Fundraiser: Your job is hope

Almost everyone is prone to a sense that everything is getting worse all the time. Politics keep getting more stupid. The environment keeps sliding toward some kind of doomsday. Crime, injustice, ignorance, war … they all seem to be surging. We all need a sense that there’s hope after all.

The Veritus Group blog notes that donors need it too: Your Donors Need Hope. And your job is to help deliver it to them by showing their giving makes the world better.

Here are some ways to give your donors hope:


  • Get out of your office and see what your programs are doing. Gather a good number of stories that illustrate the hope your organization offers.
  • Once you have a story, go tell your donors.
  • Take a photo of the work your organization does, showing progress on something. Then send it or hand-deliver the photo and tell the donor.
  • Get your CEO or Executive Director to write a handwritten note to your “A” level donors, saying how much their support is making a difference.
  • In your newsletters, always, always show how donors’ gifts are making a difference and giving hope.
  • In your annual appeal create a whole section entitled, “You’re Making Hope Happen.”
  • Schedule face-to-face visits with donors, with the sole purpose of telling them how they are giving hope to the hopeless.

Every time your donors donate, they build the case for hope. Are you making sure they know that?


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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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