Almost everything I know about fundraising I learned from Christmas carols

Angels We Have Heard on High


Excellent fundraisers are like angels singing out their wonderful news for the world to hear. They sing it sweetly and with gusto, because they know they’re changing the world. The other kind of fundraisers — the ones who mutter their message under their breath because they’re embarrassed to ask for money? They don’t do so well.


Anyway, the Archangel Gabriel is the patron saint of postal workers. So there’s a real connection.


Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly


It’s usually smart to deck your fundraising messages with boughs of holly or other corny holiday decorations this time of year. Really, you can hardly go wrong with holiday putz.


Frosty The Snowman


In this song, a pile of snow, a carrot, some pieces of coal and a hat are magically transformed into a living being. In fundraising, paper, ink, and postage stamps are magically transformed into good deeds. It’s just as magic! We should be just as thrilled as we would be by a walking, singing snowman (and considerably less creeped out).


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen


Never forget that as Christmas is to the gentlemen of the song, fundraising is “tidings of comfort and joy” to donors. They love to give. They want to be involved. You are your donors’ friend; it’s nothing to be dismayed about sending out fundraising messages.


O Come All Ye Faithful


No matter what your cause, it’s largely the Faithful — folks who practice their faith — who are showing up and supporting you. Work with that fact, and not against it, for best fundraising results.


Over The River And Through The Woods


A disproportionate number of our donors are older and female: Grandmothers. They are well worth going to great lengths over rivers and through woods to find, because they’ll be your most loyal supporters.


Santa Claus Is Coming To Town


According to this song, Santa has one heck of a database on his constituents’ behavior — with real-time information on who’s crying, shouting, or pouting, when they’re asleep, when they’re awake, when they’re bad, when they’re good. That’s a lot more than just RFM! It works pretty well for the Big Guy in Red, and it can work for you.


We Wish You A Merry Christmas


That last week of the year, between Christmas and New Year, are merry indeed for fundraisers. Especially those of us raising funds online, when giving spikes to an amazing high.


Comments

6 responses to “Almost everything I know about fundraising I learned from Christmas carols”

  1. Great post and good advice all around, as always! Thanks.

  2. Great post and good advice all around, as always! Thanks.

  3. Cute! I forwarded it to my team for a little inspiration on this Monday morning.

  4. Cute! I forwarded it to my team for a little inspiration on this Monday morning.

  5. Jeff – This is a very creative post. It’s GREAT!
    Here’s one more that could be added to your list . . . The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
    Lyrics from the carol are, “A pack-ful of toys means a sack-ful of joy for millions of girls and for millions of boys . . .” Yes, this is a wonderful time of year for many charities that raise a large percentage of their funds during the holiday season.
    But from the donor’s perspective it would be more wonderful if the carol were rephrased like this, “A thank-you for my gift means a heart-ful of joys for millions of donors . . .” especially when it’s received within a few weeks and it’s warm and personalized (not an obvious form letter).
    Karen Zapp, Fundraising Copywriter
    http://www.PKscribe.com

  6. Jeff – This is a very creative post. It’s GREAT!
    Here’s one more that could be added to your list . . . The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
    Lyrics from the carol are, “A pack-ful of toys means a sack-ful of joy for millions of girls and for millions of boys . . .” Yes, this is a wonderful time of year for many charities that raise a large percentage of their funds during the holiday season.
    But from the donor’s perspective it would be more wonderful if the carol were rephrased like this, “A thank-you for my gift means a heart-ful of joys for millions of donors . . .” especially when it’s received within a few weeks and it’s warm and personalized (not an obvious form letter).
    Karen Zapp, Fundraising Copywriter
    http://www.PKscribe.com

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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