There are a lot of great fundraising blogs out there (including ours), but one of our favourites is The Agitator. If you follow their blog you might have already seen their post on monthly giving earlier this week, but if not you can click the link below to read the post and watch my video on monthly giving:

If you're interested in purchasing Hidden Gold, featuring monthly giving lessons from around the world you can click here:

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As you might know, Harvey has been working in fundraising for quite some time. He’s helped many of Canada’s largest charities grow their fundraising programs. And the other day I was looking through some old materials and came across a few videos that Harvey helped to produce way back when. Much of the advice presented is still very valid today so I thought I’d share a few clips of Harvey’s from when he was a few years younger…
First, on donor surveys

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Needed: An Account Manager who wants to change the world

If you are passionate about helping great charities raise donations – and you are a fantastic direct response project manager - we’d love you to come and work for us. We are looking for a maternity leave cover, but – should the stars align – we hope that this will transition into a long-term affair. 

About us

HMA is one of Canada’s leading direct response fundraising companies. We use our skills and our passion to help charities across the country build their income and continue their important work. Our clients include Ecojustice, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Amnesty International, Oxfam, hospital foundations from coast to coast, and dozens of other organizations working hard for people, animals, and the environment.

You and your role

As an Account Manager (or Senior Account Manager), you will play a key role in our client services team.

You’ll be responsible for executing first-class direct response fundraising programs for a variety of charities across multiple channels. A critical part of your role is to manage the mailings and online initiatives that fulfill each client’s direct response strategy. This includes daily communication with your clients, working with our designers and copywriters to produce great creative, and working closely with our Production Team.

You bring with you at least 3-5 years of direct marketing experience, with extensive knowledge of direct mail. Fundraising experience is a definite asset, but if you don’t have it - let’s talk anyway.

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Although we aren’t quite at the half way point of the year, many organizations have already started to plan their holiday campaigns. We’ve certainly started with some of our clients, particularly as building a highly integrated campaign becomes ever more important.

In building an integrated campaign you have to think mobile first. More than 50% of e-mails are now opened on mobile devices, and increasingly donors are making donations through mobile devices. Last year, 14% of online donations were made via mobile devices**. That was an increase of 45% over the previous year. If we see the same increase this year that will mean that more than 20% of online donations will be made via mobile devices.

If your website and donation form aren’t already optimized for mobile, now is the time to do that to ensure you’re ready for the holiday season. Even if you’re not running digital campaigns, having a digital presence (which is mobile optimized) is essential as donors from other channels (especially DM) will make their donations online for the convenience that it offers. 


**Information from npEngage / Blackbaud's Online Express

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As consumers, we see as many as 5,000 advertisements per day. This means that your charity is not just competing against other similar charities, but also every for-profit company that is marketing to get consumers to purchase their product.

This means there is a lot of competition, particularly online, as organizations compete to drive consumers/donors to their website. This includes Google (and Google AdWords), banner ads, Facebook ads, and a host of other online possibilities. So how do you get your donors to click through to your website, giving you the chance of getting a donation?

Well, you have to be clear in what you want them to do. I was recently at a marketing conference, and one of the presenters showed data mined from 1000’s of landing pages to show what worked the best. Yes, it was from the commercial world, but we can still apply it to non-profits.

One of the things I found most interesting is the data showed that when you used the word ‘Click’ on a landing page, actually clicks increased by 48%. When changed to ‘Click Here’ clicks increased a further 13%, making ‘Click here’ 66% more effective than not including a mention of a click. Given the size of the test, this is pretty compelling information, and something you should strongly keep in mind for your non-profit.

Another interesting finding from the session was in regards to the use of the word ‘now’. Adding now to a link (download now, get started now, etc.) increased clicks from between 8% - 20% versus not including a mention of the word ‘now’. You’ll likely find similar results by using ‘Donate Now’ rather than just ‘Donate’.

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As you may know I spent a lot of last year volunteering on the federal election. The below PDF will show you how I spent my time. We waited to publish this analysis/summary so we could see what we could glean from the recently released Elections Canada data.

While it was a complicated election campaign with many players and it's hard to say exactly what influenced voters, we’re pretty certain that our ABC Veterans campaign--which was primarily done through online and social media--had a significant impact on the election results. Here’s a few of the quick facts:
  • Conservative support dropped 15% in military base ridings. Double the national loss.
  • Our campaign got national media attention from publications including CBC News, the National Post, and The Globe and Mail.
  • 11.4 million Canadians were reached through our Facebook ads and posts
  • In the final 10 days before the election, 1.7 million Canadians watched our videos
And it was fun! With, of course, a happy ending – Stephen Harper is no longer running our country.

