How to succeed in fundraising: Show up and pay attention

Here’s how to succeed in fundraising: Show up. Pay attention. Do the small stuff with care.

Dramatic strokes of genius, sudden flashes of inspiration, amazing new shiny objects … those are all nice. But consistency is what wins the day and brings home the bacon.

That’s not just me talking. It’s in this great post at Too Busy To Fundraise: Consistency Beats Brilliance Every Single Time:

… the magic bullet of fundraising (and everything else): consistency. Doing things with regularity and constancy. Brilliance may be something we all desire, but the truth is, a boring plan done with consistency will trump random moments of brilliance every single time.

It’s true. Successful fundraising consists of doing a hundred minor and uninteresting tasks right. The genius moments, they’re great. But you can’t count on them to happen when you need them. And more than half the time, your stroke of genius is actually a stroke of stupid, and you can’t tell the difference. Until it’s too late.

And here’s the best thing about plugging along and doing the small stuff right: When you do that, you position yourself for more brilliance. It happens more often, and it’s smarter.

So be patient, awake, and consistent. And raise a lot more money.


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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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