Articles/White Papers

The Case for Trust

Take a fundraising letter. Any fundraising letter. No, better yet, take a letter that delivered the goods. One that has already proved itself with strong results. Pass it around to people in your department, those who understand direct mail fundraising, as well as those who don’t. While you’re at it, show the letter to some …Read more

Fundraising Campaign of the Year: Leader Dogs for the Blind

The Campaign of the Year award winner is a perfect example of a point Gold Awards judge Dane Grams made in his introduction. It’s a fairly simple package, especially considering that last year’s winner included a thin balsa wood airplane! In this year’s winner, all you’ll find is a letter, reply device and poster. Recipients: …Read more

The Great Thinkers’ Guide to Donor Relationships

The Great Thinkers’ Guide to Donor Relationships I just wanted to let you know I’ve got a new girlfriend. I’m very excited, because I think she’ll be great for me. When I was prospecting for someone to support me, I asked a lot of girls out, and she’s the one who said yes. Now that …Read more

Copywriting for the Post Recession: Seven rules for learning to write like a winner . . . again

You know it’s coming. This recession has dragged us down for the better part of two years, leaving some organizations with depressed results, lowered average gifts, “adjusted” expectations and a whole lot of uncertainty. One thing is certain though: it can’t last. Recessions always end. And the end of this one is very dimly beginning …Read more

What if Mark Twain was Your Major Gifts Officer?

“It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you. It’s what you do know that ain’t so.” — Mark Twain Great wisdom is always cryptic. Parables, allegories, metaphors – these are the ways great thinkers express great truths. It’s up to the rest of us to determine how to apply those insights in ways that …Read more

What Does Your Board (or YOU) Need to Know About Fundraising?

Direct mail can be a challenge, even under the best of circumstances. But despite its difficulties, industry research consistently indicates that, when it comes to funding your mission, direct mail is still the foundation of the most successful donor-contribution efforts. Yet, all too often, CEOs, CFOs, and Boards of Directors don’t really “get” direct mail. …Read more

Anatomy of a Control

American Red Cross Local chapters leverage strengths of three unique acquisition appeals. Sometimes in the nonprofit world, a picture really is worth a thousand words. And fundraisers often bank on that picture – or pictures – to yield much more in the form of acquisition dollars. At least that’s what the creative team at Huntsinger …Read more

Gotta Serve Somebody: The Bob Dylan Guide to Effective Donor Communication

There used to be a computer game that you could ask any question, and the answer would always be a line from a Bob Dylan song. I don’t know that this is necessarily a good way to run your life, but when it comes to looking for more effective ways to communicate with donors and …Read more

We’re Worrying About the Wrong Disease!

A deadly disease has infected the direct mail industry. It isn’t anthrax. Or smallpox. Yet if we give in to it, this disease can be as fatal to our industry as any biological or chemical threat cooked up by some terrorist maniac. The disease, of course, is fear. When Franklin Roosevelt told the country, “the …Read more

Strategies to Keep Your Production Moving Smoothly

For those of us who have chosen to make a living in direct marketing production, we are fortunate to work in a part of the industry that is dynamic and fast paced. Sometimes, it can be too fast! Yet it’s a Production Manager’s job to deliver the vision of the creative team and meet the …Read more

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