Improve fundraising results by telling donors what they need to hear

Do your donors know exactly how awesome they are?

They might not if you thank them the way a lot of fundraisers do:

Our people and processes are the best! We’ve accomplished so very much. Thank you.

The Communicate! Blog has good thoughts on how not to do that, at What Nonprofit Donors Want to Hear:

…the more you portray your organization as the donor’s tool for doing what they want done, the more likely your donors are to give. And to feel proud of themselves. And to give again.

When you acknowledge a donor’s giving, the subject isn’t your awesomeness. It’s theirs. You should tell a powerful, emotional story about something great that happened because of donors. And then say…

Thank you for making this possible. It can’t happen without your generosity! You are the best!

That’s what donors want to hear. That’s what will make them want to give repeatedly.

And sadly, it’s what they rarely hear from the organizations they support.


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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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