How to stop killing your fundraising

The Agitator suggests Nonsense Audits to help nonprofits get rid of pointless and harmful activities, at Down With Fundraising Nonsense. One of the things they take aim at:

… the number of folks who must see, sign-off or otherwise be involved in the creation and approval process of appeals and other donor communications. Add in the amount of time and personnel involved in shepherding this mostly moronic process of democracy-based, ‘everyone’s-entitled-to-an-opinion’ copy review fest into your audit also.

If it’s more than one or two folks in addition to the agency rep and one nonprofit staffer, then the yellow or red flags should go up. I’ve never seen a situation where a committee’s opinion did anything but harm.

That’s so true. I hope the Nonsense Audit catches on, and that every nonprofit on the planet starts doing them.

In the mean time, here are three truths about fundraising approval processes that you can count on being true:


  1. Committee involvement in your fundraising communication will automatically decrease its effectiveness. This is a law of physics, like gravity. There are no exceptions.
  2. The fewer cooks you have in that kitchen, the better you’ll do. Also, things will be meaningfully faster, less expensive, and more fun.
  3. The IQ of a group is not the sum of the IQs of all the participants, nor is it the average of all of them. It is the average IQ of all the participants divided by the number of participants. Each member you add to the committee lowers its effectiveness. Even if that person is really smart and wonderful.


Comments

2 responses to “How to stop killing your fundraising”

  1. I wish the CEO of our company would believe this. I wish … Oh how I wish!!

  2. I wish the CEO of our company would believe this. I wish … Oh how I wish!!

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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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