Fundraising From Yourself — it’s how you fail in fundraising

A lot (really a lot of fundraising efforts don’t work. And there are some common reasons why, according to MarketSmart, at The top 10 reasons why your donor outreach fails:

  1. It’s boring
  2. It’s impersonal
  3. It’s irrelevant
  4. It lacks emotion
  5. It’s confusing
  6. It fails to tell the donor what you want them to do
  7. It fails to prove “what’s in it for them”
  8. It fails to provide a way for the donor to respond to someone directly
  9. It fails to make the supporter feel good (see themselves as a hero, pay tribute to someone, make a difference, etc.)
  10. It fails to include a way for the donor to engage with your mission (view something, sign up, advocate, participate, volunteer, get involved, share, GIVE!!! etc.)

There’s one factor behind most — maybe all — of these faults: The fundraisers are practicing FFY: Fundraising From Yourself.

They believe that if they make a case that would persuade themselves, they have good fundraising.

That is the surest (and most common) path to fundraising failure. For two reasons:

  1. You aren’t your donor.
  2. What you (or anyone) consciously think is persuasive bears little resemblance to what influences real decision-making, which happens on a much more emotional level.

Effective fundraising will always seem off, even off-putting, to nonprofit insiders.

When you try to make it “right” for you — you will end up with a witch’s brew of problems listed above. That’s Fundraising From Yourself.


Comments

2 responses to “Fundraising From Yourself — it’s how you fail in fundraising”

  1. Right on Jeff! Thanks for sharing these points and adding your insights.

  2. Right on Jeff! Thanks for sharing these points and adding your insights.

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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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