It was grey-blue, a bit shiny and about the size of a small doll. Robbie the Robot was my brother’s Christmas present. I loved it at first sight. It made noises and when you wound it up, it would ‘walk’ – more like a ‘jerky slide’, really.


Since that day, half a century ago, I’ve loved robots and have dreamed of having at least one in my life. So this year, I’ve backed a Kickstarter project and bought two robots for Christmas. I’ve (ostensibly) bought one for my husband and the other for myself. He might get to use one :).

Asimo the humanoid robot created by Honda who has been my desk buddy for years, watch the small wind up version walk in slo mo.


They don’t clean house

When I tell friends about my robots, they all immediately ask: “What can they do, can they clean the house?”

Well, no – they don’t clean house. But you can buy a Dyson robotic vacuum cleaner, which does a pretty good job vacuuming the floors. If that’s what you care about and are prepared to spend an anticipated $3,000 when they are on sale in Australia and New Zealand, the Dyson gets floors clean.

What my robots can do is recognise faces, understand natural speech, they can record and play back sound, they can avoid obstacles, they can learn a floor plan, and they can develop a path of travel.

How big

The second thing my friends ask is: “How big are they?”

They are small – about the size of a basketball or a small dog. No, they don’t look human. They don’t have a ‘head’ as such but a flat surface. I can say to it (supposedly, we’ll find out for sure in May 2017 if this is the case): “Take this to Graeme in the study”.

What do you call them?

My robots (no we haven’t named them yet) will then locomote to the study and – recognising Graeme’s face – ‘stand’ in front of him while he takes the beer I’ve sent him. If Graeme sends back a message, my robot will record it and play it back to me when it returns.

How much?

The fourth question my friends ask (as above, the third being: “Do they have names?”), is “what did they cost”. They cost me $450 for the two – delivered to Sydney. That’s converted from US$ and is an ‘early backer’ price. They will retail around $500 each – if they ever get that far and the project goes well.

The fifth question I get asked is: “Can they pick things up?” No, they can’t but they can carry to and from a path of travel. “Take this to Mum”, is something they can achieve (they have to learn that ‘Mum’ is sometimes called ‘Maureen’ and they can learn what ‘Mum’ and ‘Maureen’ look like and that they are the same person).

Fetch and carry

“Get me a glass of water” – involving getting a glass out of the cupboard, turning on a tap, filling the glass with water and taking it to a person – is not something they can do. For that level of robotic sophistication, you have to have a robot from Boston Dynamics – the maker of my very favourite robot of all Big Dog (and Small Dog or as they call it Spot Mini).

Reasonable adjustments

And just like for people with disabilities, we are having to make reasonable adjustments for our robots. We will be installing at least one ramp at our apartment so it can go in and out of the door to the balcony (I’m sure Graeme will want a beer on the balcony over Christmas).

We will also have to ensure that the path of travel is clear – no present wrapping or ribbons lying around. We will also have to speak clearly and distinctly, so the robots can understand us (think Siri on steroids).

I’m dreaming of a Christmas with robots. What would you like on your robot Christmas list?

My top 10 robots

1 Big Dog All terrain robot, heavy haulage $10 million
2 SpotMini Washes dishes Not known but has cost at least $3 million so far
3 Dyson robotic vacuum cleaner Vacuums floors Likely to be around $2000-$3000 in Australia
4 iRobot Looj Gutter cleaner $209 online
5 Polaris Pool cleaner About $800
6 Litter-Robot Self-cleaning cat litter box $895 in Australia
7 e-Vigilante Replaces internal security guards Around $8 an hour (lease), so I’m guessing ‘super expensive’
8 Hobot 188 Window cleaner $350
9 Tech Line L60 B Robotic lawn mower $1800
10 Braava Jet Floor washer $350


Donald Trump’s recent ascent to the White House caused shock waves of disbelief around the world. Over in New Zealand, another unlikely aspiring politician also caused a stir — albeit on a much smaller scale – by placing third in the race to replace Len Brown as mayor of Auckland.

The politician in question is Chloe Swarbrick. If the name is unfamiliar, you may be curious about her background. Well, she’s not a seasoned local-body politician, a well-known businesswoman, or a celebrity.

Chloe Swarbrick is, in fact, a precocious 22-year-old who, up until October’s elections, no one had heard of.

