Things that really don’t matter in fundraising: Part 3: The accomplishments of your staff

Your staff is amazing. I hope they are, anyway.

But their accomplishments, as important as they are, are not reasons donors donate.

Donors expect you to be great.

But they don’t really know what greatness is for your cause.

So when you are tempted to brag about staff accomplishments, you should step back and imagine how you look to people outside your culture — and that means almost all of your donors!

You kind of look like a guy bragging that he’s a “very stable genius” who aced a dementia diagnostic to the amazement of the doctors.

Okay, you don’t look quite that bad.

But the bragging is empty to outsiders. A waste of words, signifying little that they care about.

Fundraising is about one thing: What donors can accomplish. You need to make the case that a donation does something the donor really cares about.

The details of how you make that happen are almost irrelevant.

So stick to action in your fundraising.

And unless that award somebody won is a Nobel Prize, celebrate it internally, but don’t try to use it to raise money.

More things that really don’t matter in fundraising:


Comments

2 responses to “Things that really don’t matter in fundraising: Part 3: The accomplishments of your staff”

  1. Thanks for this reminder! We are so used to telling everyone how great we are we forget that it’s not about us! Agree with you that unless it’s a major accomplishment (like Homeboy Industries winning the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award!), let’s keep the celebrations internal 🙂

  2. Thanks for this reminder! We are so used to telling everyone how great we are we forget that it’s not about us! Agree with you that unless it’s a major accomplishment (like Homeboy Industries winning the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award!), let’s keep the celebrations internal 🙂

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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.