2014….it’s been quite a year for our industry! CRA audits, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Canada Post changes - to name a few - have all caught our attention this year. 

At HMA, we are celebrating 2014. And we want to share some success stories from our lovely clients with you (look out clients, you may even spot your campaigns in here!).
Each of our Top 10 represents a different client. As you can see, their achievements are wide-ranging and inspiring.
Well done everyone for your hard work this year.
Merry Christmas and here’s to an even better New Year!
HMA Top 10 from 2014

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It’s flying through our mailboxes, blasting on our radio stations and spreading like wild fire on our social media sites. You guessed it! Your holiday fundraising campaign is here…

Each new holiday season we hear the growing concern “Are we doing too much?”, “Are we speaking to donors too many times over the holidays?” For a majority of charitable organizations, the holiday season is responsible for a large percentage of their annual revenues. Some even receive as much as 80% of their revenue in December alone.

Each year direct mail continues to take the cake for gift revenue but the growing popularity in online giving has become a bigger factor for many organizations in their annual holiday campaigns.

With a new willingness to try emails, social media adverts, hashtag campaigns and infographics the question of “When do we stop?” has become even more apparent.

The simple answer is don’t stop. And keep integrating. 

Here are a few things to think about:

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The results are in and Giving Tuesday 2014 was a resounding success! Gifts to charities participating in Giving Tuesday totalled nearly $46 million, an increase of 63% over last year. There were 32.7 million Twitter impressions, and nearly 700,000 hashtag mentions of #GivingTuesday. These are the worldwide numbers, and they’re likely to continue to increase as gifts continue to be processed.

HMA also had a hugely successful Giving Tuesday. We were able to help 15 small charities with all sorts of fundraising projects. Most of our team was in the office past 9:00pm doing as much as they could to help our new clients. The teamwork really was impressive to get so many projects completed in just a short time. From account managers, to the production team, and our digital and creative specialists, everyone came together to make it a huge success.

In the past few days we’ve received some very heartfelt messages from the organizations that we were able to help. We’ll try to share more about some of the specific projects that we worked on in the coming months as the organizations are able to execute the plans and projects that we helped them develop on Giving Tuesday.

And be sure to check back around this same time for details on Giving Tuesday 2015. If possible, we’ll try to expand our efforts to help even more organizations next year.


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While our Toronto office has already been hard at work for a few hours, we’re just getting ready to kick off HMA’s Giving Tuesday in Vancouver. There’s a buzz through the office as everyone is arriving. And we’re very excited to be giving back by providing our consulting services free of charge to 15 very deserving small non-profits.

Our new ‘clients’ stretch nearly 5,000 km from Vancouver to Labrador (and there’s even one down in the US). The projects that we’ll be delivering include digital fundraising strategies, year-end fundraising strategies, database audits, program audits, and direct response campaign development. We’re very excited to be giving back this way this #GivingTuesday and we hope that you’ll give back to your favourite charities too. Maybe even to one of the below ;)

Here’s the complete list of the charities we’re working with today:

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If you follow our blog you might remember seeing our past updates about the Oxfam Threads of Change campaign that HMA created back in 2012. I still remember piecing the quilts together and just being so humbled and inspired by all of the wonderful and heartfelt messages that were received. The campaign was a resounding success and it was just featured in SOFII’s I Wish I’d Thought of That show in London, England:

Click here to see the video -- and fast forward to 3:05 to see my big screen debut :)

The quilts have now been distributed around the world, and the response has been fantastic. Oxfam has continued to share updates with their donors as well, who have all been so proud to be part of Threads of Change. I’m so grateful to have been able to help make the quilts a reality and still regularly tell friends and family about the campaign.

If you’re interested in seeing our previous updates which include pictures of the quilts, please follow the links below:

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The results are in…

Earlier this year HMA and our wonderful clients at the IWK Foundation decided to test a new approach for the Foundation’s annual planned giving direct mail campaign.

The ultimate goal was to uncover many more new planned giving prospects.

HMA recommended a combination of HMA’s Legacy Spotlight – an innovative scoring system that helps identify the best legacy prospects within your database – and a refreshed, highly personalized and thoroughly researched legacy prospect survey package.

The results were fantastic!