Now, to you, third place may not sound all that impressive. However, consider this: Chloe collected around 5,000 more votes than the previous election’s main contender and one-time reality-TV personality John Palino. The two who finished ahead of her were ex-Labour Party leader Phil Goff (he won the mayoralty) and ex-Xero managing director Vic Crone.

She’s got to be rich

Perhaps surprisingly, Chloe didn’t have a bottomless ‘war chest’ to draw from – she had about NZ$9,000. As a result, her face was absent from the thousands of billboards that littered Auckland’s streets – billboards that were much too expensive. And, predictably, mainstream media showed little interest in her.

So, how did she do it?

While everyone else used the dusty old strategy of putting up billboards and posting pamphlets – which most of us never read – Chloe took a 21st century approach.

You see, by day, Chloe is a social media strategist. So, knowing too well that traditional media would gobble up her funds before she had a chance to say ‘down with Len Brown’, Chloe stuck to what she knows.

Social media lets me, as it does with all candidates, create my own content. What social media and the internet did was democratise informationpeople can ask questions and get answers in real time,” Chloe told the New Zealand Herald.

Five social media tips

Of course, just being on social media isn’t enough. To be successful, you must:

  1. Add value – don’t create content for the sake of it. Make sure what you produce is informative and answers your audiences’ questions.
  2. Be relevant – stay on message. Being an expert baker doesn’t mean that talking about chocolate cakes will help your cause.
  3. Choose the right medium – what type of content does your audience prefer? Chloe made a lot of videos; however, you could write blogs, create memes or run competitions.
  4. Be consistent – set a publishing schedule and stick to it. This shows you are active and keeps audiences engaged.
  5. Be responsive – one wonderful thing about social media is that it enables you to engage with your audience in real time. So, be around for the conversation; when people comment, make sure you respond.

What can we learn from Chloe?

Most of us hold no political ambition. However, if you are reading this post, you probably run a business or a not-for-profit organisation. To achieve your goals, you need to reach out to your target customers or donors.

Before social media, ‘reaching out’ usually meant buying expensive advertising – something that is much easier for big organisations.

Incidentally, during the recent US election, as of late October, Hillary Clinton spent US$141.7 million on advertising; Donald Trump, on the other hand, spent just US$58.8 million.

What Chloe’s campaign demonstrates is that social media evens out the odds – ‘David really can challenge Goliath.’

It was a summer battle – poppies instead of mud, although the trenches were flooded. About 900 people live in Fromelles today where, between the 19th and 20th July 1916, nearly 8,500 men were killed, wounded or missing – 5,533 Australians. These are as many as the total of Australian casualties in the Boer War, Korean War and Vietnam War put together, many straight from Gallipoli and 1,547 British soldiers – fighting a Bavarian division that included a 27-year-old corporal, a house painter in civilian life, called Adolf Hitler.


Brigadier General ‘Pompey’ Elliott called it a ‘tactical abortion’ and tried to have the attack cancelled, but it was only delayed. A surviving officer later wrote that he would ‘always have before my eyes the picture of ‘Pompey’… the morning after Fromelles, tears streaming down his face, shaking hands with the pitiful remnant of his brigade.’


It was a feint and a failure, concealed for years and had no impact on the Somme offensive although it was fought to stop German troops from reaching the Battle of the Somme, 50 miles to the south. The same ground had been fought over a year earlier with 11,000 British casualties.


The Germans buried the dead Australian and British soldiers behind their lines, but it was so overgrown that no one could find the burial ground after the War. However an amateur historian and art teacher from Melbourne, Lambis Englezos, was convinced he could find out what had happened there and he researched and lobbied the government until, in 2008, eight mass graves were found next to Pheasant Wood.


The bodies were exhumed the following year and in 2010 Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Cemetery, designed by Barry Edwards, was dedicated. This was the first war cemetery to be built by the War Graves Commission in 50 years. There the machine-gunned remains of 250 patriotic soldiers lie in dignity and 144 Australians now have a name.


Gerard Delannoy, now nearly 80, stops every day at the grave of 16-year-old Cecil Morgan, picturing him and imagining his own son in the slaughter. He meets and makes friends with visiting Australians and takes them home for lunch. He has just sent me the program of a concert held last night in a neighbouring village where the choir sang Advance Australia Fair, Botany Bay and By the Boab Tree.


