Blog

How to Tell the Pros from the Ams

July 28, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Ever read something that just doesn’t sound right? It may be hard to put your finger on it, but the words are just awkward. You find yourself devoting more attention to the writing than to the message it’s trying to convey. Or maybe you’ve tried to write something, and the words that sounded so good …Read more

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Donors Cannot Live on Pie Alone

July 21, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Here, have a nice slice of lemon meringue pie. Good, isn’t it? Go ahead, have another. Mmmmm … enjoy. Now have another piece. And another. And another. And another … Had enough? Getting a delicious slice of pie is nice. Sometimes seconds are nice too. But when the nice person offering it keeps serving it …Read more

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15 More Ways to Lose A Donor

July 21, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Last week we looked at some sure-fire ways to alienate loyal donors. In any relationship, there are plenty of ways to keep it strong, but a lot more ways to mess it up. So, to keep the conversation going, here is another collection of “thou-shalt-nots”: Leave your donor on the sidelines. There are other ways …Read more

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15 Ways to Lose A Donor

July 14, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Keeping a good donor is hard. Losing one is easy. People do it every day, even when they have the best intentions. Here, for example, are a few sure-fire ways to drive away a donor who once cared enough to give you a generous amount of her hard-earned resources: Ask for too much. She’s not …Read more

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It’s About Feeling, Not About Thinking

July 7, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Conventional wisdom. Best practices. The way it’s always been done. Every so often it’s a good idea to dust off the things “everybody knows” and hold them up to the light, just to make sure they’re still relevant and true. For example, “everybody knows” that the best way to motivate donors is to appeal to …Read more

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Taking Donors to the Major League

June 30, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Many Major Gifts Officers (MGOs) will tell you that their biggest contributions often come from people who started as $25 donors. That means the best place to prospect for major donors is in your small- and middle-donor files. Those donors have loyalty and commitment. They understand and support your mission. But turning them into major …Read more

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6 DM Tactics That Work in Every Medium

June 16, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

There are many things we know abut fundraising. For example: Direct mail brings in the lion’s share of revenue for most organizations. E-mail is a strong but distant second. Social media’s value lies in engaging the public, raising awareness, and generating passion-and-pass activism. But its actual ROI is still elusive. Conventional advertising can create emotion …Read more

How to Read A Fundraising Letter

June 2, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

A fundraising letter (or e-mail, or any other direct communication) passes through a lot of hands before it reaches its intended audience. And everyone in the approval process has the opportunity to express an opinion. If you’re one of those people, you’ve probably heard the general admonishment to remember that “you are not your donor,” …Read more

Cliches in Fundraising? Yes! And No.

May 12, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

“Is a cliché bad for your letter? Nope, because a cliché turns a light on inside your reader’s mind. Avoiding clichés leaves the reader in darkness.” — Jerry Huntsinger Avoid clichés like the plague, says the old writer’s joke. It’s good advice, but it’s mostly directed at beginning writers. Its point is to teach mental …Read more

Risky Business

May 5, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Fundraising is an uncertain — and high stakes — enterprise.  Anytime time you ask someone to give you money in return for nothing more than a good feeling, you’re in chancy waters. But some risks make more sense than others. Here are three of each kind: Worth the Risk: 1. Writing long – In advertising, …Read more

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