Book review: at least 100 great fundraising ideas

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley

Brainfluence

One-sentence review: You need to read this book.

If you prefer to base your fundraising on facts and science (as opposed to your own hunches and superstition), this is precisely the book for you. It focuses on practical marketing takeaways from neurological research. There are 100 short chapters, each with a neuroscience finding and how it might be used in marketing.

It’s not specifically a fundraising book — though there are some chapters about raising funds — but almost all the marketing ideas can easily translate to fundraising ideas.

Like this one:

…physical material (like paper) is more “real” to the brain. Since it has a physical place, it engages with the brain’s spatial memory networks.

This probably helps explain the power of direct mail — it hooks more deeply into the brain than non-paper media!

I came away from this book with more than a hundred ideas I can test or just put to work in fundraising. If even a small percentage of these ideas improve results, my clients stand to make the price of the book hundreds of times over in the coming months.

Like any science, neuroscience research is extremely technical; the findings are hard for us non-scientists to understand, much less put to work. Brainfluence bridges the chasm between the research and the marketplace. It’s an easy, quick, enjoyable read, and you’ll get ideas you can use.

Dooley also writes the wonderful Neuromarketing blog, which you should also be reading.

Brainfluence is available at Amazon and Powell’s.


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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.