How to hide the stuff your fundraising shouldn’t include in the first place

It’s a sad fact of life that sometimes you have no choice but to include pointless content in your fundraising because Somebody in your organization thinks it’s important and they’re a Somebody you can’t ignore.

In a perfect world, you could enlighten the Somebody by telling them you need to see things through donors’ eyes and this piece of content amounts to a big fat waste of ink when you look at it that way. And they’d say, “Oh, I get it. Never mind. Use your fundraising to raise funds. I don’t need my personal agenda promoted at the possible expense of revenue.”

Yeah, right.

Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog has some help for the real-world version of that conversation, the one where the Somebody look at you the way a cat looks at a carrot and makes you do it anyway: Dress Up That Dog: Making the Boring Stuff Interesting.

I urge you to read Kivi’s post, because there are ways to make many types of insider material and other Pointless Content at least have something to do with your donors.

I can also let you in on a deep and dark consultants’ secret for dealing with Somebody’s Pointless Content in a direct mail appeal:

Hide it in the Dead Zone of the letter.

The Dead Zone is the middle of the last page of the letter. I believe you could put just about anything there, no matter how dumb or ill-conceived and it would do no harm.

Take a look:

Deadzone

(Please note that the Dead Zone is not the entire last page of the letter. The P.S. is one of the most live zones of the whole piece.)

In an ideal world, you’d never be forced to put material in fundraising that doesn’t pull its weight, that doesn’t thrill donors into giving.

Until then, you can always hide it!


Comments

2 responses to “How to hide the stuff your fundraising shouldn’t include in the first place”

  1. Absolutely brilliant! I’m already plotting how to rework our letter campaigns to hide the weakest material in the Dead Zone — my new favorite letter-writing concept. Thanks for the clue!

  2. Absolutely brilliant! I’m already plotting how to rework our letter campaigns to hide the weakest material in the Dead Zone — my new favorite letter-writing concept. Thanks for the clue!

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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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