Bad news and good news for fundraising

Real fundraisers know a difficult truth that the amateurs don’t grasp: Fundraising is largely bad news. Take it from the Oneicity blog: Don’t forget the bad news.

Many fundraisers zero in on the success their organizations have already achieved. The story they tell is this: Everything is wonderful!

And that feels good to say, but it leaves the prospective donor out of the picture.

Real fundraising is about need — the broken or incomplete situation you’re inviting the donor to help you transform. Real fundraising makes it clear that without the donor, things are bad. If the donor doesn’t give, there will be consequences. As Oneicity puts it:

Give us the consequences, it’ll help us make a good decision.

That’s right: Be very open and forthright about the consequences. You need to show the donor that their giving matters.

The best fundraising also paints a picture of the way things will be with the donor’s help. But that’s secondary to the “bad news.”


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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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