You don’t like it? Who cares?

How many times have you heard comments like:


  • That fundraising letter is too long — I never read anything over one page.
  • I hate the color red. Get rid of it.
  • Those short paragraphs make it look like you aren’t serious. I’d throw this message out without reading it.

That’s the fast track to fundraising failure. The proper response to those statements of taste and preference is to ignore them — they don’t mean anything.

That’s the point over at Through Non-Profit Eyes on why you can’t base your fundraising decisions on your own likes and dislikes: Random Donor & Prospect Thoughts.

While people are naturally drawn to designs, appeals, etc. that they like, you are only one person — an “n of 1” in experiment terms — and your opinion may not reflect that of your prospects. No matter how well you think you know them and how much you think they are all like you!

Your taste shouldn’t be part of the equation if you want your fundraising to work. What you like is at best irrelevant — and more often it’s very different from what real donors respond to.

The right way to make decisions is to base them on facts and past experience.


Comments

4 responses to “You don’t like it? Who cares?”

  1. Jeff, this is a valuable post and something that any designer/marketer can take to heart. I’ve experienced this with online appeals as well. “Why is this right justified?” “Make the links bigger.” Make the links smaller.” etc… Its all fine if orgs actually experimented and based preferences on results. Perhaps, keeping the links big for a couple of weeks and comparing giving to a few weeks where you change the link size. Then its not just a guess. Otherwise its just a waste of time and money. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Jeff, this is a valuable post and something that any designer/marketer can take to heart. I’ve experienced this with online appeals as well. “Why is this right justified?” “Make the links bigger.” Make the links smaller.” etc… Its all fine if orgs actually experimented and based preferences on results. Perhaps, keeping the links big for a couple of weeks and comparing giving to a few weeks where you change the link size. Then its not just a guess. Otherwise its just a waste of time and money. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Jeff. I appreciate it.
    Devin

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Jeff. I appreciate it.
    Devin

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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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