Monsieur Delannoy has visited Australia twice himself and he told me about Martial Delebarre, OAM, a foundation member and President of the Souvenir de la Bataille de Fromelles 19/20 Juillet 1916. Delebarre’s grandfather fought at Verdun and when he was growing up used to play in the fields and bring home such a quantity of shrapnel and shells that he was nicknamed the ‘Fieldmouse’. His family has lived in the area since the 14th century and he set up the first museum in the Town Hall, until the publicly funded museum, where even the trenches and no man’s land have been recreated, opened in 2014.


In the centre of the Memorial Park stands Peter Corlett’s sculpture ‘Cobbers’, based on Sergeant Simon Fraser and dedicated to the compassion and courage of the men who fought and fell. A replica can be seen in Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.


Every morning the village school, called ‘l’Ecole des Cobbers’, rings a Freedom Bell cast in Australia in memory of the 5th Division soldiers. The school also has two clocks, one showing the time in France and the other in Melbourne plus a kangaroo weather vane. There are poppies painted on letterboxes all over town and the Australian flag flies by the side of the French flag.


This year, as part of the Centenary Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme, the Birralee Choir sang while volunteers helped with 5000 Australian charity poppies. There was also an overwhelmingly poignant and moving installation of 26,500 hand-knitted poppies by sustainable landscape garden designer Phillip Johnson.


There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever Australia.


So, you feel like you’ve nailed your brand’s tone of voice. And you’re on board with content marketing, too — you know that by creating and sharing content that’s valuable to your audience, you can draw people to your business or organisation. Ultimately, that means you’re better positioned to meet your goals.

But, where does all that content come from? Whether you’re maintaining your company’s blog and social media or producing more in-depth content to share, it’s easy to feel stuck. Or overwhelmed. Or constantly behind. Or a bit of all three.

That’s where an editorial calendar comes in. (Queue the epiphany-moment music…)

How an editorial calendar can help your organisation

With an editorial calendar, you’re less likely to find yourself scrambling at 4 pm on a Friday for a Facebook-post topic to get scheduled for the weekend. And you’re probably less likely to decide to just share another pic of a LOLcat… though we have nothing against that. (Seriously, we share plenty of cat pics around here.)

With an editorial calendar in place, you’ll be able to:

  • Plan ahead (and get ahead by writing and scheduling content such as blog posts and social media posts in advance)
  • Improve delegation — with content buckets determined, you can recruit the right people within your organisation to create content (again, ahead of time)
  • Stay organised and save time – need we say more?
  • Be more strategic – with your bread and butter content created in advance, you’ll have improved ability to pivot content when relevant, timely opportunities come up
  • Engage your audience more consistently, driving better engagement over time.

Tips for building an editorial calendar

Crafting a long-term schedule for content can feel a bit daunting, so start small. Rather than tackling the entire year, start by building a schedule for the month. Then you and your team can assess what worked, what didn’t and go from there.

Your editorial calendar will tie in to your overall content marketing strategy and goals. So you should already have a clear idea of whom you’re talking to, what channels you’re using and how frequently you’re sharing content.

Then you’re ready to start determining what your actual content will be about. Here are a few different content directions to leverage as you get started:

  • Your brand pillars — start with the basic foundations of your brand. Use your core messages as content buckets. For instance, if caring for the community is one of your brand pillars, then you may highlight a story on social media once a week that shows your organisation working side-by-side with people locally.
  • Milestone events, celebrations, relevant holidays, conferences, etc. – does your organisation have a major anniversary coming up? Or is there a commemoration such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month that relates to what you do? Use those opportunities to come up with some timely content.
  • Evergreen content – what topics are always relevant to your target audience? Brainstorm ideas based on knowledge your organisation has (that your audience needs). These are topics that you can leverage any time of year, especially when there’s a hole to fill in your editorial calendar.

Depending on your audience and the channels you’re using, you might also throw some light-hearted topics into your editorial calendar. Maybe #ThrowbackThursday gives you a great opportunity to show your brand or organisation’s history in a fun way. Or perhaps a LOLcat is exactly what your target audience needs on a Friday afternoon. Plug those content buckets into your editorial calendar too. In addition to making life easier on you since you’ll know what content is coming up, your audience will start to look forward to those regular posts too.

One more thing

An editorial calendar can make a world of difference for anyone with content-creation goals. Are you a single-person business with a blog that’s just getting off the ground? An editorial calendar can help. A non-profit organisation with a large donor base and successful content already? An editorial calendar will work for you too. Or a B2B company aiming to improve brand awareness? Yep, you guessed it — get calendaring!



