How to break free from boring fundraising

Are you getting bored with your fundraising? Are you tempted to “get creative” and change everything?

You aren’t alone. But before you take action, check out this post at Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog Your Boredom is a Bad Way to Measure Success.

That’s a phrase all fundraisers should have tattooed on their forearm. The fact that you’ve grown bored with your fundraising has no bearing on whether it’s time for a change. Actually, there’s a slight correlation: If you’re bored with it, you’re probably on the right track:

Getting creative is NOT a high value goal in direct mail…. The goal of direct mail is to find a “formula” that works and then do it until it stops working. You’ll know you’ve succeeded if your appeals make money and you’re bored with them.

Here are some places where you should really put your creativity muscle to work in fundraising:


  • Finding new fundraising offers. Calls to action that are more specific, more concrete, and more exciting for donors.
  • Discovering ways to encourage cross-channel behavior. Every day, more donors are moving back and forth between the real world and the net. Donors who do this are typically your best donors. You need to give them easy and attractive ways that still allow you to capture the information. Figure that out, and you’ll be miles ahead.
  • Finding images that work. Most images used in fundraising don’t help at all. A lot of them actively discourage giving — and we often have no clue that’s happening. Images can and should be among the most powerful part of your messaging. But it takes research and testing to find the images that do the trick.

These might strike you as boring places to focus your creativity. They aren’t. Increasing revenue and donor retention aren’t boring at all.


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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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