The easy way to raise less money

It’s not hard to understand that less fundraising means less revenue.

But, as the Better Fundraising Blog points out at Less is Less, the converse is also true: More is more. That is, more fundraising means more revenue:

If your organization believes that “less is less,” but doesn’t believe that “more is more,” you’ve placed a boundary around the generosity of your donors.

“More is more” is very hard for some fundraisers to believe. But unless you truly believe that your donors are giving too much, and you need to limit the revenue you get, you need to leave the giving decision to donors — not deciding for them when they’ve given enough.

There are legitimate reasons to limit the amount of fundraising you do. But “less is more” is not one of them.


Comments

4 responses to “The easy way to raise less money”

  1. I’m trying to understand this, because I find it intriguing. We have a process where we exclude recent high donors (within the last month) from appeal communications, sending them a “NO ASK” version of the letter.
    Are you saying that it is a bad idea to assume someone might be offended if you asked them again right away? Aren’t there circumstances where you refrain from asking for more?
    Even with low donors, I do feel bad a bit with asking again when they’ve just given. Maybe this is misplaced concern, and I should just assume they understand that they’re on a mailing list, and since they’ve just given, they simply won’t respond again, without being miffed by being asked. They get very personalized thanks when they do give, so perhaps they don’t mind being included in the appeal.
    I would be interested to hear you expand on the point you’ve made.

  2. I’m trying to understand this, because I find it intriguing. We have a process where we exclude recent high donors (within the last month) from appeal communications, sending them a “NO ASK” version of the letter.
    Are you saying that it is a bad idea to assume someone might be offended if you asked them again right away? Aren’t there circumstances where you refrain from asking for more?
    Even with low donors, I do feel bad a bit with asking again when they’ve just given. Maybe this is misplaced concern, and I should just assume they understand that they’re on a mailing list, and since they’ve just given, they simply won’t respond again, without being miffed by being asked. They get very personalized thanks when they do give, so perhaps they don’t mind being included in the appeal.
    I would be interested to hear you expand on the point you’ve made.

  3. Tim Johnson Avatar
    Tim Johnson

    Good thoughts, to be sure. And I’m not sure I have an answer to your inquiry except to say that there a number of organizations that I receive request from with great regularity. Each of them are organizations I believe in, give to periodically, and trust. The fact that they make requests of me far more than I respond to in no way offends me. Quite the opposite. These requests, in fact, are constant reminders of the important work I am impassioned to support. I feel no offense. No downside. Mind you, I think there may be exceptions to this. And I imagine one can over ask. But this is my spin on it all. Thanks!

  4. Tim Johnson Avatar
    Tim Johnson

    Good thoughts, to be sure. And I’m not sure I have an answer to your inquiry except to say that there a number of organizations that I receive request from with great regularity. Each of them are organizations I believe in, give to periodically, and trust. The fact that they make requests of me far more than I respond to in no way offends me. Quite the opposite. These requests, in fact, are constant reminders of the important work I am impassioned to support. I feel no offense. No downside. Mind you, I think there may be exceptions to this. And I imagine one can over ask. But this is my spin on it all. Thanks!

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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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