By contacting the prospects who scored at the top of HMA’s Legacy Spotlight with their legacy survey package, the IWK Foundation saw a remarkable lift in results. Compared to the previous year survey responses doubled, donors requesting more information tripled and confirmed expectancies went up by 40%.

We’re thrilled for our friends at the IWK Foundation and look forward to the exceptional work they’ll continue to do thanks to their generous donors.

If you’re interested in learning how HMA can help your organization raise more money through legacy marketing, please get in touch with us through

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Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a national day of giving. HMA has always been committed to giving back through events like HMA’s Goodstock, and this year, HMA is giving back by providing more than 150 hours of free consulting to deserving non-profits. We’ll be pulling together our team of copywriters, designers, data analysts, and digital fundraising experts, and also teaming up with other suppliers from across the country to help as many charities as we can on December 2nd.

We will be providing our services to smaller charities (ideally with less than 10 employees) that are working with a smaller budget. If you’re a non-profit that fits into this category you're invited to submit a proposal to be part of HMA’s Giving Tuesday.

Your proposal should be a maximum of one-page which will provide the following:       

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Ok, I’m going to give you a chance here. A chance to be completely honest with yourself.

No excuses. No ifs. No buts.

Here we go…

☐ Do you know how many active monthly donors are giving to your organization right now?
☐ Do you know what their average monthly gift is?
☐ Can you tell me what your current attrition rate is from your monthly donors?
☐ Have you invested in your monthly giving program this year?

If you are now feeling a little embarrassed, a little panicked, that’s ok. You’re not alone. But it’s time to pay your best donors a little more attention.

Your monthly donors are among the most loyal, generous and responsive of your donors. When a donor converts from single gifts to monthly giving, their lifetime value can increase up to 30 times.

And once you convert a donor to a monthly donor, it’s very rare for them to stop giving. For DM acquired monthly donors we often see retention rates of 95% or higher, year over year.

So what can you do today?

  1. Start keeping track of your monthly donors. Include them in your weekly, monthly and annual reporting.
  2. Stay in contact with your monthly donors. Try newsletters, thank you phone calls and invites to appropriate events.
  3. Put aside some time to plan a monthly donor recruitment campaign.

And finally, I highly recommend you start reading and researching. Harvey’s Hidden Gold is an excellent resource.  It will be one of the best things you do.

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I was thrilled to attend a presentation by Drayton Bird yesterday. (Quiz Wikipedia if this name doesn’t ring a bell, but hopefully it does.).

Amongst many wisdoms and wisecracks, perhaps my favorite tip was this. Nothing matters in business except these three things:

a) getting more customers; b) keeping your customers; c) getting your customers to buy more.

The same is obviously true in fundraising. Is what I’m doing right now truly helping me recruit more donors? Is it helping me keep more donors? Is it convincing donors to give my organization more money?

I’d suggest that anything we’re spending much time on that isn’t doing one of these three things is probably time (and the generous donor-dollars which fund fundraisers’ time) wasted. For example: is one of those pantones you are making your designer agonize over truly going to recruit more donors than the other? (Colours do affect response, by the way, but not necessarily every different nuance of a colour).

Is that labour-intensive, low-yielding event you are staying up until 3AM organizing honestly going to raise more money from existing supporters than you could make in other ways?

Will the 45-page RFP you are writing right now really help you keep your donors? More so than a 5-page RFP would? I’m not trying to be facetious (not too facetious, anyway). Some of these things MIGHT help you recruit new donors, keep your current donors longer, and convince existing donors to give your wonderful cause more money. But I think it’s worth asking ourselves - daily. I’ll print these rules out and stick them above my desk today – join me?

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Our friends at Imagine Canada seeks clarification from CRTC about anti-spam and charities. Imagine Canada have received notice from CRTC, that there are inconsistencies between their interpretation of the exemption for commercial electronic messages sent by registered charities.

The CRTC has yet to issue official guidance on the exemption as it applies to charities and has indicated that a FAQ document pertaining to registered charities will be issued in the coming weeks. Imagine Canada have wrote to the CRTC asking to meet with them immediately to obtain clarification and guidance to assist charities.

Here is a link to the Imagine Canada email, we thank them for their diligence in reporting on this matter.






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