5 things donors wish you knew about them

  1. Donors wish you knew their name. Spelled the way they spell it. Sure, they’re forgiving about mistakes. But a messed-up name is a jangly reminder that you don’t know them.
  2. Donors wish you knew they are human beings. a lot of fundraising is based on this formula: Give donors X information and they will respond with X donations. That doesn’t work in any other area of human relationships, and it doesn’t work in fundraising. Connect with people by the heart, giving them the opportunity to do something they care about.
  3. Donors wish you knew what they really care about. They are interested in how they can make a difference. Not how amazing your organization is.
  4. Donors wish you knew they don’t need to be “improved” by you. Most of your donors know less about your cause and your programs than you do. And that’s okay. It’s not your business to educate and improve donors. It’s your business to build relationships with them.
  5. Donors wish nonprofits knew they love to give. It’s a common working assumption that donors hate hearing from you and are slightly injured every time you ask. That’s non-donors. Donors love to give. Don’t be afraid to ask them.


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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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