Your fundraising might just be “white noise” for donors

There’s a certain way things are done. We create printed pieces that look nice and professional. We use tasteful color palettes. We use an elevated vocabulary to signify our sophistication and education.

It’s everywhere.

And it’s the equivalence of white noise — sound that you don’t quite hear.

When you do things the way everyone does everything, your message becomes white noise. People don’t notice it. Clearly, not a good thing for your fundraising!

The Veritus Group Blog tackles that problem at Don’t Be White Noise to Your Donor: 4 Ways to Stand Out:

… your donors are getting a lot of communication from dozens of nonprofits all asking for help, and many are tuning out because it starts to feel like “white noise” to them.

This is why effective fundraising is so often “ugly.” That can turn it into an audible voice that rising out of the background noise.

Here are some ways to stand out, from Veritus. These are aimed at major donors, but you can adapt and scale them to any group of donors you want:

  • Simple, personalized video you make from your phone. Yes, it’s going to be shaky. The sound will not be great. It won’t look classy and professional. But it will break through and get attention!
  • Personalized Impact Report. Create a report that uses a lot of photos, graphs, and short chunks of text. Don’t spend a lot of time making it look perfect. Just get the info down on paper (or on a PDF) and send or email it.
  • November Giving Report. Before the year-end rush is in full swing, send a letter to donors that summarizes their giving so far this year. It’s a great reminder of what they can do during the giving season.
  • Thanksgiving Card. (For US donors.) You can still send the traditional Holiday card, but your Thanksgiving card, sent to arrive just before Thanksgiving, expresses your thankfulness for what the donor has done.

Look for ways to stand out, to break through, to be anything but white noise in your donor’s day.


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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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