The two-step secret to success in fundraising

Here’s something you may have noticed too: Often, the nonprofit leaders who talk most about innovation and the exciting future ahead are the same ones who can’t seem to make meaningful progress now.

There’s a reason, and it’s articulated at Pamela Grow’s blog: When is an opportunity NOT an opportunity?

An opportunity is not an opportunity when it takes you away from your plan.

Wishful thinking, planning to go viral, or wasting precious resources on hunger games contests won’t get you from here to there.

That’s right — innovation is a must for fundraisers. And some incredibly exciting new ways of engaging donors are happening all around us.

But the real secret to success is a little less glamorous:

  1. Have a smart fundraising plan for the next 12 months.
  2. Work that plan with focus and energy.

When Shiny Objects distract you from your current strategy that works, you walk right into failure.

Flexibility and future-vision are important. But working your plan is how you’ll succeed this week, month, and year.

Have a plan and work it!


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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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