How fundraisers can be human during the pandemic

Several times in the last few weeks, I’ve written fundraising messages and included variations of this sentence:

I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and staying safe during this crisis.

We don’t often say things like this in our messages.

Why am I doing it now? (And I know I’m not the only one!)

Because it’s real and relevant.

Because I know the person I’m writing to is in some way living in this crisis.

Most of the time, we have no idea what’s big and present in the life of each reader. Some have recently lost a loved one. Some are fighting a disease. Some have received an important honor or major success in their lives.

If you knew that about them, you’d say something about it.

But you don’t, so you just launch into your fundraising message.

I wonder if the very fact that you know this one big thing that’s going on in your donors’ lives is one of the reasons fundraising has been doing so well the last few weeks.

We’re able to be more relevant and more human than we normally can be.

We’re in a special time. It won’t last forever.

Things will get back to normal (thank goodness), and we’ll lose this amazing little touch of humanity in our fundraising.

Keep doing it while you can! It’s an important part of being a truly human fundraiser.


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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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