There’s no such thing as a magic bullet in fundraising

Someone on the board has heard that a super-rich family is giving out money by the bucketful. They could fund us for years to come!

Or someone went to a really classy fundraising event that no doubt raised an impressive amount — why don’t we do that too?

Or someone read an article about donors switching over to bitcoin giving, and they’re giving a lot of money … if you set up a system for them.

Those are all dead ends. Because there are no magic bullets in fundraising. It’s wishful thinking. That’s why all fundraisers should Stop Looking for a Fundraising Magic Bullet, according to The Fundraising Authority.

Success in fundraising comes about a different way:

When you see a non-profit that is really thriving … I can guarantee you that it got there the hard way…. They stewarded their donors and encouraged them to upgrade. They asked for referrals to new donors. They built annual giving programs, held in-person meetings, made personal fundraising calls. They did the work. They are still doing the work.

Like most things in life, success in fundraising comes from showing up every day, doing the hard and mostly unexciting work, and sticking to it for a long time.

It sure would be nice if there were one big, new, exciting thing that would do an end run around all that work. But there isn’t.


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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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