Let the fundraisers do their job! (And fundraiser: Do your job!)

Are people in or organization asking weird questions about your fundraising? Join the club. It’s probably the most common struggle for fundraising professionals.

Here’s some help from Hands-On Fundraising, at How to respond when they challenge your fundraising appeal. Here are some of the most common questions:


  • Does the letter really have to be two (or four, or whatever) pages?
  • Why that serif font? It looks so old-fashioned! And why is it so big?
  • I was taught either indents or space between paragraphs. Why are you using both?
  • That’s a sentence fragment. It’s not grammatically correct.
  • We have all these great statistics about why our work is so important. Why aren’t you using them?
  • We have several co-chairs and we want them all to sign.
  • Couldn’t we save room if you combined those first two lines?
  • We have a gala coming up. Can’t we throw a mention of it into the P.S.?

Go read the post for the correct answer to these questions. These are not controversial issues; the professionals know the right answer to each of these questions. The non-professionals may not.

In each case, the questioner’s assumption is wrong. If you do what they’re asking, it will hurt fundraising results.

The truth about fundraising, like any kind of writing that needs to accomplish something specific, is this: You can’t just write stuff that pleases you, that makes you happy, that “seems right.”

If you’re the person writing the fundraising, it’s your job to know what works, and to do those things.

If you’re the person asking the question, it’s your job to let the professional do their job.


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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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