Don’t let “graffiti fundraising” hide your message

Graffiti
Why are most graffiti illegible?

Actually, they aren’t — to their primary audience. That audience is not you. You have nothing to do with the message.

Graffiti are about the people who write them. It’s a proclamation: I was here. You and I don’t care that this particular young vandal was there. And Young Vandal doesn’t care that we don’t care. It’s just for him, his buddies, and their rivals.

Sadly, a lot of fundraising is like that. It’s all about the people who created it. It makes no attempt to connect with or communicate with others. It’s a product of self-expression, not an attempt to connect.

It’s the kind of fundraising that’s chained to super-prescriptive brand guidelines that are focused on the greatness of the organization. Or that tries to “educate” donors into a proper understanding of the cause before they give. It’s just an elaborate form of I am here.

Problem is, fundraising is supposed to motivate responses. When it’s self-focused Graffiti Fundraising, it’s just a waste of money. And time. And your donors’ good will.

Don’t do Graffiti Fundraising that merely proclaims your existence and awesomeness. Talk to your donors about their opportunity to change the world.

Ready to eliminate graffiti fundraising? I have 25 minutes for you. Click here to schedule a free 25 minute session with me. It’s free. And you and I can talk about your messaging or any fundraising topic of your choice. Click the link to schedule!

(This post first appeared on September 10, 2012)


Comments

2 responses to “Don’t let “graffiti fundraising” hide your message”

  1. Nicole Malina Avatar
    Nicole Malina

    Graffiti is an art and one of the five sacred elements of hip hop. It’s not the same as tagging, and believe me – while you may not be the audience, there is a vibrant hip hop audience who appreciates and can definitely understand it. It is far less about competition and far more about artistic expression than you may realize

  2. Nicole Malina Avatar
    Nicole Malina

    Graffiti is an art and one of the five sacred elements of hip hop. It’s not the same as tagging, and believe me – while you may not be the audience, there is a vibrant hip hop audience who appreciates and can definitely understand it. It is far less about competition and far more about artistic expression than you may realize

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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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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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