3 things that make your fundraising message stand out in the crowd

A disturbing and often-forgotten reminder from The Agitator: Fundraiser, You’re Not Alone.

As much as we like to imagine “our” donors are in a monogamous relationship with us, eagerly waiting for our messages with nothing else going on — it’s just not like that. Donors donate. They’re on many lists. The older they are, in general, the more different organizations they support and the more mail, email, and calls they get.

And it’s even more true the last two months of the year.

As The Agitator puts it:

Why do you think that donor (the one you call yours) will pay any attention to your appeal, need, organization? What will make your appeal special, distinctive, differentiated? Once you’ve figured that out, multiply it by the dozens of appeals you’ll probably send out over those 61 days.

There are a lot of things you can do to cut through the clutter and move the donor to give. Here are three that really matter:

  1. Make your message about the donor, not about your organization.
  2. Ask the donor to do something specific (and wonderful).
  3. Make sure your words and images depict the problem you’re inviting the donor to help solve.


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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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