Powerful fundraising begins in middle

Here’s a piece advice from Seth Godin that can save you a lot of time and trouble: Throat clearing isn’t necessary. The main point, we almost always waste our readers’ time by the way we start any piece of writing …

The first paragraph, where you lay out what’s about to happen. The half-apology you use to preface your comments at the meeting. The email that takes a paragraph or two to get to the point…

You can skip those.

About 90% of the time when I edit fundraising copy (in any medium), I chop off the beginning. Because it really is just throat-clearing.

That includes my own copy.

Throat-clearing may be a necessary part of writing. But it’s a seriously unnecessary part of your final message.

Get rid of it.

Take my online course, Irresistible Communications for Great Nonprofits. It’s a four-part complete masterclass in the surprising things that work in fundraising. Details here.


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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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