“Getting the word out” is NOT fundraising

Anyone who believe fundraising is a matter of “getting the word out” isn’t really a fundraiser. (They’re also not a marketer or advertiser of any kind.)

Which is why the Marketing the Arts to Death blog says it’s Time To Fire People Who Say ‘Get The Word Out’.

Spraying your message out to the general public under the belief that once they’ve heard what you do, they’ll line up to donate is pure delusion. It doesn’t happen. People give when you put a motivating proposition in front of them — when you show them a specific way they can make the world a better place with their money.

Marketing the Arts to Death notes that “getting the word out” has some other problem:

  • It Describes a One-Way Process
  • It Describes a Passive Process
  • It Enables Narcissism

Charitable giving — when it really works — is a two-way relationship. It’s never passive, and it requires the fundraiser to be humble, not self-focused.

So it may be the right move to fire the people who say “let’s get the word out” as their vision for fundraising. Or at least try to help them understand what fundraising is really.


Comments

2 responses to ““Getting the word out” is NOT fundraising”

  1. Charitable giving is a symbiotic relationship, indeed! Just as a donor gives financial assistance, a not-for-profit needs to give enough time and attention in ensuring transparency. Being transparent sets a strong foundation to almost everything!

  2. Charitable giving is a symbiotic relationship, indeed! Just as a donor gives financial assistance, a not-for-profit needs to give enough time and attention in ensuring transparency. Being transparent sets a strong foundation to almost everything!

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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.