10 mistakes the weaken your fundraising, and why they happen

It looks as if The Agitators go to pretty much the same set of meeting that I go to. They see similar successes and failures. Their recent list of 10 Bad Fundraising Decisions is almost exactly the list I would have written:

  1. Botching the ‘thank you.’
  2. Appealing to reason over emotion.
  3. Not driving your program, including acquisition, toward maximizing lifetime value.
  4. Not systematically seeking, listening to or addressing donor feedback/preferences.
  5. Thinking your donor thinks like you.
  6. Not committing to continual fundraising training/education/up-skilling.
  7. Investing in your fundraising program to ‘meet budget’ instead of to ‘seize opportunity.’
  8. Tolerating ‘silo’ or ‘go-fer’ or ‘bolt on’ status for fundraising within your organization.
  9. Not appreciating how your donor’s broader life as a consumer affects how they respond to and what they expect from you.

I think you could look at all of these destructive decisions as symptoms of a single error in approach: Forgetting to think of donors as people.

It’s easy — too easy — to lose sight of the fact that donors are real people. When you forget that, your only yardstick for strategy or tactics and your own head. You end up doing things that you think you’d respond to. Worse yet, you make choices that make life easier for you and your colleagues.

And your contact with donors makes less and less sense to the very people it’s meant for.

Remember, fundraising is all about donors.


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog