Who donors are really giving to when they give to you

Here’s one of those important points that’s so easy to forget, from The Far Edge of Promise blog, at Giving Through:

Do you ask your donors to give to your institution? Or… Do you ask your donors to give through your institution to your students, patients, clients, etc?

That’s pretty much the main question you should ask yourself about your fundraising.

Donors don’t give because of who you are. Most of them don’t give a rip about your wonderful organization. They like what you enable them to do. They’d walk away from you in two seconds if a better way for them to accomplish their good deeds came along.

When you make it all about you, you miss the point. Successful fundraising is about the donor and what she’ll accomplish when she gives.

It’s easy to wander away from this and start building incredible cases for giving that are built on the premise that our organization is utterly great. It doesn’t work. People aren’t giving to you.


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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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