Fundraising Laws concerning co-workers

Brookslaws

Maybe you remember the Boss Corollary to Brooks’ First Law of Fundraising Effectiveness:

The more your boss hates the fundraising, the better it will do.

That inverse relationship between fundraising effectiveness and boss-love also applies to colleagues are not the boss. Which leads to these corollaries to the First Law:

Corollary #1

There is no fundraising project so brilliant that it can’t be completely destroyed by an accountant.

Corollary #2

Or by a lawyer.

Predator Awareness Side Note to Corollaries #1 and #2

While you sleep or eat, the accountants and/or lawyers are actively hunting for successful fundraising projects to destroy.

Corollary #3

If your program people like your fundraising, it will fail.

Corollary #4

The most successful fundraising campaign you create will cause an emergency meeting of the board about what they should do to keep it from ever happening again.

The truth is, successful fundraising is so squarely aimed at donors that it is virtually guaranteed to miss people who are not donors, especially insiders. But also non-insiders who are not donors. Which brings up Corollary #5 (which is also a corollary to the Fifth Law of Fundraising:

The most devastating and articulate complaints from the public about your fundraising will come from people who have never donated, and never would donate no matter what you do.

Fundraising that works is for and about donors.

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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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