Laws of Fundraising: Painful realities

This is the time of year when most fundraisers raise most of their funds. That makes the last few weeks of the year frightening. A mess-up now has bigger impact than one that happens any other time.

Which is why I must share Brooks’ 3rd Law of Fundraising Reality:

Shit happens. Especially in December.

But it gets worse…

First Corollary to Brooks’ Third Law

The more embarrassing and damaging a fundraising screw-up, the more likely it is to be first discovered by a board member.

That’s only the beginning of the pain we face. Much of it is aimed directly at you

Second Corollary to Brooks’ Third Law

The further you are from being at fault, the more likely you’ll get the blame.

Third Corollary to Brooks’ Third Law

The guy who knows what really happened doesn’t work here any more.

Brace yourself. It’s December!


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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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