The one person who should not be writing your fundraising

Is the person writing your fundraising the one person in the whole world least able to do it right? Might be, according to Roy H. Williams in a recent MondayMorningMemo, Everyone is Entitled to Their Own Opinion But Not Their Own Facts.

The person who most should not be writing your organization’s fundraising is you:

… most people believe that everyone else thinks like they do. This has led to more disasters in advertising than you can possibly imagine.

Consequently, you are uniquely unqualified to write ads for your business. You know too much about it. More importantly, you care too much about it. This causes you to assume that everyone else cares, or should care as much as you do.

Williams is talking about commercial advertising, but he could easily be talking about fundraising.

You are uniquely unqualified to write your own fundraising!

Almost all the knowledge and personal qualities that make you effective in a nonprofit organization will make you a crappy fundraising writer.

I know it’s self-serving for me to say it, but please: Get outside help for your fundraising. Get a smart agency (I can steer you toward a very good one!). If you can’t afford an agency, a consultant. At the very least, a freelance writer who knows fundraising.

It will be worth it.


Comments

4 responses to “The one person who should not be writing your fundraising”

  1. Two examples come to mind. This is one reason there should be professionals in the annual fund office who did not graduate from the school. These folks help to balance the view everyone has about their own alumni experience.
    Also, market research is key. Knowing why alumni give, what would move a non-donor to contribute, and how your messages are received by your constiuencies, should be an important part of your strategy.
    Jim Shea
    http://www.annualfundreport.com

  2. Two examples come to mind. This is one reason there should be professionals in the annual fund office who did not graduate from the school. These folks help to balance the view everyone has about their own alumni experience.
    Also, market research is key. Knowing why alumni give, what would move a non-donor to contribute, and how your messages are received by your constiuencies, should be an important part of your strategy.
    Jim Shea
    http://www.annualfundreport.com

  3. I agree that too many people believe that copywriting is something that comes natural to them. I do feel for copywriters who sit among people who tear their drafts apart.
    I would like to add that too many people also get involved in the proofing stages of copywriting.
    How we solve this is a mystery that I’ve had to contend with for a very long time.

  4. I agree that too many people believe that copywriting is something that comes natural to them. I do feel for copywriters who sit among people who tear their drafts apart.
    I would like to add that too many people also get involved in the proofing stages of copywriting.
    How we solve this is a mystery that I’ve had to contend with for a very long time.

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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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