Alan Sharpe

Alan Sharpe write about fundraising letters, appeal letters, donation request letters and everything else related to raising funds by mail.

Make Donating Convenient

If you want to raise more money from your donation request letter, then you have to make donating convenient. You’ve put a lot of time, effort, and money into mailing a great fundraising letter to your donor list. Why lose donations by making your donors jump through hoops to give you money?Fundraising consultant Alan Sharpe […]

Donation Letter Sample Opening

In this sample donation letter for a non-profit organization, the opening sentence is definitely the most important part of your donation request. Why? Because if it doesn’t immediately grab the reader’s attention and make them want to find out more (and donate), then they won’t read another word. Instead, your meticulously crafted donation letter will […]

7 Online Fundraising Tips

In this article offering 7 online fundraising tips, fundraising consultant Alan Sharpe uses the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to provide examples of the best online fundraising ideas. If you want to get your creative juices flowing and raise more money for your non-profit organization or favorite cause, it’s well worth reading.Seven Online Lessons in Fundraising […]

8 Tips For Better Fundraising Letters

One of the best ways to improve your fundraising letters is to segment your mailing list. These tips show you eight ways to customize your fundraising letter to better address the different segments of your direct mail list.Fundraising copywriter and direct mail consultant Alan Sharpe provides some great tips on the best ways to divide […]

Four Online Fundraising Tips

When fundraising online, there are four words that your website must have to engage visitors and maximize donations. Obviously, the Donate Button must be prominently featured, but these 4 words are what you really need on your website.4 Words For Online Fundraising Success:SubscribeVolunteerJoinWatchOnline Fundraising – Are These Four Vital Words on Your Non Profit Fund […]

Photos Ruin Fundraising Letters

One way to improve your fundraising letters is to not include photos in the letter copy. Why? Because the photos make your fundraising appeal letter look like a brochure instead of a personalized request for donations.Your fundraising letter needs to establish a personal connection with the reader. Using a photo within the text of your […]

Fundraising Letter Tips: Segment Your List

One of the best fundraising letter tips is to segment your donor list. Why? Because you need to write differently to your main donor categories so that you can measure your response rates and improve your results.After all, it makes no sense to say the exact same thing to a brand new donor that you […]

Donation Thank You Letter Mistakes

One key aspect of donor retention is properly thanking your donors. Here are some donation thank you letter mistakes to avoid when you do say thanks.You want your donors to know that you appreciate their donation and also show how it will help improve things for the people your nonprofit organization is trying to help. Your […]

4 Non-profit Website Tips

All non-profit organizations need a website and all of those websites need quality content. These ideas post aren’t about non-profit website hosting or using non-profit website templates. It’s about when you’re either starting a non-profit website or modifying the one you already have and what the main elements your site needs to achieve your organization’s […]

Six Key Fundraising ROI Benchmarks

There are six key nonprofit fundraising ROI benchmarks that every group should be tracking. After all, if you don’t know your fundraising costs per dollar raised, then your nonprofit will quickly become a no-profit.Of course, the fundraising ROI formula has more to it than just measuring costs. For example, it’s acceptable to spend more money […]

Donation Thank You Letter Second Ask

Given that 65% of first-time donors won’t ever give your nonprofit a second donation, should you do a second ask with your thank you letter? The answer, surprisingly, is yes because statistically it’s the right thing to do.Most donors will tell you that they don’t want to be asked again right away for a second […]

Donor Acquisition Strategies

Donor Acquisition Strategies – When it comes to acquiring donors through direct mail, there are certain strategies that always work well for most non-profit organizations. The key donor acquisition strategy is, of course, to mail at least one donor acquisition mailing each year.And yet, some groups fail to employ even that basic time-tested strategy. So, […]

Two Words Nonprofits Shouldn’t Use

Two Words Nonprofits Shouldn’t Use – There are two words that non-profit groups shouldn’t use in their donor communications, whether its email, online, in a fundraising letter or a newsletter. Those two words are “very” and “different” and you are doing your organization a disservice by using them.Why? Because to an educated person, they make […]

The 4 C’s Of Donation Letter Reply Devices

Your donation letter reply device must follow the 4 C’s – It must be Clear, Complete, Compelling, and Convenient. Failing to follow the 4 C’s of donation letter reply devices means that you have defective instrument, i.e. that your reply device is weak and ineffective at maximizing donations.And why are the 4C’s so important? Because […]

Donor Relationship Building

How to build stronger donor relationships is a problem that vexes many non-profit organizations. These tips for donor relationship building highlight ten ways to improve your donor management and retention by giving people what they want, so that your non-profit gets what it needs in return.Building better donor relationships can take time, but there’s no […]

Donor Retention Best Practices

The vast majority of non-profit organizations do not follow donor retention best practices. The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy reported in 2013 on the dismal donor retention statistics evidenced in a study of 1.8 million donors. The donor retention rate for first-time donors (i.e. getting a second gift) was an abysmal 27%. Repeat donors – […]

Fundraising Letters Should Raise Donors, Not Donations

Not all fundraising letters should be about raising money. Every non-profit fundraising campaign should also mail donor acquisition letters to attract new donors. Why? Because you always need to focus on growing your donor base and replacing those who have stopped donating to your cause.Are donor acquisition mailings profitable? No they are not, but you […]

Five Fundraising Letter Tips

When writing a fundraising letter, there are five things you should do to get more donations. These 5 tips for writing fundraising letters are all about communicating directly with your reader in an engaging manner that captures their interest.A donation appeal letter should personalize your cause by telling a story about a real person, not […]

Make Your Donation Letter A Quick Read

A great donation letter is one that can be read quickly, one that’s easily skimmed for highlights and packs a powerful call to action. Let’s face facts here. Hardly anyone is going to read every word of your fundraising letter. In fact, you’re doing great just getting them to open it.So, don’t waste the opportunity […]

Give Donors What They Want

The secret to getting donations for your non-profit is to give donors what they want. People give to causes to make a difference in others lives. And what donors really want to know is how their donation will help people.Fundraising letter expert Alan Sharpe describes how to effectively communicate with your donors by telling stories […]