3 linked truths that can make your fundraising make sense

This could save you so much time and money. It’s a post on the Better Fundraising Blog: Three Things All Direct Response Fundraisers Should Know.

The three things are linked:

  1. It’s the most counterintuitive thing you’ve ever done. Fundraising is so extremely counterintuitive that you can almost use this as your guide: If I like it, it won’t work.
  2. The only way to know what works is A/B testing. Since you can’t rely on your instincts about what will work in fundraising, you have to rely on science: Properly designed and executed head-to-head testing.
  3. You can spend years, and lots of money doing your own testing, or you can hire those who have done it and see immediate results. Testing is expensive and difficult. More important, the large majority of nonprofit organizations are not large enough to ever run tests that will yield trustworthy results.

There you have it. To put it slightly differently:

  1. Your intuition about fundraising is wrong.
  2. To get it right, you need to rely on testing — which you likely can’t do.
  3. But you can learn from people who have done valid testing.

The experts with testing knowledge in their arsenal are out there. Listen to them and start experiencing success. It really is that simple.


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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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