July 14th - July 21st

Three ways to learn with us:
Attend Part 1 OR Parts 1 and 2 OR Two-Week E-Clinic

 Because each participant in the full e-clinic will get personal attention from Tom, we must limit the e-clinic training to only 12 participants. We expect it to fill up quickly, so register now to reserve your spot.

YOU can raise more with your direct mail appeal letter. 

Join us for Writing Direct Mail Appeal Letters with direct mail and fundraising expert Tom Ahern.


"This was an amazing program that will result in the best direct mail your organization has ever sent out. I loved all the examples, and the science behind everything like the eye motion studies and the stats." ~ Amber Woffindin, Make-A-Wish, Northern Alberta

With the right appeal, nonprofits of any size  -- including those mailing mere hundreds or thousands of pieces --  can raise tens of thousands of dollars through direct mail.

Direct mail appeals from local nonprofits, done right, can work wonders.

Nonprofits of any size can use direct mail to acquire new donors, to attract repeat gifts, and to promote bequests and monthly giving.

Yet charities often find their direct mail results deeply disappointing.  What are they doing wrong?

During this training, expert direct mail copywriter Tom Ahern will share his secrets for direct mail appeals that work, even for local nonprofits with relatively small mailing lists. Regardless of your nonprofit's size, you CAN write your direct mail in-house and succeed, and Tom will show you how.

TomAhern100Meet Tom Ahern

Tom Ahern is often described as "one of the world's leading authorities" on how to speak properly -- and profitably -- to donors. He's authored four well-received how-to books on donor communications, and delivers dozens of workshops internationally on the techniques of successful fundraising communications. A constant practitioner, Tom writes fundraising materials for some of America's leading nonprofits, constantly honing his specialties of donor newsletters, direct mail, and case statements.

"The metrics we're getting with local direct mail are way better in some cases than national campaigns achieve. So while the nationals might sniff at a $20,000 return net, they would drool over the locals' response rates and average gift sizes."  ~ Tom Ahern

Register for Part 1

Learn how to get started writing you own direct mail appeal letter in-house. 

  • Difference between acquisition and renewal letters
  • How to make your donors happy
  • Real world examples that work 


Registration includes:

  • 60 minute webinar
  • Access to recording for two weeks



(Have an All-Access Pass? All-Access Pass Holders can attend this webinar at no extra cost.) 


Register for Parts 1 and 2

In addition to everything you learn in Part 1, you'll also learn the science behind successful direct mail and the step-by-step process to inspiring your donors.

  • How to hook your reader in less than 3 seconds
  • Tips on how to get your reader to act
  • Master simplicity and focus
  • Direct mail appeal letter checklist 

Registration includes:

  • Registration for Part 1 [60-Minute Webinar]
  • Registration for Part 2 [60-Minute Webinar]
  • Access to recording for 2 weeks



Register for the Full E-Clinic

Learn everything you need to know about direct mail. You get both training webinars plus coaching calls with Tom Ahern


Registration Includes:

  • 5+ Hours of training and coaching
  • YOUR appeal letter evaluated by direct mail expert, Tom Ahern
  • Access to private Facebook Group with Tom and other students to get your specific questions answered
  • Unlimited access to all webinar recordings




What Development Staff Said after Taking This E-Clinic . . .

"Tom is engaging, entertaining and incredibly knowledgeable about donor communications and direct mail. He gives concrete examples and applicable tools so that even small and inexperienced organizations can make direct mail work." ~Jane Austin, AchieveMpls

"Great advice and many practical tips on how to write and administer effective direct mail appeal letters, including the difference in communicating with a current donor and a prospective donor. Tom Ahern also clarifies many of the counter-intuitive practices that can impact the success of your donor communications." ~Anne Bowhay, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

"This e-clinic is a great opportunity for hands-on, small group coaching and discussion. The best part was the direct feedback from Tom on my letter. I also loved the Facebook group - it's been helpful to hear about other folks' struggles and successes. Thanks! It was great!" ~ Kirsten Olson, Children & Families First

"This was an amazing program that will result in the best direct mail your organization has ever sent out. I loved all the examples, and the science behind everything like the eye motion studies and the stats." ~ Amber Woffindin, Make-A-Wish, Northern Alberta

"Eye opening! A must for anyone involved in Direct Mail. It will change the way to work in fundraising! You rock Tom!" ~Jessica Castillo, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

"The presentation provided current, quantifiable methods and messaging I believe will increase the effectiveness of my direct mail appeals.   I gained a lot of fresh insight and a number of new tools that I will definitely put to work for the organizations I serve."


More Details on This Program . . .


Which training option should you choose? That depends . . .  are you looking for a great introduction to direct mail appeals so you can start to have a conversation about what yours should look like? If so, Part 1 will work for you. 

Do you want to know everything about creating a successful appeal letter in-house? If so we recommend you attend both Parts 1 and 2.

Do you need to send your direct mail appeal in the near future? If so, we recommend the full e-clinic. You get the introductory webinar, plus the second more detailed training, PLUS Tom's feedback on your draft. (Because Tom reads your draft, provides personalized feedback, and answers your specific questions, we must limit the full e-clinic to just 12 participants.)


Option 1Webinar 1: Getting Started

Webinar registration for How They Did It: Direct Mail Success Stories 

Tom will share case studies where nonprofits -- including small ones -- used direct mail to attract shockingly wonderful amounts of philanthropy, emphasizing best practices along the way. (Live presentation via webinar on Tuesday, July 14, at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; recording available 24 hours later)

Register for Part 1


Option 2Webinar 2: How You Can Create a Successful Appeal Letter

You get the first webinar, How They Did It: Direct Mail Success Stories, and the second webinar,  How You Can Do It, Too: Writing Your Annual Appeal Letter. 

