How to be a PR wizard while you raise funds

You want people to have a favorable impression of your organization. The more people who do, the easier it will be to raise funds.

This little truth leads more fundraisers down the wrong path than a lot of flat-out myths.

Because when you mix public relations with fundraising, you end up not really accomplishing either one.

Read this post at the Better Fundraising Blog: You’ve got some PR in your fundraising.

The problem with mixing the two is that the way you do public relations is completely at odds with the way you do fundraising.

PR tells people that your organization is trustworthy, effective, and all-around awesome.

Fundraising tells people that there’s a problem that they can help solve.

Two different things.

With one very surprising solution:

… the best way to increase goodwill among their donors is to get their donors to give more often, not by telling donors how great the organization is.

That’s right: When someone makes a donation to your organization, it increases their sense of your awesomeness.

When you do great fundraising, better public perception follows. Automatically.

When you mix public perception messaging with fundraising messaging, you just end up with a confusing mish-mash. So you raise less money. And you have less impact on perception.


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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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