4 ways you might be excluding your donors

You might be making your fundraising needlessly difficult for donors to engage with. A lot of us do, and never really see it — because it’s almost invisible to us. Here are Four Accidental Barriers to Connection with Your Donors from the Better Fundraising Blog:

  1. Design/Type Size. Small type (and I mean anything smaller than 12 point), difficult fonts, narrow margins, walls of type … these things exclude anyone with less than perfect vision. That’s a lot of people, including almost everyone over the age of 40. How old are your donors?
  2. Jargon. Your in house jargon is an appropriate way to communicate within your organization. But when you use it to communicate with donors, you are keeping them from understanding what you want them to understand. You may need outside help to recognize jargon from plain language — but the improvement in response can be huge when you keep the jargons inside your organization.
  3. Too Much Organization. Donors don’t give to fund organizations. They give to make things happen. So when fundraising is all about your programs, how they work, how great your staff are — you simply aren’t talking to your donors.
  4. Going Conceptual. Donors give to make things happen. To feed hungry kids. Shelter abandoned pets. Keep the ballet company on stage. Not to create “hope,” or “community,” or “compassion.” Those are good things, but they are abstractions. When you let the abstractions stand in for the actions, donors turn away.


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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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