Tom will show you how direct mail really works (physically and emotionally), how to set achievable expectations, and how to write an appeal that engages the reader. (Live presentation via webinar on Wednesday, July 15th, at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; recording available 24 hours later)

Register for Parts 1 and 2

Option 3The Full E-Clinic

The e-clinic includes over five hours of training and personal coaching via webinars with Tom Ahern where you will learn how to write a great fundraising letter for your small nonprofit.  Every session will be recorded in case you can't make a session live, or want to go back over certain sections.

Register for E-Clinic

Expert Training: Two Webinars

You will attend both Part 1, How They Did It: Direct Mail Success Stories, and Part 2,  How You Can Do It, Too: Writing Your Annual Appeal Letter. 

Expert Advice: Three Coaching Sessions

Based on your schedule, you'll be assigned to one of three coaching webinars (July 17, 20, 21)). Prior to your assigned webinar, you'll have the opportunity to submit your draft appeal letter to Tom for his personal review.  During the coaching webinars, Tom will talk participants through what he thinks is working well in the letter, and where he suggests you make some changes.  You'll get direct feedback on your writing that you can use to make your appeal letter even stronger.

You are also invited to listen in on the other two coaching sessions, where you'll pick up tons of tips as you watch Tom provide feedback to others. All three sessions will be recorded, in case you want to review them later.

Group Discussion and Sharing

You'll also be invited to participate in a private Facebook group where you'll get additional bonus materials, while discussing your direct mail questions with Tom and the other participants. 

BONUS #1: Turning Your Direct Mail Letter into an Integrated Campaign

Tom and Nonprofit Marketing Guide President Kivi Leroux Miller will show you how to take your direct mail letter and draft email messages that go out before and after the direct mail piece, to increase both online and offline giving in an integrated campaign.

BONUS #2: Repurposing Your Letter into Social Media

You'll also learn how you can repurpose the hard work you've done on your direct mail letter into Facebook and Twitter updates.

Still Not Sure if the E-Clinic is the Way to Go?

This E-Clinic is Right for You if . . .

You are willing to try the proven approaches we'll share , even if they feel new or "too creative" to you.

You believe that anyone can be a good (even great!) direct mail writer with enough guidance and practice at the craft.

You have a direct mail list of at least 300 names, and don't use an outside direct mail firm.  This webinar is meant for organizations who write their own appeals.

You understand that by investing in your direct mail program now with your registration fee, your odds of raising significantly more money with this year's direct mail appeal go up.

Please Don't Register for This E-Clinic if . . .

You think direct mail is dead. (Sure, it's not performing as well as it once did, but it's still an incredibly powerful fundraising channel for most nonprofits -- when done right.)

You have significant problems with English grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. (This is not a remedial writing course, but a specialized writing clinic for nonprofit communications and fundraising professionals.)

You aren't prepared to invest at least eight hours into the e-clinic.  (We aren't working miracles here. You have to put in the time if you want the results. The training and coaching webinars are five hours, and you'll need to put in at least another three drafting your own letter -- not to mention participating in the discussion group.)

You are expecting form letters you can cut and paste. (While we'll share great examples, this isn't about giving you something to plagiarize.)

You outsource your direct mail appeal.

E-Clinic Only Has Room for 12 Nonprofits . . .

Because each participant will get personal attention from Tom, we must limit this e-clinic to only 12 participants. We expect it to fill up quickly, so register now to reserve your spot.

More Praise from Previous Participants . . .

"Thanks for the practical insights and examples of fundraising letters that work. I was actually jazzed to work on our letter!"

"I wanted to post a thank you to Tom & Kivi for the great webinar. Our direct mail piece did awesome! We spent about $1,900 on the whole campaign and we brought in about $9,500. This was our first direct mail piece with a database of donors with little to no history to it...thank you for offering this workshop for small nonprofits like ours." ~ Kim Castanenda - Executive Director, Foster a Dream

"Thank you so much, Tom and Kivi, for this workshop. I learned so much about the mechanics and keys that make successful direct mail letters. I am so pleased to have created a "perfect-ish" letter, (as Tom called it) thanks to your instruction. This is exactly the information I needed and it gave me so much confidence. The opportunity to be coached on your own writing is priceless. The bonus material is icing on the cake." ~ Lynda LeVan, Creative Discovery Museum

"Kivi and Tom, you are my heroes. You make writing direct mail so easy to understand. Thanks so much for showing us how to improve our annual letter. I'm so excited and don't feel as stressed because I've got evidence on my side. Signing up for the e-clinic was just the best of the best. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. Looking forward to good things — thanks to you both." ~ Andra Atteberry, Bella Vista Library

"To improve your direct mail results, this is a must!!" ~ Linda Tantawi, CJ Foundation for SIDS

Full E-Clinic Schedule*:

  • Training #1 – Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Training #2 – Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Coaching #1 – Friday, July 17, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Coaching #2 – Monday, July 20, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Coaching #3 – Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET

ALL sessions will be recorded so you can catch anything you missed.

Ready to Write Your Next Direct Mail Appeal with Confidence?

Reserving your spot in the e-clinic is easy. Simply register and pay your fee ($449 USD). We'll immediately send you an email with instructions for your next steps.

As with everything we do, your registration comes with a full money-back guarantee. If after attending the e-clinic, you decide it wasn’t worth the money, simply request a refund within 30 days and we’ll process it right away.


Interested in more of Tom's training? You should consider the Ahern Writing Academy for Fundraisers and become the ultimate fundraising copy writer!