What would Warren do if he were a fundraiser?

Warren Buffett became fantastically wealthy by buying low and selling high. By having a solid plan and sticking to it. (Plus being smart and lucky.)

Buffet’s investment strategy is surprisingly simple:

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful..

Make that your fundraising philosophy.

(Maybe change the word “greedy” to “bold.”)

What it means for fundraising: Right now, during the coronavirus crisis, thousands of fundraisers are going silent with fear. Fear that people will get mad at them for asking. Fear that their fundraising just won’t work.

As a result, email inboxes and mailboxes are less packed with fundraising than usual.

That means anything you do at this time can do better than usual. It’s part of a smaller group vying for attention. Add to that the outpouring of philanthropy we’re seeing from so my donors … bold fundraisers are doing very well right now!

Be bold!

The “be fearful” part comes whenever a shiny new object appears and some fundraisers see it as an answer to all their problems — their main problem being that they aren’t good at fundraising.

Cryptocurrencies. The newest social media site that’s catching fire (with teens, of course). QR codes. When others are all excited about those things, you should avert your eyes and get back to basics.

And be a Warren Buffett of fundraising.


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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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