The worst advice in fundraising

The most useless and pointless advice you can get (or give) about fundraising is this:

I wouldn’t respond to that.

Nobody (including you) should pay any attention to what you wouldn’t respond to. The real focus must be Will donors respond?

And how you feel about it sheds no light at all on that.

So next time you feel tempted to give that advice, stop and reconsider. Instead, focus in on what you know about donors.

And next time someone gives you that advice, politely ignore it.


Comments

4 responses to “The worst advice in fundraising”

  1. Bravo, Jeff. Of course, the worst advice in fundraising (above) is followed hotly by the second, third, fourth and fifth worst advice: #2. don’t waste your time or your money on improving your donor thank-you letters; #3. no one responds to direct mail anymore so you should just switch everything over to email and social media; #3. donor newsletters cost too much to produce and mail so you should either mail a tiny fraction of your database or send it only once a year; and finally, #4. asking someone to make a bequest in their will only oversimplifies things. Talk about charitable giving annuities instead. *Woeful sigh* Now there’s a list that’s long overdue: the top 25 worst pieces of fundraising advice in history.

  2. Bravo, Jeff. Of course, the worst advice in fundraising (above) is followed hotly by the second, third, fourth and fifth worst advice: #2. don’t waste your time or your money on improving your donor thank-you letters; #3. no one responds to direct mail anymore so you should just switch everything over to email and social media; #3. donor newsletters cost too much to produce and mail so you should either mail a tiny fraction of your database or send it only once a year; and finally, #4. asking someone to make a bequest in their will only oversimplifies things. Talk about charitable giving annuities instead. *Woeful sigh* Now there’s a list that’s long overdue: the top 25 worst pieces of fundraising advice in history.

  3. Ain’t that the truth! Nice addition, Lisa…

  4. Ain’t that the truth! Nice addition, Lisa…

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog