What TED talks can teach us about fundraising

TED Talks are great. Shorter, sharper, more focused than the presentations we’re all so used to. They’re even starting to affect those conference ppt snore-fests.

What’s the magic?

It’s basically just smart communication principles, applied to the formal presentation.

The Veritus Group Blog found some TED guidelines for presenters and noted that they make a lot of sense for major donor fundraising: The TED Talk Contribution to Major Gifts.

They can apply to fundraising at any level. Check it out:


  • Present one great idea.
  • Set a time limit.
  • Collaborate.
  • Put time into visuals.
  • Practice.
  • Stay away from notes.
  • Avoid industry jargon.
  • Draw people into caring.
  • Stay planted.
  • Respectfully address arguments.

Any fundraiser who approaches their work like this will do well.


Comments

2 responses to “What TED talks can teach us about fundraising”

  1. Well put! One thing the TED Talks have done well as a brand is to establish trust with their audience. By doing these things in a thoughtful and consistent manner, attendees and millions of viewers know that the TED brand respects their intellect and time. The same is true for donors. Establish trust by practicing thoughtful donor communications consistently, and the quality and outcomes of those relationships will grow.

  2. Well put! One thing the TED Talks have done well as a brand is to establish trust with their audience. By doing these things in a thoughtful and consistent manner, attendees and millions of viewers know that the TED brand respects their intellect and time. The same is true for donors. Establish trust by practicing thoughtful donor communications consistently, and the quality and outcomes of those relationships will grow.

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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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