Raising funds for things nobody cares about

Here’s a useful acronym for fundraisers: NCBY.

Nobody Cares But You.

It comes from The Digital Drip, at Fiscal Year-End: Your Donors Don’t Want to Hear it.

Here are some NCBY topics from the post. These things will not motivate very many donors:

  • Detailed descriptions of your process
  • “Insider” language and jargon
  • A newsletter photo of a bunch of people holding an oversized check
  • A list of donors in your annual report
  • Your director of development’s new baby announcement
  • All the amazing things your organization has achieved because you are so amazing
  • Your organizational history
  • It’s our XXth anniversary!

A note on Fiscal Year End as a fundraising topic: I’ve done very well with Fiscal Year end appeals for many years. Here’s how: Make it matter to the donor. The upcoming fiscal year end matters because if we don’t raise a certain amount of money by that date, we will have to cut programs that you care about. (Of course, if you say this, it must be true! And, in my experience, it’s not true every year for most organizations — it’s a now-and-then challenge.)

But this tells me that some of those NCBY topics can be turned into DCAWTG (Donors Care And Want to Give) topics when you aim them clearly at donors!

Takeaway: Every time you start a fundraising project, ask yourself: Is this something only we care about?

If the answer is yes, ask a second question: Can we position this so that donors care about it?

If the answer to that is no (which it often is), pick a new topic!

I can help you find and focus in on DCAWTG topics in a free 25-minute Moceanic coaching session. Just click here and directly schedule an online conversation with me.


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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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