Five Maples’ Fundraising Blog

Wish your first-time donor renewal rates were higher? Part 1: Write a better thank you letter

Our research consistently finds that donors consider most thank you letters they get to be boring, cold and largely focused on telling donors how great the not-for-profit is that they just supported. We also find that donors consider thank you letters to be the single most important communication they ever receive. —Penelope Burk   How does […]

How this development director missed her declining retention rate—and how she’s fixing it now

Our client finally turned the corner after four consecutive years of decline. Revenue and number of donors both increased last year after hitting rock-bottom the year before. The development director was feeling optimistic. So what compelled her to write this memo the very day we delivered her Five Maples custom donor analytics report? The note […]

How Ben Franklin helped drive a 600% increase in a single e-mail appeal

I found something remarkable about what donors respond to this past December. And, it turns out, Ben Franklin figured this one out more than 250 years ago! The chart below shows how much was given in response to each of the seven year-end emails we wrote for Sustainable Harvest International. Promise of a match made […]

Want a successful fundraising year? Start with these planning basics.

Download Our Free Planning Template. Those organizations that really benefit from the year-end surge in giving don’t wait until they’re done with Thanksgiving dinner to start the process. No, they start working their plan in January and keep at it each and every month. They do it through a steady drumbeat of planned “touches” with […]