The magic bullet isn’t very magical

I get the question all the time: What can I do to make my fundraising better? As if there’s one thing. That works in all situations.

If there is one thing, it’s something like you’ll find at Too Busy To Fundraise, Fundraising’s Magic Bullet. Here it is:

… pick one thing from the many that have been discussed, parsed, dissected and tell your board or your staff that THIS is the magic bullet. Commit to it for a significant period (three years if it is an annual event; perhaps less time if it occurs regularly—for example, we will each have two meetings a month for the next seven months). During that time, assess results. Tweak method.

That’s right, just stick to a smart plan.

I don’t think that’s what the folks who ask the question want to hear; they really want some magic. But it’s true.

In fact, it’s even worse than that. The thing you should stick with? I can pretty much guarantee that it’s something old-hat, tried-and-true, and totally unsexy. That’s just the way it is. If you don’t have the patience and discipline to work that way, fundraising is not for you. Funny thing — neither is almost anything else.


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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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