The false danger of repetition in fundraising

It was one of those jaw-dropping errors that can keep you up nights. The March appeal went out again in April, instead of the April appeal. Yes, the exact same appeal went out twice.

We waited for the fallout, biting our nails.

But here’s what happened: the first March appeal did okay — it met expectations. The April (that is, repeated March) appeal … it did slightly better than the March appeal. In fact, better than expected.

Repetition is not our enemy, as pointed out by the Better Fundraising Blog, at The False Assumption That Does Massive Damage

  1. False assumption: “All our donors heard about this” (No they didn’t. A rather small percentage even noticed that you said anything at all!)
  2. False assumption: “We can’t repeat something, our donors will stop paying attention.” (Actually, people start paying attention after encountering a message more than once.)
  3. False assumption: “Repeating messages will alienate our core donors.” (The only donors you’ll alienate will be board members.)

Repetition is a fundraiser’s friend. Spend less time reinventing the wheel, and make repetition work for you!

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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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