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I’m nearly certain that you’d agree with me that strong time management skills are key for busy, multi-hat wearing fundraisers.

Every fundraiser I know has their set of time management tricks. Outlook reminders. Highlighters. Multi-coloured pens. The “mark as unread” option (a personal favourite of mine). To name a few.

I’m sure your tricks are top-notch. But in case you’re looking for something new to add to your tool belt, I have one you may find useful.

And get this! A friend of mine who has also been using it for years told me that members of her executive fundraising team are starting to use it. So we must be on to something.

It’s a very simple “5-day week” calendar:

That’s right. No fancy app or smartphone here. (Although I do use my outlook calendar for managing my events, conference calls and appointments, etc.)

The printed “5-day week” calendar is meant solely for the list of tasks you need to complete.

Time management is a breeze with this simple tool. You just write down what you’re going to do on the space for when you’re going to do it.

You can even make note of that “report that you need to start three weeks from now” by flipping the pages to the page that will be three weeks from now.

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Harvey McKinnon Associates (HMA) is thrilled to announce that Tara Lepp, CFRE, has joined our team of direct response fundraisers.

With a wealth of experience in both non-profits and direct response agencies, Tara joins HMA as Senior Account Manager.

Tara says, “I’m excited to join Harvey, Lynne and the incredible team at HMA to enhance our clients’ fundraising programs. It is a pleasure to be working with Ecojustice, who is helping to protect Canada’s environment through the law and University Hospital Foundation to help their hospitals to provide the best possible care.”

Tara joins HMA after a seven year stint at Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, where she was responsible for the annual giving programs of six hospitals and a cancer centre. One of her crowning achievements during her time there was launching and running a staff lottery, raising over $700,000 from staff to support the hospital’s programs.

As a consultant, Tara also has a host of experience managing direct response programs for organizations like Greenpeace, Red Cross Lottery, and Interval House.

Besides her wisdom and knowledge about all things fundraising, we are inspired by Tara’s commitment to the sector. Tara serves on the Board of the AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter as Director of Education, overseeing all the education events.

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How many of your likes do you expect you’re reaching through your Facebook posts? 100%? 75%? 50%? The truth is that you’re likely only reaching 5-10% of your likes. Maybe 15% if you’re lucky. Why? Because this is exactly the way Facebook wants it.

They continue to refine their algorithm to ensure that the only way you can reach most of your supporters is through Facebook Advertising. Luckily though advertising on Facebook is still fairly inexpensive, and it’s something you should be testing for your charity.

There are three primary tools within Facebook advertising that you should be considering – Boosting your posts, increasing page likes, and sending people to your website. Each can be effective depending on what your purpose is.

Boosting a post (or multiple posts) is most effective for increasing your visibility and awareness. You can choose to boost your post to your likes (ensuring they all see it) or you can boost it beyond your own page, choosing demographic selections that work the best for you.

Increasing page likes is viable as an entry strategy if you eventually plan to boost posts to your likes. Just increasing your likes won’t do a lot of good on its own as you’ll only reach a small percentage of your actual likes. If one of the goals set out by your board is to increase the likes on Facebook this could be the tool for you.

Sending people to your website is most effective if you’re looking for donations. Be sure that if you are using this you send them to a page that clearly identifies your mission and provides an easy way to donate. Ideally this would already be part of your homepage, but if it’s not be sure you make the updates before testing.

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For those of you who may not be aware, a premium is a small gift that organizations will include in their direct mail fundraising appeals. If you are a donor you know all too well what these are all about. The cards, labels, note pads, pens, gift wrap, if you can fit it in a mailbox there is a chance you have received it. But do these flashy premiums work?

Fundraising is about building relationships with your donors, whether that is in person, telephone or through direct mail. Non-profits use premiums in direct mail to create new relationships and when you are offering something for free in an appeal the monetary response for the organization is often higher. This is why premiums are useful in prospecting for new donor. And the good news is that we have found that the long-term value for premium-acquired donors can be higher than that of a non-premium acquired donor.

The free gift helps increase your open rates and once inside donors feel compelled to read about your organization and your story. If you are able to encourage the donors to invest time into reading about your cause then the premium has done its job.

But you must also be careful when using premiums. In some cases donors may simply be making a gift based on guilt (for receiving the gift), rather than your case for support. You want donors to give because of a natural motivation, the emotion of the story you’re telling and your cause.  So what do you need to know?

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