The fundraising mindset that leads to failure

Some helpful advice for fundraisers at Philanthropy Journal: What is your nonprofit’s marketing mindset?

The article gives several right/wrong mindsets. They’re all good, but I think this one is especially important:

The wrong mindset uses the message “We are great, give us money.” The right mindset uses messaging focused on empowering the audience rather than just celebrating the nonprofit.

That wrong mindset is endemic in fundraising these days. Look at almost any random fundraising message: It’s all about how cutting edge, how award-winning, how proven, how superior the organization is.

How many meetings have you been in where the group-whine was If donors only knew how great our work was, we’d be raising a lot more money!

Actually the opposite is true: If only you knew how great your donors are, you’d be raising a lot more money.


Comments

4 responses to “The fundraising mindset that leads to failure”

  1. CorinneAM Avatar
    CorinneAM

    I think the advice is great but it falls short because in the original article there aren’t any examples of the right mindset. It’s frustrating to read all this good advice and then see no examples to use as models for creating our own fundraising letters.

  2. CorinneAM Avatar
    CorinneAM

    I think the advice is great but it falls short because in the original article there aren’t any examples of the right mindset. It’s frustrating to read all this good advice and then see no examples to use as models for creating our own fundraising letters.

  3. You’ve picked up on the most important sentence in this post — a powerful idea that is worth underscoring: “Empowering the audience.”
    I’ve found this can be one of the most crucial, yet elusive aspects of our mindset — how can we convince the donor they are powerful, they are efficacious?

  4. You’ve picked up on the most important sentence in this post — a powerful idea that is worth underscoring: “Empowering the audience.”
    I’ve found this can be one of the most crucial, yet elusive aspects of our mindset — how can we convince the donor they are powerful, they are efficacious?

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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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