The power of repetition in fundraising

If you’ve ever thought a fundraising message was faulty because it was repetitious, you got it all wrong.

Repetition is not bad in fundraising.

Too Busy To Fundraise noted this recently, at How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You?

Don’t think that you will irritate people if you send a series of request, or inform them more than once about the things you do, and the things you need from them. Most of the time, what you send or say will be disregarded or, at best, vaguely noticed before being relegated to the back of their mind. And even if they do notice that you’ve said or written something, odds are, it won’t be exactly what you said or wrote.

In fact, repetition is one of the core traits of successful fundraising.

You keep asking again and again.

You keep asking for the same thing every time.

Within one message, you repeat the same ask several times.

Yes, it can get boring. But it’s going to take your donors a lot longer to get bored than it takes you. You read all the repetitions, paying full attention. Your donors miss most of your attempts to tell them the message, and those they do read, they read quickly, with half their mind thinking about other things.

Bore yourself. Drive yourself a little bit crazy. Be as repetitious as a cuckoo clock.

That’s how you get through and motivate the gifts you need.


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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.