What you really need to fix to make your fundraising do the job

It’s easy for fundraisers to focus on the surface of our work: Is it well-written and appropriately designed?

And that matters. But what matters a lot more are the structural realities behind your fundraising. You can write an design like a fundraising ninja — but if your foundational strategies are off, you’re going nowhere.

Here are 5 Fundraising Mistakes Nonprofits Make from Social Velocity. These are the kinds of things that are shooting down fundraising programs in many organizations:

  1. Taking a Short-Term Approach. (The real money in fundraising comes from building lasting relationships with donors.)
  2. Looking Under the Same Rocks. (If you want to grow, you probably need to expand your reach.)
  3. Chasing A Magic Bullet. (Most of them aren’t magic!)
  4. Giving People a Free Pass. (Everyone — from board members to program leaders — has some responsibility to raise funds.:)
  5. Not Fundraising for The Fundraising Function. (It takes money to make money.)

These things are harder to fix than weak copy or sloppy design. But more important.


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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.