Why is your fundraising so unemotional?

Flat, unemotional fundraising messages don’t work. Yet we see them all the time. Why? Here are some thoughts on this from PhilanTopic, at Is Lack of Emotion Hurting Your Fundraising? Here are some common mistakes that drain emotion from messages:


  • Mistakenly assume that every person is an expert.
  • Ignore the emotional appeal of their brand.
  • Put too much emphasis on the “investment.”
  • Tries to sell an idea instead of impact.

Here are some others that I often encounter:


  • You think you can instruct people into caring.
  • You think emotion is somehow dishonestly manipulative.
  • Your primary goal is to feel good about what you say and how you say it.
  • “Dignity” is extremely important to you.
  • Political correctness.

Fundraising that works is emotional. It’s simplistic, blatant, corny, and soupy. That’s just the way it is. There’s nothing wrong with your donors. That’s just the playground you’re playing on when you do fundraising.


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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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