The problem with problem-free fundraising

Donors give to solve problems.

Is your fundraising built on that premise? Or are you flailing away at the popular (but ineffective) premise that donors give to be part of ongoing success?

Listen to this post at the Veritus Group Blog:
In Fundraising, It’s About the Problem, NOT the Process. It’s an eye-opener:

There is a direct link between generous giving and the donor’s clear understanding they are solving a problem and making a difference through their giving. While all of this seems so obvious, believe me, it is not executed properly in most of the situations we encounter.

When you’ve been involved with a cause for a while, the problem goes without saying. It literally goes without being said, ever, because insiders are tired of it, and they really don’t need to be reminded. So they come to think nobody needs to hear about the problem.

Even worse, many nonprofits have brand guidelines that specifically forbid talking about the problem. Talking about the problem is “off brand.” That’s magical thinking, and it doesn’t work.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard nonprofit insiders say, “If people just knew how well our programs work, everyone would give.”

Sounds logical. But charitable giving isn’t a logical act.

If you want donors — satisfied repeat donors who love giving to you — vividly show them problems, and then show them that they’re solving those problems. They’ll love you for it, and shower you with donations.


Comments

2 responses to “The problem with problem-free fundraising”

  1. I would seriously be rich if I had a dollar for everyone who’s ever said that to me: “If people just knew what we did… they’d give.” Well said Jeff, Richard (Perry) and Jeff (Schreifels)!

  2. I would seriously be rich if I had a dollar for everyone who’s ever said that to me: “If people just knew what we did… they’d give.” Well said Jeff, Richard (Perry) and Jeff (Schreifels)!

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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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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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