Tom Ahern

About Tom Ahern

Author of four books, Tom Ahern is considered one of the world’s top authorities on donor communications.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant’s 7 Principles of Donor Loyalty

Dr. Adrian Sargeant is a marketing professor specializing in charities. In his groundbreaking research, he uncovered 7 chief reasons why donors will sometimes stay with a charity for years. Most new donors don’t stay, you know. Somewhere between 70% to 80% of first-time donors NEVER make a second gift, multiple [...]

By |2019-06-20T10:25:53-04:00April 8th, 2014|Donor Retention|

Are You a Fundraiser or a Funds-depleter?

Basing your metrics on acquisition is like trying to bail a boat with a sieve. You work hard, but you still sink. Let’s review the basic math behind direct mail acquisition. I’ll use Alan Sharpe’s numbers, since I happen to have his book, Mail Superiority, handy. […]

By |2017-06-10T19:42:29-04:00February 20th, 2014|Fundraising|

Follow The Domain Formula For Donor Newsletters

In the 1990s, a Seattle fundraising shop called the Domain Group took the garden-variety donor newsletter, stripped it down to its components, and began testing  to see if they could come up with something better. Sort of like rebuilding a hot rod. Domain eventually developed a formula that made a [...]

By |2017-06-10T19:43:19-04:00February 12th, 2014|Donor Communications|

Why We Put A Lot Of Charity In Our Will

Is your charity all wrong … about donor motivations? “Simone and I are major legacy donors to our local community foundation,” I stated. For the record, that would be the Rhode Island Foundation. It was 9 AM. The coffee was fresh. The croissants were fragrant. […]

By |2017-06-10T19:43:59-04:00February 6th, 2014|Philanthropy|

Which Is Your Next Priority: Younger Donors or Boomers?

Heed these words, from a recent For Impact blog posting: “The best time to plant trees was 20 years ago. The next best time is NOW.” This bracing slap, from one of fundraising’s most fervent and useful blogs, refers to the marketing of charitable bequests and other planned gifts. Had your [...]

By |2017-06-10T19:44:31-04:00January 30th, 2014|Fundraising|