Direct Fundraising Tips - By Scott Swedenburg

Spring Showers 

Value of a Donor 

In the movie Tombstone, Val Kilmer plays the role of Doc Holiday, a man who’s very hard to like. Toward the end of the movie, Cowboy Jack asks Doc why he’s risking his life to help Wyatt Earp. 

The conversation goes like this:           

Cowboy Jack:

Why are you here, Doc?

Doc Holiday:

Wyatt’s my friend.

Cowboy Jack:

Heck, I’ve got lots of friends.

Doc Holiday:

Well, I don’t.

 Cowboy Jack took his friends for granted. Doc Holiday valued every friend he had. 

These are challenging times. Acquiring new donors is becoming harder and harder. Take Doc’s advice – value every donor.  

I’d hate to see your organization on Boot Hill. 

Sync Up 

Harry Potter will always outsell a reference book. Your better fundraisers have long known that telling stories works much better than stating facts. We are moved by stories to take action – buy a product, get in shape, and most importantly donate money.


Why? The answer is neural coupling. And no, I’m not promoting a new online dating service.


Stories allow our brains to sync up. Studies show that stories help the brain of the listener to connect with the brain of the speaker. 


Do your donors need a little neural coupling? Tell them a story. 

Loops or No Loops 

Which is better - serif or san serifResearch suggests the loops win. When presenting facts to students in 12-point Bodoni font versus 16-point Arial, they recalled 87% of the facts in Bodoni compared to 73% of the facts in Arial.  

  1. Bodoni                                                Arial 

The researchers also tested other serif and san serif fonts only to find the same results. Why? They believe people remember more when have to slow down to read something. The less legible font caused them to read more carefully. 

 You can always take this to an extreme, but next time you’re writing a letter or designing copy on your website. Pick a serif. 

Loops do look good. 


I’ll be at the Association of Gospel Rescue Mission’s annual conference in Orlando this May. Will I see you? 

Also, you can hear me speak at the Alabama AFP meeting June 11th. Love for you to join us.  

Looking for an entertaining, engaging speaker on Fundraising Trends, Investing in Your Donors? Call Zig Ziglar. If he’s busy, call Scott Swedenburg at 205-949-2451. 

For information on having me speak or ordering copies of my book, Lessons From a Mama’s Boy, please call, e-mail or visit my website 

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