5 reasons fundraising fails

The top reason fundraising efforts fail is because they’re all about:

  1. How effective the organization is.
  2. How respected the organization is.
  3. How long the organization has been around.
  4. How unique the organization is.
  5. How urgent the organization’s need is.

Those things are important … to people inside the organization.

Not so much to donors. They are in what you do. And how they can make a difference.

That’s why effective fundraising is about:

  • How your work aligns with her values.
  • How great a difference she can make by donating.
  • How important she is to make it happen.

It’s a challenge to get outside your own head and communicate with others, especially for an organization.

But until you do, fundraising will always be a struggle, because you aren’t really talking to the people you hope to motivate to action.


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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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