I have a dream too

My dream is somewhat less elevated than Dr. King‘s.

But here it is:

That nonprofits everywhere will start taking donors seriously.

That they’ll start paying attention to what donors actually respond to, not what they wish donors would respond to.

That they’ll do fundraising built on exciting calls to action, not irrelevant, cooked-up “brands.”

That they’ll actually let donors fund what they want to fund.

That they’ll thank donors quickly, and show enough respect to report back to donors on the impact of their giving.

Because when that happens, the fundraising recession will be decisively over. A new era of nonprofit effectiveness will begin. More donors will benefit from the impact of more giving.

Unfortunately, my dream is not gonna come true. Not in 2012. Not in any year of the near future.

But here’s what I believe will happen: A few organizations will get it this year. And a few more will next year, and each year after that. Fundraising that’s about donors will become more and more normal. Donors will increasingly expect and demand being treated right.

The organizations that refuse to get it will fade and shrink and finally go away.

When that finally happens, my dream will come true.


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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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