People enjoy humour, it’s part of the human psyche. The desire to laugh and be happy are shown to improve productivity, success and lifespan. Also it is widely agreed that laughing is part of human bonding. With this information in mind wouldn’t it make sense to employ humour in your content to improve it and gain appeal, creating a bond with your audience.


The simplest way to do this is through puns. One of the best wordsmiths in the world so far, William Shakespeare, was incredible at this.  Many people are capitalizing on this – I mean we all do don’t we? People consume humorous content all the time – this can be seen through the popularity of Buzzfeed and The Onion.


My personal favourite punny content is a webshow called ‘Whine About It’: a show in which Matt, the host, gets drunk drinking wine at his desk and whines about things. It’s a perfect mix for me – humour and complaining. Upwards and onwards, here are five steps for you to include satire, hilarity and cleverness in your writing to engage your readers and consumers.


  1. Be Clever

Consider your choice of words carefully and think about how they sound and how they play together. For example, at The Copy Collective we are always trying to make our social media more engaging. “A gift from a grateful client, heads up Dominique greatly enjoys grapes of the red variety, Maureen’s muse is more of the Moët kind” was a post we put up recently with an image of wine from a client. Something as simple as alliteration can take an ordinary sentence and make it magical.


  1. Be Comparative

When talking about a story or explaining something, compare it to something that’s completely different i.e., an oxymoron. To quote Oscar Wilde, “I can resist everything but temptation” or Andy Warhol, “I am a deeply superficial person”. The simplicity of an oxymoron can really boost any content in both how clever it is and its humour.


  1. Be Silly

In my experience some of the best jokes are my worst jokes, although my friends may not agree with this, obviously they’re wrong. Making people groan is just as satisfying as making people giggle. For example, every opportunity I have to say, “Hi hungry, I’m Rachel” I will. It’s just like with media; there’s no such thing as bad press, all press is good. The same goes for puns.


  1. Be cautious

It’s all well and good to throw in an odd joke here and there but you will upset readers when every single thing they read is a joke. They’ll stop taking you seriously and the comedy will lose its value. Be strategic, hit them when they don’t know it’s coming and make it good.


  1. Have Fun

Isn’t that the point of comedy, to have fun, enjoy yourself, and make people laugh? So be funny in your writing, be clever and most of all be creative.


I’ll leave you with this:  A person walks into a bookstore, “Where’s the self-help section?” they ask the clerk. The clerk shrugs and replies, “If I tell you, won’t that defeat the purpose?” – Anonymous


Other blogs of hers can be found here and here.

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. We fast and pray, atone and repent. For many Jewish people it is the one day of the year when we actually do take part in a religious ritual.

We reaffirm being Jewish by attending synagogue, irrespective of our depth of religious adherence and regardless of our level of commitment to actual fasting or atonement. It is a day when one does think about being Jewish and about being part of a wider community with a shared cultural history.


As a child, it was a grim and moving day for me. When my parents had died when I was a teenager and otherwise non-observant, the prayers for the dead became something I could do for them – respect, a link.


Fasting is from sunset to nightfall the following day: no eating or drinking or smoking or driving unless you are ill or travelling. At least those were the rules in my family – I have since come across other, much stricter, ones.


Yitzkor is ‘remember’ in Hebrew and there is a special memorial service on the Day of Atonement, asking God to remember our dead parents, relatives and friends. You leave the synagogue for this and wait outside unless one of your parents is dead.


In the evening comes Kol Nidre, which means ‘all vows’ and dates from the Spanish Inquisition. It starts with very lovely music, sung or played, one of the most beautiful versions being by Pablo Casals in 1923.


A friend says that when he was young his father thought he should take him to a Yom Kippur service. He found it very boring and kept tugging at his father’s sleeve, hoping to get away and when they finally sneaked out and started walking home, much relieved to be free again, they suddenly saw their bus approaching. His father looked guilty, looked around and said,  “Hop on quickly!” So they rode home instead of walking and never gave it another thought!


When I came to live in Southwest France, leaving Hong Kong and the Ohel Leah Synagogue far away, I observed Yom Kippur by fasting, but no more. However, the most heart-warming, soul-stirring Day of Atonement I’ve ever spent was here when Judy Cassab and her younger son, Peter Kampfner, came from Sydney to stay. As well as being one of the greatest portrait painters of the twentieth century, a fine pianist and an important diarist.

