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"Homemade" fundraising as charming as these Halloween costumes

Did you ever have a homemade Halloween costume?

If you did, I bet you remember it well.

Homemade is not something you can easily forget.

In Cooper family lore, top homemade costume honors go to the cardboard box robots of 2006.

Here's what they looked like, along with the first part of a "mom...

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How white space can help you frame your fundraising appeal copy

With your appeals, you no doubt work hard to paint word pictures that bring to life your stories, the need, the urgency, and the potential impact.

So, when your "work of art" is finished, don't forget the frame — white space!

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On September 15,...

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You should be an "ask dropper" — part 2

Reminder: In our parlance, "ask dropping" means skillfully dropping asks in an appeal. (Hesitation is not your friend.)

Note: Part 1 of this appeal includes mentions of child abuse and suicide. Please take care while reading.

Below is Part 2, the analysis of the rest of the appeal:


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Make your fundraising offer the cliffhanger (Star Wars fundraising)

I love a good cliffhanger – don't you?

Question: are you using cliffhangers in your fundraising?

More on the why soon. But first...

(spoilers ahead... for those of you still avoiding Star Wars)

Consider the power of a good cliffhanger.

–Star Wars: The Empire Strikes...

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Thank you for the "mental real estate"

You can find a lot of cool stuff tucked away in the nooks and crannies of a person's brain.

For example...

Before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduced the Apple Macintosh, computers did not offer multiple fonts. You got 1 font and 1 font only. (Don't like it? Too bad!)

Jobs came up...

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3 Tips for Personalizing Your Fundraising Appeals

Your name is important to you. It's true, isn't it?

Even if you are in a room with many people chatting, you likely have "selective hearing" for your name.

When someone says your name, your brain has an amazing ability. It can focus on that one bit of information while simultaneously ignoring...

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How To Balance Doom & Gloom with Happy & Hopeful in Your Fundraising Appeal

I received an important appeal-writing question from newsletter subscriber Miriam.

Miriam writes:

All the fundraising appeal trainings I’ve attended say the best appeals talk about an immediate need, and the more dire it is, the better.

That tenet goes against all our messaging, which is...

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Non-Obvious Fundraising Design Tips

There's something so special about crayons. The distinct smell.... that waxy feel… the memories of childhood creations that sometimes were displayed on the refrigerator door.

If you’re like me, a crayon was the first drawing tool put into your little pincer grasp when you were a...

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Writing a Fundraising Appeal? Do This First

Last summer, I was given a project to write a content piece. The wonderful nonprofit client usually provides a full-page creative brief. Essentially, the brief is the plan for the project.

This time, though, I didn't get any such plan. The client's attention was focused on another important...

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How To Write an Opening Line for Your Fundraising Appeal

Beginnings are so memorable.

You can probably remember a bunch of "firsts" clearly. Your first crush. Your first apartment. Your first day at a new job.

I'll never forget the first time I met each of my four children. The picture below is the first family photo taken after my husband and I...

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