September 25, 2017

Something I don’t talk about nearly enough is the “tone” of an appeal. I’ve been thinking about this, especially in relation to the audience—your donors.

Since donors are likely to give when contributing to that which is meaningful to them in a personal way, consider customizing your appeal language so they can link giving to your cause to who they are as individuals.

Think about it: men and women react differently to certain words in appeals. When appeals use words like “kind and compassionate” women increase their giving. When men read words like “strong,” “responsible,” and “loyal,” they give more (Jen Shang, Psychology of Giving).

So, when you’re putting your text together, think careful...

January 30, 2017

Successful fundraisers meet donors where they are instead of expecting the donor to come running to wherever the fundraiser wants them to be.

September 21, 2016

If you have a donor who has given more than $250 in one contribution, did you know that, by law, you must furnish that donor with a “receipt” (acknowledgement letter)?

According to the IRS, it should be sent “in a way that will come to the attention of the donor.”

At Rescigno’s, we advise that nonprofits provide written acknowledgements to donors as close to the receipt of the gift as possible.

More than that, however, you can use your acknowledgement letters to help your donors understand how their gift was used.

So, the receipt is important, but, there’s so much more to share with your donors than just that.

Share the following:

  • How your organization used the donor’s gift

  • What it hel...

July 13, 2016

Understanding your target market for donors is the first crucial step that must be taken to be an effective fundraiser. You have to know who the people are who are most likely to respond to your cause.

You also need to know things like:

  • Their typical age range

  • Their motivations and concerns

  • The kinds of information they want from you when you thank them and send follow-up info after a donation.

Knowing this information greatly increases the likelihood that your fundraising efforts will be positively received.

So don’t fall into the trap that many charities are guilty of falling into. Don’t look for donations from a certain tax bracket or from just anyone.

I promise you that th...

May 24, 2016



Why do your donors support you? What are their motivations? What is it they like about your cause?


It sure would be nice to get the answers to these questions, wouldn’t it?


Well, what are you doing to collect this information? Hopefully, you’re talking with your donors on a regular basis. It’s important because they will freely give you feedback on how they’re feeling.


I want to tell you about a well-known organization that is using a simple index card to gather more information on their donors. Yes, an index card! In this day and age. So simple.


During the Christmas season, when donor response is high, we suggested that they insert an index card into a holiday mailing stating: “I suppo...

Please reload