Almost everything you need to know about fundraising

After a long series on the science of giving, Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog sums it all up with 6 Truths Behind Why People Give.

Here are those useful truths (along with my comments):


  1. Giving is mostly emotional and irrational. This is probably the most important truth you can know about fundraising. The minute you embrace it, you will start getting better results.
  2. Giving is personal. They give because of themselves, not because of you.
  3. It’s really hard to change #1 or #2. I’ve worked with dozens of nonprofits that were putting enormous effort into changing one or both of these facts. Results were consistent: It costs a lot of revenue to ignore the real landscape you live in.
  4. Giving makes people happy. Fundraisers who don’t believe this are very unhappy (and unsuccessful).
  5. Giving is a social act. This is one area where online giving has a big advantage over traditional channels: You can make the act of giving visibly and instantly social.
  6. These are sweeping generalizations. Test for yourself! There are exceptions to every rule!


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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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