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Tom Ahern’s The 100% Fallacy: How Presumptions Murder Your Fundraising

June 19, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

I call this “my darkest show”. In fact, it’s a ridiculously valuable fundraiser’s “reality check,” intended to shine a spotlight on counter-lucrative opinions, often held by boards or bosses.

In this show, we look at actual (vs. fantastical) response rates. Exactly how many folks will respond to a first-time direct mail appeal? Then, how many of these first-time donors will make a second gift? And why do so many new donors leave so quickly? And what is the one metric I have to track, to measure accurately our organization’s fundraising success and improvements? (Hint: lifetime value; LTV.)

In this show, you’ll stare in the face:

…the general effectiveness of the Shiny New Things like online giving, crowd funding, peer-to-peer sponsorships, Facebook fundraising (some of these work great!).
…today’s trends and where they mislead.
…new, highest-level research and what it promises for ambitious fundraisers.
…how individual donors differ dramatically (surprise: it has nothing much to do with the donor’s wealth).
…how many years average donors actually stick with a charity. (Vomit bags will be provided.)
…how gifts in Wills will save your charity from closing 10 years from now.
…why we hunt younger donors … with poisoned arrows.
Audience/Target Market: Fundraisers of any experience level who are looking to better understand annual giving trends, what can help, and what can hurt your fundraising.

Guest Speaker: Tom Ahern

In November 2016, the New York Times called Tom Ahern “one of the country’s most sought-after creators of fund-raising messages.”

He specializes in applying the discoveries of psychological and neuroscience to the day-to-day business of attracting and retaining donors. He’s authored five well-received books on that topic, with two more in the pipeline. Each year, he trains thousands of fundraisers internationally through conferences and webinars.

He is an award-winning copywriter and journalist. Current and recent clients for direct mail, capital campaign case statements, audits and training include Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, the Anchorage Museum, Sharp Healthcare (nonprofit hospitals in San Diego), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (USA), Oxfam AU, the Gettysburg Foundation, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Lollypop Farm, Friends of the Mississippi River, Connecticut Forest and Park Association … and dozens more, large and tiny.

He works with Prof. Adrian Sargeant and psychologist Jen Shang, principals at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, Plymouth University (UK). Tom sits on HCSP’s advisory board. HCSP includes amongst its many outreach activities the world’s top fundraising think tank, Rogare (Latin: to ask).

Tom Ahern has a BA and MA from Brown University and a Certificate in Advertising Art from the RI School of Design. He lives with his wife, esteemed nonprofit consultant Simone Joyaux, in Rhode Island and France.

Cost: $20 for members; $35 for non-members



June 19, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm