Award-Winning Blog


4 Myths Around Cognitive Biases

  Between a half full restaurant and an empty one, which one would you choose? To help us reach a decision faster we use mental shortcuts (known as “cognitive biases”). In this case we’re likely to judge the quality of the restaurant (food, service, ambiance etc.) simply by the number of customers we see dining there. Biases […]

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Monthly Donors and Mystery Shopping

Over the past 10 days we’ve focused on what is generally thought to be diminished returns in 2018 year-end giving.  Some reasons why…  Issues around year-end email deliverability and the content of those emails…plus the problems caused by too much volume and too many reminder appeals. One area that deserves more attention than it’s usually given […]

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Poor Year-End Giving and Email Volume

Year-end giving was down (on average and especially online).  M+R has said it; PMX has said it; you may have seen it yourself. The 2018 year-end giving macroenvironment cocktail was something like: Government shutdown + Tax bill shifting donations from 2019 to 2018 + Democratic House balancing out some policies + Continued mail deliverability challenges […]

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Email Deliverability Part 2: The Impact of Mad Libs Fundraising

Let’s play Mad Libs to illustrate why many email appeals have a deliverability — and performance — problem. We will need: An urgency phrase, like “Act now”, “Ends at midnight”, “Last chance”, “The clock is ticking”, “Deadline”, etc A whole number between 2 to 5 inclusive A reference to what happens at New Year’s, like “the […]

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Email Deliverability Part 1: Some Basics

If your Board, CEO or colleagues ask, “What’s the size of our email list?” they’re asking absolutely the wrong question. The question they—and you—should be asking is What’s the Level of Engagement of our email list?” If that “open rate” on your year-end email was 25% is it because 75% of the folks weren’t engaged […]

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Poor Year-End Giving: Reasons or Excuses?

It’s clear from the moaning and groaning reaching our Agitator ears that, for many, year-end giving fell short of expectations and projections. Just how much off the mark? Results vary but overall the shortfall may be as much as 25% for some organizations.  For others there was no shortfall, and, in fact, 2018 year-end exceeded 2017 totals. […]

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