Fundraising is shifting from extraction to conservation

Chiming in on the future of fundraising, The Agitator looks forward to The End Of An Era. Thank Heavens!


They see an upcoming “Age of Donor Conservation,” where fundraisers view donors as a limited resource, and treat them with a stewardship approach:



… focus on life-time value, solidly based on the long-term loyalty that comes from listening to and focusing on the donors themselves. This focus, aided by sophisticated screening and modeling technologies coupled with common sense and good manners, seamlessly moves donors from small and initial gift status on to mid-level giving, then major gifts and on to the final legacy gift.

Smart fundraisers are already there. Or on the way.


The old way of fundraising was often an extraction industry, where the name of the game was to get as many donors as possible to give, even if the gifts were small and the likelihood of repeat giving was low. The low cost of postage and production, along with the seemingly infinite number of prospective donors, made this possible.


We’re being forced to conserve by changing conditions: Higher costs. Exploding competition. Higher donor expectations.


That’s good. For donors and for fundraisers. The future is bright.


See yesterday’s post.


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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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About the blogger

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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