How to raise funds in the crisis — and how NOT to

What’s different in fundraising right now? Check out this look on the Bloomerang Blog, at Best and Worst Nonprofit Coronavirus Crisis Communication Strategies.

Here’s the bad:

  • The worst is NO communication. That’s what a lot of fundraisers are doing. It’s a massive error that some may never recover from.
  • The second worst is TONE-DEAF communication. Some (not many, fortunately) are acting as if nothing unusual is going on. That’s another error that will hurt those who make it.
  • The third worst is ignoring the fact you need fundraising income now (assuming you do). If you need money, ask. If you urgently need it, ask urgently. It’s dishonest to do otherwise.

What should our fundraising be like right now? Here are some answers:

  • Easy to understand. Get to the point and stay on it. Make sure you ask more than once (readers skim!) and stay away from complex explanations. They just slow readers down and lower the response.
  • Specific. Be clear about the problem you want donors to help solve. And about their part in the solution.
  • Easy to respond to. In direct mail, include a reply device. Don’t make them fill in their name and address (if you’re mailing them, you already know it!) include other ways to donate, like a phone number they can call and a donation URL.

Of course, that how fundraising should be all the time. But it’s extra important now!


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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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