Judy, who grew up in Beregszasz with my mother, was the most outstanding, inspirational person I have ever met, full of benevolence, generous common sense and open-mindedness, just the same person in London and Sydney as she was in Budapest and Condom.

It was a joy to drive her around the countryside with her sketchpad, stopping whenever something tugged at her imagination. And, on a more worldly level, she bought lots of sexy underwear and it’s the only time I’ve ever broken the fast with foie gras!


But then that is the basis of all the major Jewish holidays – they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!

“All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.” – Plato

Sounds pretty good! But with the increasing demands of today’s job descriptions, people are multitasking more than ever before.

Technology, used smartly, can give us a flying head start on our to-do lists. It can help us work smarter and concentrate on what’s important. It may be the ability to quickly collaborate with colleagues or programs that allow us to do creative work in completely new ways. We’re spoilt for choice, with new apps and platforms being constantly developed. But that choice can be overwhelming – which platforms should we pick?

Here are three essential apps: Evernote, Dropbox and IFTTT.


There are whole longform blogs about how writers have set systems up to make Evernote work for them, whether it’s writing a book, or organising… everything! It’s certainly a powerful app.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a notebook or notebook ‘stack’ for a project and drop in everything (including images, PDFs and lists) to keep all your ideas in one place.
  • Install Evernote’s powerful Web Clipper and instantly save articles you read online to the notebook of your choice.
  • Consider upgrading to a Premium subscription and be able to access all your notes and notebooks offline, on any device – handy if you are a fan of working on the plane.


For most people working in the cloud, Dropbox is a lifesaver. Its file-sharing and storage facilities are powerful and easy-to-use and its free account may well provide all the features you need.

Apart from storing and sharing, one of its handiest uses for people on-the-go is the ability to preview files – whether on computer or mobile. Say you’re emailed a Photoshop file to preview, but you don’t have the right program to open it. No problems – preview it in Dropbox. The same goes if you’re on a mobile device and you need to open a PDF or Word file.

Check out some of Dropbox’s other hidden features here.

Automate, automate, automate: IFTTT

When discussing the future of how we work, automation is a hot topic. From robots to simple formulas, everyone from Fortune-500 companies right through to freelance writers are looking for ways to maximise efficiency and cut time spent on simple tasks. And the time saved can be significant. McKinsey estimates that 10 – 15 per cent of a marketing executive’s time could be automated by adapting current technology.

Robots aside, who doesn’t want to shift some of the more repetitive, manual tasks off their plate and leave time for the more important, creative tasks?

Introducing, IFTTT. Wondering about the acronym? It’s an abbreviation of ‘If This Then That’. The free platform connects to hundreds of services to let you create conditional statements, or ‘recipes’, to automate tasks for you. You can use it in your browser, or in one of their apps.

For example, you might employ the powerful Evernote/IFTTT combo to automate publishing some of your blog posts. IFTTT syncs with several online publishing platforms – here are some examples:

Or maybe you want to keep track of your writing ideas? No problem – use IFTTT to automatically generate your very own content repository.

Dropbox also fares well with IFTTT. A favourite hack is being able to sync files between Dropbox and Evernote – handy if you prefer to work in your Evernote notebooks, but also need files in Dropbox to share with clients or an agency. Here are some other recipes worth checking out:

Evernote and Dropbox are powerful platforms. Using IFTTT to bring them together makes them even greater. And, used cleverly, they can help you escape from meddling with your to-do list when you need to focus on your occupation – taking a little inspiration from Plato.


For freelance copywriters, versatility is crucial. Like many freelancers, I’m often switching gears. On any given day, I may be writing pithy B2C web copy in the morning before drafting a long-form industry white paper or annual report in the afternoon.

Adaptability is essential in terms of writing for different formats and channels.

It’s also essential in terms of whom you write for.

Being versatile allows you to round out your freelance writing portfolio (and your job options). But if you’ve been working in the corporate or commercial space, how do you transition to writing for non-profit organisations? And vice versa?

You can write for both if you think about what corporate/commercial and non-profit communications have in common: It’s all about them (the target audience), not you (the organisation).

Focus on the benefit and impact, no matter who you’re writing for

We’ve all had a chat with that person — you know, the one who rambles entirely about themselves and never asks any questions. That self-centred focus is just as off-putting in communications as it is at a cocktail party.

