology, Writing
I am a Gen Xer. I am not the core target market for direct mail. In my early twenties I had to learn two lessons quickly in order to do my job as a Fundraising Appeal Manager. Lesson one: The…
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Fundraising ideas

Where Good Fundraising Ideas Are Born

In fundraising, as in any creative work, ideas are among the most precious things we have. Big ideas. Small ideas. New ideas. Even old ideas brought back to life. People who are good at dreaming up ideas — especially good…
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