You are not your donor

Here’s a helpful reminder from Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! — You are not your customer. It’s an issue for fundraisers, because just as commercial markets are not their customers, you are not your donor:

… whatever you think is interesting is almost definitely NOT what millions of customers think. Remember that you’re not your market — and what you think is interesting is almost definitely wrong. You’re the weird one.

Yes, you are the weird one. The difference between you and your donors is so deep, you can count on anything that’s interesting to you being unmotivating for your donors.

Fundraisers who grasp this raise a lot more money. They enjoy their work more too.


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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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