Forget the doubters; raise funds from your believers

Why is it hard to raise funds?

One reason is that large numbers of people don’t believe what you’re saying. No matter how obvious and self-evident you think it is.

That’s what Seth Godin reminds us at Facts are not the antidote for doubt:

… facts won’t change a mind that doesn’t want to be changed. More facts don’t counter more doubt. Someone who is shaking his head, arms folded, eyes squinted and ears closed isn’t going to be swayed by more facts.

This tells us a lot about the weird state of US politics these days.

But more to our point, it reminds us of one of the important truths about fundraising:

You are never fundraising from “everybody.”

The only people who have any chance of responding to your asks are those who already know, understand, and believe. Everyone else doesn’t know about your cause, or doesn’t care about it, or won’t believe you in any case.

Don’t waste your time and money on those people. You aren’t going to get them.

Instead, tell the story of a problem members of your “tribe” want to solve. And don’t try it with facts; they have almost no impact on the hearts even of believers!

(This post first appeared on June 8, 2017.)


Comments

2 responses to “Forget the doubters; raise funds from your believers”

  1. This is all very true, but sometimes, just sometimes, the one who is skeptical, who doesn’t jump on board immediately, who doesn’t cheerlead for your cause is actually looking for someone to listen to them. To hear their point of view. To understand their concerns.
    They can become your strongest allies.

  2. This is all very true, but sometimes, just sometimes, the one who is skeptical, who doesn’t jump on board immediately, who doesn’t cheerlead for your cause is actually looking for someone to listen to them. To hear their point of view. To understand their concerns.
    They can become your strongest allies.

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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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