How not to go over your own fiscal cliff

With donor acquisition getting more difficult, we’re all forced to fine-tune our fundraising programs. Here’s some help at Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog: 4 ways to do a better job keeping your donors.

The secret is to think of your program structurally, not as a series of tactics. Know how many donors you’re getting, how many you’re keeping, and what’s the long-term value of each donor. That will keep you from spinning your wheels on activities that get you nowhere, but instead spend your time an money in smart, impactful ways:


  1. Focus on donor retention more than donor acquisition.
  2. Focus on donor lifetime value, not one-off campaigns.
  3. Focus on results, not effort.
  4. Identify and invest in your most passionate supporters.

These things will keep you from making costly mistakes — or heedlessly driving your fundraising program over a “fiscal cliff.”


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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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