How to kill your fundraising with committees

Does this look like your internal process for creating fundraising messages?

Toomanycooks
(From the wonderful Marketoonist cartoon and blog.)

It always amazes me how many people get involved in fundraising. Everyone knows that “too many cooks spoil the broth.” We’ve all experienced it many times.

Yet when it comes to fundraising, large committees form to make sure the broth is as spoiled as possible. I’ve heard of committees as large as 35 people who all needed to okay fundraising messages.

If you want to succeed, the fewer people involved, the better you will do. Here are some other ways to improve things:

  • Each person should be there for a specific reason or area of expertise — and they should not comment outside that area. (The technical expert who’s reading for accuracy, should not be commenting on word choice and letter length. His opinions about those things are wrong, guaranteed!)
  • “I don’t like it” is never a useful criticism. No matter how much you dislike it.
  • Each person with authority over the fundraising should be someone with skin in the game. They should feel the pain if the project does poorly. That will help check frivolous revisions.


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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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