Lessons from MotivateMonday | Creative Deviations Book Launch

May 18, 2022


Direct mail fundraising has always played a major role in the Simple Development Systems’ “Ask/Thank/Report/Repeat” model of building your solid individual giving program.

That’s why, when my friend, John Lepp of Agents for Good, asked me to take a look at his new book late last year, I was thrilled.

In typical John fashion, he was modest and self-deprecating. “I am turning the corner on the final edits (I hope) and wanted to know if you would like to get an early read of it and if you might be able to write a few words that I can use in the marketing of it or on the jacket?”

Agents of Good regularly produces some of the most memorable and engaging direct response fundraising on the planet.

And that’s because Lepp and his team take the time to not only know the nonprofit they’re working with but to understand the donor’s perspective as well. They give serious consideration to how they can truly deliver on “inspire and delight.” You will never find in their work the kind of derivative nonsense many US-based direct mail agencies fall back on.

You can see a sampling of their work right here on my website, including this memorable gratitude report, this lapsed donor letter, and this piece illustrating the power of nostalgia.

The book is called Creative Deviations, How you can infuse your story-telling, fundraising and direct response with more creativity and it’s available at Hilborn’s Civil Sector Press.

And, in John’s words, it’s “an anecdotal and thoughtful how-to guide to help you become more creative. It’s part graphic design, part design-thinking, part storytelling, part strategic thinking and part love note to you amazing humans who work so hard for your causes, your donors, your mission, and your desire to contribute and make positive change in our world.”

I find it difficult to actually express in words how invaluable I know this book will be to every direct response fundraiser. And that’s because it is so very unique. What I can tell you is that you’ll be thinking differently about every aspect of your next mailing. From your envelope to your letterhead to your stamp to your signature.

You can get a sampling of how small tweaks to your direct mail pack can make a big difference (and raise more money!) in John’s MotivateMonday session below.

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