Category: Fun

  • Happy birthday, Uncle Maynard!

    Uncle Maynard turns 90 today. In case you haven’t met him, Uncle Maynard is a prodigious donor. He’s thoughtful, church-going donor who loves to give. He gets a lot of direct mail fundraising. A lot. Through the year’s he’s shared with me. Banker’s boxes full of it at a time. Read about Uncle Maynard’s generosity…

  • Halloween special: Things that should scare fundraisers

    In honor of Halloween, when we seek that thrill of tiny fingers on the back of the neck, here are some things that should scare the heck out of fundraisers: Data problems. Bad data can kill your fundraising in the most gruesome and terrifying ways. You can end up talking to the wrong people, not…

  • Tricks and treats for online fundraisers

    Online fundraising is a lot like Halloween: Part fun, part scary. It has plenty of tricks and plenty of treats to keep you on your toes. Online fundraising “tricks” It’s a “cold” medium. The way people read email is different from traditional media. It’s fast, action-oriented, impatient. Not good for emotion and compassion — the…

  • What Wordle can teach us about fundraising

    Do you play Wordle? Good news: This simple, compelling game has something to teach us about fundraising: Wordle may look like a guessing game, but it’s actually a knowledge-gathering challenge. You win by paying attention to the fact and applying logic. It’s the same with fundraising. If you treat Wordle as if it’s “Guess the…

  • Here’s to ending the year on the right note

    They worked so hard. Everyone was at their best, well-practiced and in sync. Everyone had gone well, really well, and now the big finish was upon them. Everyone was soaring… And then, one tiny thing went ever-so-slightly wrong: (Or view hear on YouTube.) Here’s my wish that this doesn’t happen to your organization as 2021…

  • Way worse than “BOO” — things you really don’t want to hear in fundraising

    Halloween is a time when we seek that thrill of fear — the tiny fingers on the back of the neck. In real life, it’s not so much fun. Here are some scary things you might hear: “Let’s stop bugging the major donors with our mail.” There’s a belief out there that major donors are…

  • Fundraising laws concerning the late-pandemic era

    Brooks’ Fundraising Law Concerning Post-Pandemic Blame Shifting: Organizations that cancelled fundraising during the pandemic because they believed it would anger donors are the organizations most likely to believe that donors will not respond to fundraising now because there is no crisis to spur them on. More Laws of Fundraising

  • The hidden fundraising laws about donor fatigue

    You’ve heard about “donor fatigue.” It’s a theoretical state where donors tire of hearing about some specific topic — sometimes philanthropy in general — and they become unresponsive. There’s a pair of Brooks’ Laws that help clarify the realities of “donor fatigue”: Donor Fatigue Law #1: A Priori Anyone who cites “donor fatigue” as a…

  • Stupid ads tell donors not to give

    I have arthritis. It sucks. But it could be a lot worse. Not too long ago, someone who had my type of arthritis for as long as I’ve had it would not be able to type, walk, play a musical instrument, or many other activities. Thanks to treatment, I can do those things. I’m deeply…

  • Tricks and treats for online fundraisers

    Online fundraising is a lot like Halloween: Part fun, part scary. It has plenty of tricks and plenty of treats to keep you on your toes. Online fundraising “tricks” It’s a “cold” medium. The way people read email is different from traditional media. It’s fast, action-oriented, impatient. Not good for emotion and compassion — the…