Is your Foundation forcing donors to think twice before they give?

Are you confusing your donors with a bureaucratic category that makes no sense and doesn’t matter to them?

You might be if you’re raising funds under the flag of the foundation that’s the fundraising arm of your main organization.

There are plenty of reasons to organize yourself this way. But none of them are important to donors. If you’re communicating in a way that forces them to understand that your foundation is in fact a separately run organization, you are keeping the confusion alive.

Say you’re with an organization called “Feed the Penguins.” Your logo might look like this:

Feedthepenguinslogo

So far, so good. But if you’re like some fundraisers, It’s the Save the Penguins Foundation that’s communicating with donors. And the foundation has its own logo that emphasizes the separation:

Savethepenguinsfoundationlogo

Big mistake.

Sometimes the foundation has its own tagline that widens the gap. Instead of a cause-oriented statement like Never let a penguin go hungry, it’s Supporting the work of Feed the Penguins.

Donors don’t give because you’re a foundation. They give because of the cause. The foundation means little or nothing to them.

Downplay the foundation. In your logo and in your language. Give donors “direct” access to the cause they care about.


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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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