How Awesomeness Syndrome can torpedo your fundraising

Tom Ahern and I had a 20-minute conversation the other day about the ways branding can help and hurt a nonprofit organization.

We concluded that there’s a syndrome out there that’s hurting a lot of fundraising programs: Awesomeness Syndrome — the compulsion to overwhelm people with how awesome an organization is … to the point that you’re no longer raising funds, but actually persuading people that they needn’t give.

Conversations with Tom are always both entertaining and enlightening. We hope you find it useful and instructive:

(Or see it here on YouTube)

We also talked a bit about my book, which you might consider reading if you want to build a brand that supports and improves fundraising results: The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand.

Want help turning your brand into a fundraising plus? I’m available for free 25-minute coaching sessions. Just click here and directly schedule an online conversation with me or with Sean Triner.


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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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