The 7 deadly sins of fundraising

Be vigilant against these sins, because they can drag your fundraising program down to a terrifying hell of non-response.

7deadlysins


  1. Lust. You don’t want a relationship with your donors. You just lust after their money. You always try to leap past the relational stuff and get that gift. This, of course, usually leads to weak, temporary, and unsatisfying relationships.
  2. Gluttony. You need a never-ending stream of new donors. You don’t pay attention to their connection to your cause or their long-term value. You choose low-value, non-nutritious donors, because they are calories down your gullet rather than seek the more involved, more valuable donors who can really power healthy long-term growth.
  3. Greed. You refuse to share the joy with your donors. You just take their money and run, instead of telling them what they made possible. This means your donors tend not to stick around very long. Why should they? They can’t tell their gifts matter.
  4. Sloth. You’re lazily repeating what you’ve always done before. You haven’t been keeping up with changes to your donors’ behavior or the rise of new tools. Never stop testing, and never close your eyes to changes in the landscape. When you stop paying attention, you can be suddenly engulfed by changes that take you completely by surprise.
  5. Wrath. When a campaign fails or donor retention slips, you blame it on your donors. You get mad at them and their unpredictable ways. This keeps you from looking into the real causes of campaign failure. It’s always your fault; never their fault. Most problems are fixable — if you realize the problem originates with you, not outside of you.
  6. Envy. You think someone else has the answer you need. You’re always seeking the Next Big Thing because you have a nagging fear that you’re missing the magic. Sorry, but the real thing you’re missing is doing your job by sticking to the basics.
  7. Pride. You think fundraising is all about how wonderful your organization is. Your fundraising is a litany of your successes, superior methodologies, and super-human staff. That’s boring for donors, and it’s not why they give. They give because they are the heroes. Be proud of them, and proud that you’re associated with them.

Tomorrow: The 7 Heavenly Virtues of Fundraising


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog