Why your donor acquisition isn’t going well

It’s not just you. New donors are getting harder to find.

But not all fundraisers are suffering equally. Some are doing okay, because they’re adjusting to the marketplace changes.

You may be able to buck the trend too, with help from a post at The Agitator: Acquisition: 16 Reasons Your Prospecting Is Running Out Of Gas.

Many of the things hurting acquisition are short-term and fixable — though if you don’t fix them, you’re in trouble:


  1. A short-term attention span problem — presidential election, a global disaster.
  2. A ‘temporary’ ebb in perceived urgency about your particular cause/need.
  3. You’re screwing up your targeting.
  4. Your overall message has gotten stale.
  5. You’ve slacked off on testing.
  6. You’ve changed something that was working.
  7. A competitor in your category is eating your lunch, using better tactics.
  8. You’ve made other tactical blunders — ineffective landing pages, poorly considered offers, poorly designed packages.
  9. You’ve forgotten to talk to donors about RESULTS.
  10. You’re starving your prospecting program investment-wise.
  11. You’ve disappointed/offended your donors in some specific, known way (think Komen Foundation).
  12. Your celebrity supporter was discovered to be a cheat

The other four things? Deeper trouble. Not so fixable.


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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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