Why people don’t support nonprofit organizations

This might seem obvious, but so much fundraising just misses the point: people donate to nonprofits to help people.

They don’t donate to support nonprofits.

Fundraising that misses that point is not effective.

That’s the point at this MarketSmart blog post, What so many fundraising appeals miss: people want to help people, which connects the widespread use of “support us” fundraising to the donor attrition crisis that’s widespread in our industry:

If institutions are to stem donor attrition and win some donors back, they need to back away from the grandiose claims of corporate case and make more human appeals. They should not seek to raise money based on what they want or need unless they can tie it directly to who they could better serve.

You can raise some money by asking donors to give you money so you can do your mission.

But you’ll raise a lot more if you ask donors to give money to make great things happen. That’s the real reason people give away money.

If you need more revenue, more donors, more ability to do your work, you need to make sure you connect with would-be donors where their hearts are. And that is helping others.


Comments

2 responses to “Why people don’t support nonprofit organizations”

  1. Sorry, but it’s actually that they don’t trust nonprofits or the people working for them.
    That’s why they don’t give.
    Until trust is built and maintained, it won’t matter how you word your messages.

  2. Sorry, but it’s actually that they don’t trust nonprofits or the people working for them.
    That’s why they don’t give.
    Until trust is built and maintained, it won’t matter how you word your messages.

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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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