You: How to put the magic word to use

It’s become pretty common for fundraisers to say that you is the magic word of fundraising.

But it takes more than just throwing the word around. Because you acts like magic only properly used, as noted at Hands-On Fundraising: Are you using the magic fundraising word?

If all you do is sprinkle that word in your otherwise organization-focused copy, you’re not likely to hold a reader’s attention long.

When the protagonist in my little story stops being the organization and starts being the donor… then it’s natural that the word you appears often.

Here’s an unmagical use of the word you:

When you send your gift, we’ll use it to change the world.

And here’s the same idea with the magic included:

When you send your gift, you’ll change the world.

Is it that simple? Almost.

Don’t just sprinkle the word you into your fundraising. Make your fundraising about the donor.


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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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