Knowing your own mind makes you a stronger fundraiser

Sometimes we look at donors and their brains the way we look at the inert form of a frog we’re dissecting. It’s as if we can know everything about how their brains work, we can raise a lot more money.

That’s true, up to a point.

There’s another brain you need to pay attention to if you want to do well in fundraising:

Your own brain.

Because fundraising is not just a procedure enact on the donor’s brain. It’s the interaction between your brain and the donor’s.

A helpful post at the Bloomerang Blog brings this out: Neuroscience Meets Fundraising: Gentle Art of Teaching JOY of Giving.

It’s about the internal work of fundraising “… from a place of loving and giving, rather than a place of hating (“fundraising is yucky”) and taking.”

Here’s how it can work

  • A prospective donor, ‘suffering’ from lack of meaning and happiness in life…
  • Puts their potential for added joy and purpose in the hands of a trusted fundraiser who…
  • Facilitates ‘feel good’ joyful philanthropy.

When you see that your fundraising enters the life of a donor and makes things better for her, you are free to do your best work. Best for your organization, and best for the donor.


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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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