What a hilarious holiday video teaches us about fundraising

The most important thing about this video is that it’s utterly hilarious. Enjoy it this holiday season if you need to destress. You’re welcome.

(Or view it here on Vimeo.)

This video also has a lesson for us fundraisers. There’s a lot of fundraising out there that’s almost as “out of tune” as this robot-made holiday carol. But when it happens in fundraising, it’s not funny at all. It’s just a big waste of money and of donors’ time.

Why is the robot holiday carol so disturbing and funny? Well, it really doesn’t “get” music. Or Christmas. Or human emotions. The robot has an excuse: It has never experienced any of those things.

As far as I know, there are no actual robots engaged in creating fundraising. Yet. But to look at some of what’s out there, you might think the robots are going at it. Or at least humans who are as clueless about the reasons people give as the robots are about real songs.

Here are some signs that you might be doing “robot fundraising”:

  • You’re making the case with numbers, not stories. That’s how robots think. Humans are persuaded by stories and situations.
  • Your message includes a list of past accomplishments. Regular human donors give in order to make action happen. Not to reward your excellence.
  • Your call to action is something like “support us.” That’s an abstraction that only a robot can love.
  • Jargon. You have really useful ways of talking about your cause that are helpful for the experts — but incomprehensible to everyone else.
  • You ask only once. Robots need to be told only once. Humans need repetition. (If you’re a parent, you really know this!)

Don’t let these things drag your fundraising into the world of robot work. Fundraising is a job for humans!


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog