2 things donors don’t care about — and one they really do

Fundraising that gets donors to take action focuses on the why for that action.

Not the what or the how.

A lot of fundraisers stumble on this important distinction that’s laid out on the Stelter Insights blog at How, what or why? your nonprofit’s donor messaging should focus on this.

What you do and how you do it are important.

But they aren’t what make donors give. Charitable giving is an act of the heart. With a goal of putting their values and passion into action.

If you focus on the what (your activities) or the how (your methods), you speak to the wrong part of the brain: The part that’s looking for reasons not to give.

Charitable giving is how donors connect to the meaning they’re searching for, the legacy they want to leave, and the difference they hope to make. Often, that connection starts with the stories you tell about the cause, the people, the places and the animals you serve: why you do what you do and why their help is needed and valued.

You can’t educate or explain people into giving. You must remind them to care and make it easy to act.


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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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