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  • 9 simple pointers for writing better emails and letters to your donors

    By Greg Warner on January 18, 2017
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    I failed to get into business school. I hoped to be a business major at the University of Maryland in the 80’s. But my ability to read comprehend and recapitulate the institution’s business lessons was not so good. I didn’t make the cut and failed to get even close to acceptance into the business school.   So I decided...

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  • Start Putting These Fundraising Words Everywhere Right Now

    By Greg Warner on January 13, 2017
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    The words are listed down at the bottom. But to understand why you should put them everywhere read this: Every single one of your supporters wants to have a meaningful life and wants to be remembered fondly after their lifetime. Many of these same supporters will contemplate the creation of or revision to an estate plan. And every time they do your organization has a...

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  • Does an “empathy gap” exist among your donors?

    By Greg Warner on January 11, 2017
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    A lot of charities tout the fact that they take care of their own. Marines helping marines! Cancer patients helping cancer patients! And so on. But could doing so be a misguided marketing strategy? Research from a study published in December 2014 showed that compassion for distress actually became reduced among people who have “been there.” In other words according...

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  • How to ensure that your letter signer will sign your fundraising letter even if he/she doesn’t like it

    By Greg Warner on January 9, 2017
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    I’ll skip to the end and tell you how: Set some ground rules with whoever you ask to sign your fundraising letter. Usually a letter signer won’t sign a fundraising letter for the following reasons: a. Because it doesn’t sound like her b. Because it looks weird (i.e. the letter is long has too many underlines funky bold lettering etc) c. Because...

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  • 9 ways to be a more human fundraiser in 2017

    By Greg Warner on January 4, 2017
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    As your supporters get bombarded with more and more messages from advertisers and competitors (other fundraisers) you’ll need to stand out. The best way to do that is to be more human authentic and real. Here are nine ways to do just that this year:  Share personal stories with your donors. Be real. Be open honest and transparent. Suppose your...

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  • Introducing MarketSmart’s 2017 IN’s & OUT’s

    By Greg Warner on January 3, 2017
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    Happy New Year everyone! Each year my IN’s & OUT’s usually get passed around and shared quite a bit. Sometimes they ruffle some feathers. For others they inspire! What do you think of this year’s collection? PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!

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  • 3 ways to use direct mail effectively in the age of social media

    By Greg Warner on December 28, 2016
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    Although direct mail requires printing and postage we still include it in our marketing plans because it can be effective if you do it right. Don’t discount the traditional methods.   MarketSmart has generated millions of dollars for clients with direct mail. Combine online and offline channels. Often it is best to combine direct mail with an Internet landing page....

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  • The 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter

    By Greg Warner on December 21, 2016
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    I’m always a bit baffled when I see fundraising letters that fail to take into consideration the following. After all research by Professor Siegfried Vogele has clearly proven what people read and in what order. Here are the 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter: The sender (firstly the donor wants to see who sent the letter) The donor/recipient’s name...

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  • Opportunities vs. Problems: Which will your donors support?

    By Greg Warner on December 19, 2016
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    I’ll cut to the chase. People want to take advantage of opportunities more than they want to solve problems. Here’s how it works in fundraising. “Problem” messages: We need help The water is dirty and undrinkable Over 25000 children are hungry Too many homeless people are freezing We are running dangerously low on blood “Opportunity” messages: You can make a huge difference...

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  • 8 Great Ways to End Emails or Letters

    By Greg Warner on December 14, 2016
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    Cultivation starts and ends with great communication. Goodbyes are just as important as hellos. So here are some great ways to end emails you send to donors: 1. I’m really counting on you! 2. when you look back on this moment you’ll be so glad you . 3. this is your...

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