Raising Money with No Heavy Lifting! | npENGAGE

Raising Money with No Heavy Lifting!

By on Apr 19, 2011


I just read an attention-grabbing article extolling a new print service called Read Smart by Production Solutions and it piqued my interest – maybe it really piqued my brain.  Read on to find out how that might have happened.  ReadSmart, they say, is the result of over 20 years of research examining how messages are transmitted to the brain and how to best format message text to achieve maximum effectiveness.

To test the research’s findings, Production Solutions worked with the National Wildlife Federation, to test their new technology in a recent donor appeal mailing.  The results:  response rate increased by 9.67%, average gift increased by 4.2% and net revenue increased by 26 %.  All that from changing the text format?  Curious to learn, or should I say, “see” more?   You can read the full article and see an example of how their service makes small variations to the widths of the letters and spaces, and to the line endings.  They claim that these minuscule adjustments improve eye movements and word perception to optimize the overall message.  Frankly, I think they may be onto something.

*Katherine Swank is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may contact her at katherine.swank@blackbaud.com.


Katherine Swank, JD, senior consultant at Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company, helps nonprofits apply statistical analytics and donor research to their fundraising efforts with an emphasis on planned gifts. She has raised nearly $250 million for mission funding during her nonprofit development career. Katherine is a retired affiliate faculty member of Regis University’s master of Global Nonprofit Management degree program, where she taught courses on wealth and philanthropy.  Along with writing for publications like Advancing Philanthropy and Philanthropy Journal, she is also a frequent presenter for industry conferences such as NACGP, AFP, APRA, and bbcon. Having grown up in a tourist destination in Colorado, Katherine has become an avid world traveler and is exploring her way through the 1,000 places to see before you die, albeit slowly.  Connect with her on Twitter @KatherineSwank.

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