The best fundraising advice you will ever get

Want to read the best, most revenue-boosting, career-transforming advice you can get as a fundraiser?

Here it is, from Michael Rosen Says, at Do You Want to Know the Latest, Greatest Fundraising Idea?

To be successful, fundraising professionals need to learn the basics and embrace them. Doing so could add up to billions of dollars for the nonprofit sector.

Stick to the basics. It will do more for your organization and your career than anything else you can do.

What are these “basics”?

  • Creating a workable plan and sticking to it.
  • Meeting deadlines.
  • Getting good at traditional communications channels like direct mail.
  • Paying attention to and understanding the data.
  • Defending and promoting donor love in your organization.
  • Knowing when to say no to an idea you love because it doesn’t make sense for your goals.

… that’s right, boring stuff.

But this is the stuff that brings home the bacon. And makes you a more powerful fundraiser.

I work with a lot of people who work with a lot of organizations. And let me tell you: You can instantly spot the ones who know the basics and are good at them. They shine like beacons. And raise more money, with less flailing and pain, than the shiny-object-focused ones who are always looking for the next-big-thing.

What about innovation? You need to be seeking it. Most of us should spend about 10% of our time on new ideas. That’s about half a day a week.

The rest of your time, if you respect your time and want to do the best you can, should be spent on the basics.

And here’s the bonus: Those who are great at the basics are also better at innovation. They can spot snake-oil quicker and recognize great ideas that aren’t quite great yet with accuracy and insight.

It’s unfortunate that our industry as plagued with shiny-object sales weasels and false prophets who promise they can raise more money without hard work. They’re wrong. And you know they are.

But you aren’t their hostage. You know the basics, so you’ll never fall into their pit of big promises and little results.


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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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