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Fundraising by the Numbers

October 29, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

In just 149 days, Betty will walk out of prison, a free woman. Veronica, meanwhile, will be locked away in her cramped prison cell for almost five more months. Looks like Betty’s going to be out any time now, while poor Veronica’s got a ways to go yet, doesn’t it? Sophisticated fundraiser that you are, …Read more

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Read More, Write Better.

October 20, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Read any good books lately? Let me rephrase that. Read any great novels lately? If not, you might want to. Dipping into a little high-quality fiction will make you a better writer. It might even make you a better person. Great writers have been telling you that for as long as there’ve been great writers. …Read more

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The Angel is in the Details

October 6, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

“Tell a story,” is one of the most common pieces of advice given to fundraising writers. “Add emotion,” is another. Everyone knows an emotional story engages readers and leads to stronger results. The good news is, telling an effective story is simpler than you might think. Here are six tips that might help: 1. Get …Read more

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Good Grammar or Good Results?

September 22, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

The goal of writing is to communicate. But the goal of fundraising copy is emotional communication. Emotion is the currency of our transactions with donors and prospects because the transactions we ask them to engage in are completely irrational. We ask them give us their money, and in return we give them nothing … nothing …Read more

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Rites for Writers

August 25, 2014 
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: Huntsinger & Jeffer

Writers love rituals. They give us comfort and courage when we sit face-to-face with the dreaded blank screen. They also help open our inner doors and nudge our minds out of the world of obviousness and into that amorphous place ideas come from. They can be silly or sacred, but they are very personal — …Read more

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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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