Our donors hated it

You’ve heard that one before: The fundraising project failed because our donors hated it.

No they didn’t.

It failed because you didn’t make them care.

Failed fundraising is nearly always bland, flat, confusing, irrelevant. Designed specifically to avoid being hated.

If donors had hated it, you’d have got more response. When people hate something, they are more likely to respond. It’s when they don’t care that you get little response.

Any experienced fundraiser will tell you: The most successful campaigns are also the ones that generate the most complaints.

If you are able to create something that people hate, congratulations! That means you have it in you to create something that moves them to action.

Don’t confuse yourself by saying donors hate your failures. That makes you work to minimize the hate. Which guarantees more failure.

(This post first appeared on July 20, 2016.)


Comments

2 responses to “Our donors hated it”

  1. I agree Jeff. Indifference is even worse than hate. And when apathy spreads throughout an organization, it risks irrelevance. Thanks for putting up the warning flag.

  2. I agree Jeff. Indifference is even worse than hate. And when apathy spreads throughout an organization, it risks irrelevance. Thanks for putting up the warning flag.

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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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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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