Compelling writing for any client — corporate, consumer-facing, non-profit or otherwise — is audience focused.

For corporate and commercial writing, that means communicating the benefit. Instead of talking entirely about a new product or service offering, write about how it can help. What business problems will it help users solve? Or how will it make consumers’ lives easier?

Likewise, when writing for non-profit clients, emphasise the impact that your target audience can make (or already has). What fundamental issues does your target audience care about, and how can they make a difference? Go beyond talking about who the organisation is; focus on the outcomes and benefits through compelling storytelling.

Understand your target audience

Effective copywriting for any client reflects a deep understanding of the target audience (more on that to come in a later post).

If you’re looking to diversify your work as a freelance copywriter, realise that your experience in one sector can help you write for another. If you keep your audience in mind (and avoid that cocktail party sin of only talking about yourself), you can write anything.

A brand is more than a logo and signature style for communications. It’s also what people think about your organisation. In this way, a brand is alive. It’s constantly being recreated in real-time based on people’s perceptions.

For your organisation to succeed, you want to ensure that those perceptions align with your own beliefs about who you are and what you stand for.

Your brand voice plays a key role in achieving this. But how do you finesse your brand voice? And what is brand voice anyway?

Identifying your brand’s personality

Your tone of voice helps your brand become memorable, meaning that how you say something is just as important as what you say — and sometimes even more so.

But how do you make sure you’re consistently using an authentic and effective tone of voice?

Start by thinking about your brand voice as an extension of your organisation’s personality. If your brand were a person, how would you describe them? Humble and wise? Cheeky? Direct? Friendly and approachable? Compassionate?

Establishing personality traits helps you set parameters. If confidence is one of your company’s main traits, then your tone of voice may be bold, assertive and direct. If you consider your organisation to be visionary, then your tone may be uplifting and aspirational. A bit lofty even.

Guiding questions for refining your brand voice

Clearly personality and tone go hand in hand. But there are other factors to consider as well.

As you continue to refine your brand voice, here are some guiding questions to consider:

  • What type of language will resonate with your key audiences? Casual language, including slang? Or more formal language?
  • How do personality and tone impact the cadence of your written communications? Are sentence fragments ok to use? Or are you more academic?
  • Are you conversational in your content, using ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘you’, for example? Or do you strictly write about your organisation in the third person?
  • Do you use contractions in written communications? (This links back to your target audience as well as the level of formality you’re aiming for.)
  • How do you/your employees naturally speak about your organisation? How can this organic approach be captured in your written communications?

Making your organisation distinct through your unique brand voice

Finessing your brand voice means delving deeper than questions of style, such as punctuation preferences. It’s about communicating in a way that helps you effectively connect with your target audience and stand out from the crowd at the same time.

The (infamous) 8.55am cattle bell rung in the final day of the annual F&P conference. Here are just a few of the day’s highlights.


  • Only 1 in 9 bequestors will actually tell you they’re leaving a gift in their Will to your charity. (Leah Eustace) 
  • The single most important indicator that someone will leave a gift in their Will? Childlessness. (Leah Eustace)
  • Include a tick box for bequests on appeal donation forms – for Guide Dogs SA/NT it generates about 100 bequest leads per year, about half that of a supporter survey. (Andrew Sabatino) 
  • Australian charities aren’t investing enough in bequests – for every $1 spent, $15 is generated. (Martin Paul) 


  • Recruit a digital fundraiser to your team, one who can develop and design.
  • Test rigorously and continuously (for digital fundraising). Médecins Sans Frontières has done this and discovered that:
    • Tuesday is a much better day to email than Thursday.
    • One word subject lines get much better open rates and response rates than two or more words.
    • Direct mail tactics do translate to digital. For example, a ‘hard ask’ will generate a lot more income than a ‘soft ask’.
    • Using a green ‘donate’ button generated significantly more income than a red donate button.
    • Video (especially a good video) will get more hits, and more engagement
    • Quiz in email generated much higher revenue than an email without the quiz, particularly among less engaged supporters.
    • Display ad tests generated almost 4 x as much income (over $400K) using website retargeting than prospecting in a 50/50 split test.
    • Pop-up web ads increase income, especially when you have a tangible deadline e.g. tax.

Bonus: Charities aren’t ‘not for profits’. They’re ‘profit for purpose’ – Martin Paul. 

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