Five ways to waste your money in fundraising

Here’s some useful help from Equally Ours, a UK human rights organization: Talking about human rights (PDF).

It’s about communicating about human rights issues, but it applies well to fundraising — or just about any attempt to persuade people to do good:

  • Educating with facts. Because people make decisions on emotions. Facts are more likely to drive them the other direction.
  • Arguments about legal and procedural issues. They may matter, but your donors don’t care!
  • Myth-busting. When you try to bust a myth, you’re more likely to cement the myth in readers’ minds.
  • International arguments. Like, “We should support this cause or other nations will not respect us.” Your donors don’t think that way.

(Thanks to Irish Charity Lab for the tip.)


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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.