Things that really don’t matter in fundraising: Part 2: Your anniversary

Congratulations! Your organization has been around for some nice round number of years.

That’s a credit to you and/or somebody.

But it’s not a reason to donate.

If you’re thinking about having a fundraising campaign because your 25th anniversary is coming up, please think some more.

People donate to make things happen. To put their values to work. To make a difference.

Not congratulate organizations — no matter how much those organizations deserve the praise. If you want to give, you need to appeal to people’s values and put meaningful action in their hands. If your message is Give because we’ve been around for 25 years, you are wasting your time. And your donors’ time.

Don’t get me wrong — longevity is a good thing, a sign that you are reputable and experienced. If you have a long track record. If you have longevity, it is a small point in your favor for some donors. And that’s how you should treat it.

Organizations with real longevity are usually good at letting their work speak for itself. The Salvation Army, which was founded 155 years ago, does that. You have to dig deep on their main website before you find the words, Since 1865.

When your organization has a special anniversary, celebrate. Get a cake. Have a party. But don’t use it a reason to donate. That really doesn’t excite your donors.

Things that really don’t matter in fundraising: Part 1: Your CEO’s “voice


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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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