1 in 4 fundraisers want to succeed in fundraising

I recently heard about some research on professional fundraisers where they were asked what was important to them about their fundraising. The results:

  • 75% wanted to feel good about their fundraising
  • 25% wanted have more effective fundraising

So that’s what’s wrong with our profession! A large majority of us would rather feel good about their work than actual be good?

To be fair, I’ll guess many (maybe even most) of the “feel good” group don’t see feeling good and being good as separate or opposing things.

But they are. The more you “feel good” about your fundraising, the less effective it will be.

I know that’s strange. But it’s reliably true. Probably every consultant knows that awkward moment when your client says I love it! because you now you’ve missed the mark and the project is in real danger of performing poorly.

Effective fundraising will make you feel uncomfortable.

You may even passionately hate it.

That’s just one of the weird things about fundraising.

Don’t expect to like or feel good about your fundraising. And get used to that.

Base your judgement on how well your fundraising conforms to standards of excellence. Not on how it tickles your fancy.

Over time, you’ll develop a strange sort of liking for that discomfort that effective fundraising brings.

(This post first appeared on October 31, 2017.)


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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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