GuideStar Blog

Design Your Fundraising for Older Eyes and See Your Revenue Rise

Life is full of transitions, most of them inescapable.

Like bifocals.

They’re inevitable once you reach a “certain age,” which is somewhere around 40.

Since the vast majority of your donors are even older, you can be sure they have presbyopia. Which is to say, they wear bifocals.


The Offer in Fundraising Appeals, and Why We Should Take Our Cue from Commercial Marketing

Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash

In direct response, whether it’s fundraising or commercial marketing, the offer is one of the most important elements for success. Arguably the most important. And yet it’s often one of the most misunderstood.


Is Your Fundraising Appeal Cluttered? That Won’t Do

Marie Kondo is the high priestess of tidying up. The essence of her method, which everybody’s heard of by now, is this: If a thing gives you joy, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you thank it and let it go.


That Coulda Gone Better: Three Fundraising Mistakes You Don't Have to Make

“Only he who has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep.” So goes the ancient Chinese proverb. And of course there’s loads of truth in it, especially when it comes to creative strategy for fundraising—a road with plenty of potholes to cause problems.


Make It Compelling

You are about to read the first page of a superb appeal letter. It was one of a series of recent direct mail pieces from a medical center.


Six Ways to Punch Up Your Fundraising Appeals

You could have the best online donation form in the world. But people won’t give to you unless you make a really compelling appeal that inspires them. That’s often easier said than done! When you’re a nonprofit fundraiser, it’s hard to carve out a couple of hours to craft a really great appeal.

We’re here to help. Here are six in-depth strategies you can use to create a more effective appeal.


Every Fundraising Appeal Should Include These Five Slants

Fundraising uses a style of writing that’s personal, repetitive, simplistic, old-fashioned, and just plain messy. Those from journalism school, academia, or business can be in for a shock.

But as I discuss in my book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications, the strange conventions of fundraising are the result of decades of experience, discipline, and head-to-head testing.

In the small space here, I’ll share five approaches that should filter into practically every piece of correspondence with your donors.


Eight Ways to Use Giving Psychology to Raise More Money, Part 2

In part 1 we looked at the first four of eight principles of influence borrowed from psychology and science that will help you to better incline prospective donors to say “yes” to your calls to action. Today we’ll examine four more.


The Seven Cardinal Rules of Fundraising Writing

Fundraising is a funny profession. It requires you to learn a specific style of writing that's unlike any other you're likely to have learned—such as business writing, journalism, or grant writing.