Fundraising requires getting outside of your own head

The thing that most often makes fundraising (or any other type of communication) ineffective is mistaken beliefs of the person who’s creating the message.

Here’s a detailed look at some of those killer believes, from Ben Stroup’s blog, at 10 temptations to overcome when writing for your brand, business, or cause:


  1. You believe everything you have to say is worth publishing.
  2. You believe others care as much about what you do as you do.
  3. You believe others are implicitly aware of the reasons they need what you have to offer.
  4. You believe others consume content in the same way you prefer to create and distribute content.
  5. You believe in random moments of epic proportions, rather than systematic and incremental publishing of quality content across a variety of channels.
  6. You believe that not attributing the content you create to a real person keeps your brand safe.
  7. You believe the need for what you have is so compelling that you don’t need to make a case for support.
  8. You believe people already know what to do, so creating calls to action is irrelevant.
  9. You believe more technical detail is what people passionately desire.
  10. You believe inspiration is more valuable than having a plan.

Have you noticed what all these beliefs have in common? They are all versions of the big killer of fundraising: It’s about me.

It’s not about you. It’s about your donor.

That’s the one big truth that can lead you from failure to success.

If you face these temptations, you are not alone. Everyone does. It’s hard to get outside of your own head. Some people never manage it at all.

Those who overcome these temptations and escape the tyranny of their own heads are generally those who are aware of the tendency and struggle against it.


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2 responses to “Fundraising requires getting outside of your own head”

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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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