Batman vs. Yoda — which is your fundraising hero?

You and your donor together are a world-changing duo of heroes.

But what pair-of-superheroes model are you following?

Are you the following the Batman Model?

BatmanORG-robinDONORblog

Batman is the Boss. Robin is the helper, the sidekick. All is well as long as Robin does what Batman tells him what to do. Batman gets all the glory. And a way cooler costume.

The Batman Model in fundraising puts the fundraiser in the starring role. The donor is the helper whose donations help enable the work.

Batman fundraising is full of phrases like:

  • Please donate so we can…
  • Help us help the children…
  • Support this great work…

Batman Fundraisers are full of themselves. They go on and on about how “cutting edge” and “effective” and “unique” they are. They have fat brand guidelines that they must follow to make sure they’re properly expressing their awesomeness.

Are you the following the Yoda Model?

Yoda-luke2blog

Yoda gives Luke Skywalker power. He trains Luke to rise to the level where he can take down the Evil Empire. Yoda stays in the background, meditating in his swamp, while Luke gets all the glory.

The Yoda Model puts the donor in the starring role. You enable the donor’s heroism. You train the donor and help focus their efforts.

Yoda Fundraising is full of phrases like:

  • Your gift will help the children…
  • This is your chance to make a difference…
  • Thank you…

Yoda Fundraisers don’t have big egos. They know their work matters, and they don’t have to say it out loud. They happily give all the credit and glory to their donors.

Which model raises more funds?

I’ll let you guess!

(This post first appeared on September 1, 2015.)


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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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