Successful fundraising is about donors — every time

Here’s a great email subject-line test, reported at 101fundraising, that shows pretty dramatically how important it is to make your fundraising about donors, not about you: It’s you, not me.

Subject
line
Open
rate
Clickthrough
From
Haiti to Somalia, taking action together to save lives
31.4% 1.5%
Together,
our swift response has made a difference in Haiti
35.1% 1.9%
You’ve
had a life-saving impact
42.3% 2.3%

This isn’t unique to email subject lines. You’ll get results like this most of the time, in any media. Make it about donors, and you get more response.

The reason is very simple: They don’t give because of who you are; they because of who they are.


Comments

4 responses to “Successful fundraising is about donors — every time”

  1. So true. The cardinal rule of marketing is “make it about the customer.” NGOs are no exception.

  2. So true. The cardinal rule of marketing is “make it about the customer.” NGOs are no exception.

  3. claire axelrad Avatar
    claire axelrad

    Couldn’t say it better. Love the headlines comparison. Just told a client today: stop saying “I ” and “We”; start saying “You” and “Together”
    There are two “I”s in ‘fundraising”, but they should stand for ‘inspiration’ and ‘innovation’

  4. claire axelrad Avatar
    claire axelrad

    Couldn’t say it better. Love the headlines comparison. Just told a client today: stop saying “I ” and “We”; start saying “You” and “Together”
    There are two “I”s in ‘fundraising”, but they should stand for ‘inspiration’ and ‘innovation’

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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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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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