News & Insights

Emotional Appeal

August 26, 2015


Autumn is almost here, and so is the busiest season in fundraising! As you gear up, remember that emotions rule in fundraising. Appeal to the person on the receiving end of your communication.


Some of the best fundraising advice we’ve ever read was to “write like you are writing to a friend.” You wouldn’t use jargon in a letter to a good friend, nor would you bombard them with statistics. You’re conversational and frank.


Appeal to the emotions of compassion and empathy. Writing this way to every single donor (or potential donor) whether in emails or newsletters will make an impact. And don’t forget thank-you letters!


Best regards from the Fladeboe Team


July 20, 2015

For fundraisers who aren’t swamped with events, the summer can be a time to regroup and prepare for the busy fall campaign.

Take this time to volunteer in the field. Getting out to meet your clients or work with those on the front lines is a great way to renew your passion and maintain rapport with your co-workers who are not responsible for fundraising.

Another great way to prepare for the fall is to take a fresh look at your database. Pull an atypical list of donors--perhaps the 20 most loyal donors, regardless of gift amount--and call them or send them a special thank you. Engage them in a unique way and make sure you follow-up in the fall.

Best regards from the Fladeboe Team


May 6, 2015


Tell a great story.


Storytelling is so important that there are seminars dedicated to this topic alone! Here is a quick reminder on how best to go about it.


Tell a story about one person, then give your donor a way to help. It is really that simple.


Stories connect hearts to a cause. The best stories tell about one person, versus hundreds. And they don’t include any statistics, which water down the empathy evoked from a great story.


Here’s a helpful post by Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now on “what works and why” in the realm of storytelling.


Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

After the Event

 June 10, 2015

For many organizations, the summer is full of events, from golf tournaments to fun runs. And often the preparation for events consume so much time and energy that folks can drop the ball after the event and forget to thank participants appropriately.


A simple way to keep that connection after the event is to send participants a summary of the event and thank them for coming! Then, continue to engage them by asking for a financial contribution (if they didn’t already give at the event) or encourage them to attend or volunteer at the next event.


If you’re a small shop (or even if you’re not), utilize volunteers to help in the follow-up process. Give your board members or other volunteers a list of top donors from an event and have them call to just say “thank you!”  You’d be surprised at the impact a simple phone call can make.


Whatever you do, don’t forget those who came to your event and made it successful. Keep that momentum going and it will lead to even more successful events in the future!


Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

Mission First

April 1, 2015


Event season is in full swing, and it's a good time to remember the importance of keeping your organization's mission front and center. Your mission is the captain of your organization and should guide everything.


Make sure that you regularly align all that you do with your mission. Employees should be frequently reminded of the reason they are doing what they are doing. Begin each staff meeting with a story of your mission in action. This can be a huge positive motivator for everyone in your organizationnot just fundraisers.


Events are also perfect platforms for sharing your mission. Ensure that your mission is clearly articulated throughout the event, from programs to speeches.


It's remarkable the difference a unified message can have in furthering the great work of your organization!


Best regards from the Fladeboe Team


Auction Tip

Raise Those Paddles

Many of our clients ask us whether using bidder paddles (“on a stick”) or bidder cards (no “stick”) is really necessary for the live auction. Bidders can just raise their hands, right?

It’s true raising hands can work. However, we’ve found having a bidder paddle or card really makes a difference in an auction. Practically, a bidder card is much easier for an auctioneer to see than a hand. Once an item is sold, it is very easy to record who won the item. All the auctioneer has to do is call out the bidder number and winning amount. The same applies to a fund-a-need – it’s easy to identify guests pledging at each level by calling out their bidder numbers.