The secret weapon that can turbocharge your fundraising

Here’s a recent post from Seth Godin that I almost passed by: Instead of outthinking the competition…

Instead of outthinking the competition it’s worth trying to outlove them.

That may seem like one of those unanswerable platitudes that sounds meaningful but has little practical application. That’s what I thought about it at first. Then I realized the idea of “outloving” can have very practical applications for nonprofits that are serious about fundraising.

Here are some things to do that will help you “outlove” the competition and become a charity of choice that donors are fanatically devoted to:


  • Have a pro-donor brand. Your brand promise wouldn’t be about how spectacular you are — but how well you fit with your spectacular donors. And all your communication and design guidelines would be about connecting with donors (being readable would be nice), and not about proclaiming your excellence.
  • Let donors decide where their support goes.
  • Your fundraising is always be action-oriented and specific about your donors’ opportunity to make a difference.
  • You’re fanatical about thanking them and reporting back to them about their impact. Quickly, accurately, specifically, and emotionally.
  • You never screw up their data. No misspelled names, duplicate records, misattributed donations, or those vexing little errors that can make donors feel so unloved.

We’re always looking for some cool new technique, some magical social-media widget, some engagement app that will lift us to a different place than our current fundraising practices seem to have us stuck.

That secret thing you’re looking for? It’s loving your donors.


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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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