Not a step-by-step, guaranteed-success fundraising guide

Now and then, a reader of this blog comments something like this:

Just tell me how to write my fundraising!

They’ve noticed that most, maybe all, posts here are tips, approaches, hints, ideas, even philosophy. Not specific “how-to write fundraising” material.

It’s an astute observation. But there are two reasons for the approach I take:

1. Telling you how to write fundraising is not the mission of this blog.

This blog hopes to equip you to write amazing fundraising.

Because your bespoke fundraising, created by you and fully in context with your organization, your donors, your community will be many times more amazing than my generic attempt at some kind of plug-and-play fundraising message.

You’ll raise more money that way.

And you’ll help spread the word about what really works when you know in your bones what really works — not something you picked up online that you hope will do the job.

I want to change the world by equipping fundraisers to do great work. If you want to join me in doing that, your part is to get equipped and do the great work.

2. I don’t trust templates, and neither should you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could find a perfect template for some odd new writing challenge. Something to free me from the terror of the blinking cursor with a reassuring promise that “this will work.”

Problem is, that promise of a template is iffy. At best.

Unless a template is targeted to your exact situation, there’s an awfully good chance it will lead you astray.

The only times I’m willing to create a template for others to follow is when the situation is super-specific — when I’m confident it’s more likely guiding people toward success rather making an empty promise it can’t fulfill.

If you want someone else to write effective fundraising for you, you can do that. It’s a smart move for many. There are many people well equipped to do that. They want you to pay them, of course. But it can be very much worth what it costs.

(And what you’ll notice about the good ones is that before they start writing, they’ll ask you a lot of questions. That’s how they make sure they’re doing the right assignment.)

But even if you choose to outsource, you’ll be better off if you understand fundraising from the inside.

The truth is, fundraising is hard. Even outsourcing it is no piece of cake.

There’s no way around that.

Even if you’ve read every blog, studied every book, attended every conference, had great mentors, and done it for decades.

It’s still a struggle. A journey.

I invite you to join the journey. That’s what this blog is about.


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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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