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Resources – Newsletter Archive

November, 2007

Welcome to "Karen's Fundraising Tips." The November 2007 issue has nuggets of fundraising and direct mail (DM) information I gleamed from a recent conference. And of course I've always got some goodies in the hot tips section.

     Everything this humble fundraising copywriter shares is for the purpose of making your work as a fundraising professional a bit easier. And each issue can be read in 3 to 5 minutes.

Fundraising and Direct Mail Tips [464 words]

Today I'm passing on a slew of nuggets I mined from a conference I recently attended. It was hosted by the Direct Marketing Association, Washington Chapter (DMAW) and it was their 5th Annual Association Day.

Obviously the target audience was associations but hey, they're also nonprofits and I believe everyone can benefit from the information. That's why I'm sharing this medley of tips and ideas from the speakers.

  • "Member retention is inversely proportional to the degree you successfully ignore their needs." And I would add that donor response behaves the same way.
  • Direct mail (DM) tends to appeal to the older market segment. As of 2006, there were about 89 million people in the U.S. age 50 and over. By 2016 that will increase by 25%.
  • The largest growing population segment in the U.S. is people over 85 years of age.
  • For the retiring baby boomers, DM is the best method. But don't forget multi-channel marketing! For example, email marketing will grow but not as much as DM - boomers will read print and online.
  • Stick to your DM schedule and don't miss dates.
  • Know your members and donors. What works great in one organization could easily be a total flop in another. Give them what they want.
  • Make it easy for your members and donors. Tell them simply and clearly what you want them to do . . . and you may need to tell them more than once in your communication.
  • For associations, know why people join. Typically a small percentage actually uses the benefits. Number 1 reason they join = networking; number 2 reason = keep current with their profession.
  • Your website must be clear, easy to use, and member benefits very obvious. For non-association nonprofits I would add that within 10 seconds of logging onto your site, I should know exactly what you do and how I (the donor) can make a difference if I donate. Remember, an OUTSIDER can evaluate all this better than you.
  • Have a way to join and/or donate on every web page.
  • If you have a blog consider allowing members (donors) to also post to your blog. For associations it's a great way for members to help their own career. This would also be especially good for advocacy type nonprofits.
  • Appeal to individuals! This is so critical. Remember your prospect is thinking, "What's in it for me? Why should I join? Why should I donate?"

Needless to say there's more I could share. But it all starts with keeping your prospect, member, or donor in the spotlight. Keep the focus centered on them and NOT you. You'll reap benefits when this crucial concept remains at the heart of all your campaigns and decisions.

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Just for fun - a quote for you

"Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting." (Brian Tracy - Treasury of Quotes)

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Have a Burning Question?

How else can I make your job easier? Dont be shy.

The purpose of my newsletter is to give you a fundraising professional tools, ideas, and resources to make your fundraising efforts easier. And directly answering the challenges you face is an ideal way to make this newsletter relevant for you.

Please send your questions TODAY. Send them right now to this address before something distracts you.


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Hot Tips of the Month [227 words]

  1. Also from the DMAW 5th Annual Association Day - save money and "gang print" whenever you can. This requires advance planning but it's worth it. Also source code everything you print for tracking results and print extras. Finally, include your printer in discussions on how to save money. One example was how shaving 1/4 inch saved postage.
  2. "Everyone knows what we're about." Fatal assumption for any type of nonprofit. An article in the Chronicle for Philanthropy prompted this tip from me. Don't make this assumption if for no other reason than it starts taking the focus off your donors and members. Think about it. When dealing with a large group of people . . . have you ever experienced a situation where everyone had the exact same understanding? Keep reminding people what you're all about. Stories about people are a great way to illustrate this. Again, this works for any nonprofit. People love reading stories and it's an interesting way to convey the message.
  3. January 24-25, 2008 in Washington DC - DMA Nonprofit Federation 2008 Annual Washington Nonprofit Conference. The theme is "Stand & Deliver: Fundraising in a Changing World." With the workshops, round table discussions, network reception, and the regular conference sessions it promises to be another excellent conference that will make your job easier. Save $100 when you register BEFORE Dec. 14, 2007.


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A Personal Greeting from Me to You

We're entering a very special time of year. And there are a couple of big holidays before the December issue of my newsletter. So to my diverse group of wonderful readers, for now I say . . . "Happy Hanukkah" and to those in the U.S. I add "Happy Thanksgiving!" So many joyous reasons to celebrate and be thankful. My best wishes to you during this wonderful time of year!


Feel free to forward my newsletter to a colleague. Plus, here's how they can sign-up to receive it directly:

     1. Just click on this link, In the email message to me, please include the first name and email address of your colleague. I'll take care of signing them up.

Or ...

     2. You can sign them up directly on my website by following this link:

"Karen's Fundraising Tips"

Thanks for joining me and until next time . . . know your target audience and give them what they want.

All the best,

Karen Zapp, Fundraising & Sales Copywriter
Perceptive Karen

P.S.  Have a project coming up soon? Id love to explore the possibilities with you. Call or send me an email today. I look forward to helping your mission prosper!


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Call anytime and we’ll chat about your needs: 800-794-1609
I look forward to helping you prosper.

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