When it’s okay to fail — and when it’s not

Not all failure is the same. Some is good, and some is very, very bad. That’s what Seth Godin says at A hierarchy of failure worth following.

Seth advises us to fail often at “Ideas that challenge the status quo. Proposals. Brainstorms. Concepts that open doors.” And he says fail never at “Keeping promises to your constituents.” (And he has some interesting thoughts about categories between those extremes.)

For fundraisers, that means something like this: Fail a lot in your search for new ideas and new fundraising approaches. But never fail to serve and respect your donors.


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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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