4 game-changing hints for powerful fundraising

There are a handful of results-crushing approaches that happen constantly in fundraising. People use them so often because they seem right.

But they aren’t. They actively discourage donors from giving.

Here’s a myth-busting post from Clairification that can help you leave those unfortunate approaches behind: Before Sending a Fundraising Appeal Do This, Not That:

  1. Talk to your donors, NOT at them. It’s easy to think that if you just inform your donors about your track record of success, your excellent methodologies, your talented staff, and your fiscal acumen, donors will be bowled over and they’ll give. That should work, but it doesn’t. Donors don’t give because you’re awesome. They give because they want to change the world. That means you have to approach them on their terms. Keep it simple, emotional, and make your point with stories, not facts.
  2. Ask donors to change the world, NOT to help you change the world. In the donor’s world, you are a “middle man” in their mission to change the world. They aren’t giving to support your goals. They’re giving to meet their own goals. Your job is to show how their goals and yours align.
  3. Show what the donor’s gift will accomplish in the future, NOT what others’ gifts (or even theirs) accomplished in the past. Donors give to make something happen. Not to pat you on the head for what you’ve already done. The time to tell donors about accomplishments is after they’ve given. Then they can share in the celebration of success.
  4. Give a reason to give now, NOT whenever for whatever. In fundraising, “give some time” translates into “don’t bother to give.” Always have a reason to donate now. Even an arbitrary deadline is better than no urgency at all.


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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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