What fundraising is really all about

Writing recently at the Hilborn blog (Successful direct mail for smaller charities), Super Excellent Fundraiser Guy Tom Ahern went well beyond the subject of small-charity fundraising to what fundraising is really about:

When I make a gift to a charity, it’s not all that much about the charity. It’s really more about me. It’s about me feeling like a good person, a contributor to a better world.

the number-one job of fundraising appeals is to tell donors how great they are. That’s what so-called “donor-centered” communications are…

That’s true no matter how big or small the organization. In fact, smaller nonprofits have an edge in this area. The big guys often have strict brand guidelines that mandate self-centered bragging and unattractive navel-gazing.

If you’re serious about raising money for your cause, you’ll focus on your donor. You’ll turn every statement back toward her. You’ll help her discover or rediscover what an empowered, world-changing person she is.


Comments

4 responses to “What fundraising is really all about”

  1. Great one! I’m following Tom Ahern’s blog as well. Dig deep and you’ll find an amazing slide deck he did on building a case for support. : ) siobhan

  2. Great one! I’m following Tom Ahern’s blog as well. Dig deep and you’ll find an amazing slide deck he did on building a case for support. : ) siobhan

  3. This is really interesting. Looking forward to reading Tom Ahern’s blog. Kathy

  4. This is really interesting. Looking forward to reading Tom Ahern’s blog. Kathy

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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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