Think like a donor

Here’s a good challenge from The Digital Drip: 5 Ways Fundraisers Can Start Thinking Like Donors:


  1. Remember what it’s like to be a donor.
  2. Treat your communications as a mirror you hold up in front of your donor.
  3. Embrace your emotional (right-brained) side.
  4. Consider the questions they are asking themselves when they get your appeal.
  5. Think of a problem you can let your donors solve.

I always make these assumptions about donors:


  • They know a lot less about your cause than you do.
  • They’re paying far less attention to what you have to saying than you are.
  • You can’t educate or argue them into giving. Their hearts are the only way you can reach them.
  • Most of them don’t really trust you.
  • They want to help solve a problem or make the world better in some specific way. They’re not so interested in supporting your organization.


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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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