Research that will lead your fundraising astray

Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! reveals The worst market research in the world:

Your own opinion.

Too many fundraising campaigns are based on what some fundraiser (or her boss) thought would just be super-cool and ultra-persuasive.

It never works.

We aren’t our donors. We’re freakishly unlike them. Probably the only thing we share is we believe in the same cause. But even then, what you think that cause is about is probably not much like your donors’ view of it.

The next-worst type of market research is focus groups and surveys, which tell you what people think, or worse yet, what they’re willing to say out loud — not what they actually do.

The only market research that leads you to more useful knowledge is actual donor behavior. You can take that to the bank.


Comments

2 responses to “Research that will lead your fundraising astray”

  1. High five for speaking the truth (and channeling the very smart Andy Sernovitz)! We are our own worst enemy, not our own best test case, when it comes to figuring out what our donors/customers/clients want. Thanks for keeping it real, Jeff!

  2. High five for speaking the truth (and channeling the very smart Andy Sernovitz)! We are our own worst enemy, not our own best test case, when it comes to figuring out what our donors/customers/clients want. Thanks for keeping it real, Jeff!

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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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