How to practice the better way of doing fundraising

Is your fundraising stuck in low-involvement mode, where you have to communicate with your donors a lot, and you get low response rates, low average gifts, and have low donor retention?

If so, you aren’t alone. That’s the way a lot of fundraising works these days. Transactional. Impersonal. And it just barely works. In the old days, it worked quite well. Which is why so many organizations use it. They seem to hope the clock will magically turn back to those days.

There’s a better way. You might call it relational fundraising. Donor focused.

Or, as the MarketSmart blog calls it, engagement fundraising. Here’s how you do it: The 8 core components of engagement fundraising and why you desperately need them:

  1. Acceptance of the Pareto Principle. (Knowing that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your donors tells you that you can — and should — focus your fundraising time and money at your 20%.)
  2. Understanding of why people really give. (Hint: it’s not because of your excellent processes. They give because it makes them feel good.)
  3. Employment of a feedback loop. (Make sure you’re listening to your donors!)
  4. Valuable engagement offers. (It’s not only about money. Give your donors other ways to change the world through your organization.)
  5. Lead generation efforts. (Always look for ways to learn more about your donors by giving them opportunities to talk back and otherwise engage with you.)
  6. Cultivation efforts. (Keep the conversation going!)
  7. Dashboard. (Make your efforts and donors’ responses easily visible so you can react and respond in time.)
  8. Conversion efforts. (Ask when they’re likely to give.)


Comments

4 responses to “How to practice the better way of doing fundraising”

  1. Thanks so much for spreading the word Jeff!

  2. Thanks so much for spreading the word Jeff!

  3. Thanks for sharing the great insights about fundraising.

  4. Thanks for sharing the great insights about fundraising.

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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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