Are you Yoda or Batman to your donors? [PODCAST]
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
9h ago
There are two fundamentally different approaches fundraisers can take to their donors: One stays in the background and empowers the donor to be the hero. The other stands in front and tells the donor to be a good side-kick — keeping the hero label for themselves. One of these raises a lot more money than the other. Do you know which? And do you know which of them you are? From the archives of the now-defunct podcast Fundraising Is Beautiful. This episode first aired on February 10, 2016. Listen here: (If you don't see the audio player below, click here to listen ..read more
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7 things you need for a successful year
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
2d ago
Nice post from the Veritus Group Blog: 7 Wishes for Non-Profit Leaders in 2023: Less Fear. Fear wrecks fundraising fast. You might be afraid donors will be offended if you ask. You may feel you have to hold tight to limited resources and avoid investing in the future. You may avoid trying something new because it might fail. Fear always does more damage than the things you’re afraid of. More Risks. Breaking away from fear is great. Embracing risk is even better. Guess what: Everything you do has an element of risk. Success is never guaranteed. One of the most recklessly risky things you can ..read more
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4 steps to fundraising that moves donors to action
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
4d ago
Here’s a helpful framework for any fundraising project you might tackle, from the NextAfter Blog, at Bust Through Writer’s Block and Craft More Engaging Appeals with P.A.S.O. Those four letters stand for Problem-Agitation-Solution-Offer, and here’s how you put them to work: Problem. Fundraising is all about problems donors can help solve. That means you need to start with a problem. It needs to be real, vivid, and understandable. Do that, and your fundraising is off to the races! Agitation. Help donors really care about the problem. Show them how serious it is (but not how huge it is -- that ..read more
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Amazon Smile CANCELLED (in other news, the sun will set in the west tonight)
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
1w ago
Just got the email. You may have too. Amazon Smile -- the program that allows Amazon shoppers to designate their “Favorite charity” to receive half a percent of what they spend on Amazon -- is about to end after ten years. The end is this coming February 20. Most likely this is small and unimportant news to you. If it’s a big deal, my condolences. I wish you the best at finding a replacement revenue source. And this is where I can’t stop myself saying, I told you so. Because I (and many others) did. It was inevitable that Amazon Smile would end. Amazon is a business. Everything they do needs ..read more
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Whoops! ? I almost edited out something because it was corny
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
1w ago
I almost made a silly mistake. I was giving someone direction on a fundraising letter, and came to a bulleted list. The bullets weren’t dots, but little musical notes: ?. (It was an arts organization). I got a slight “ew” reaction to it, and was about to suggest a change to “normal” looking bullets. Wait a second. Where did that “ew” come from? Well, those little notes struck me as “corny.” Needlessly cute. Not serious. If you know me or read my writings on fundraising at all, you might a step or two ahead of me: I frequently defend “corny” in fundraising. One of my books (The Fundraiser’s Gu ..read more
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Why simple, old-fashioned-looking fundraising still works like crazy
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
1w ago
Guest post by Steven Screen, co-founder of The Better Fundraising Company. About 10 years ago I suggested to a client that we design a fundraising letter to look like a telegram. "A telegram?!?" They looked at me like I was crazy. "Why in the world would we do that? No one has sent telegrams in 50 years!" A couple of the younger people in the room had to be told what a telegram was. Thankfully our fundraising for this organization was going really well. So they were willing to hear me out. I said something like, "Look, I know it seems crazy to you and me. But we know that most of your core do ..read more
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Ben Franklin's amazing secret for successful fundraising
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
2w ago
I know professionals in fundraising who have the feeling that fundraising and giving are a zero-sum game: We somehow get money away from people and we have to be careful that they don't notice we're getting richer at their expense. You're always on tip-toes, afraid the donors will figure it out and bring the whole thing to a crashing end. You need to take a listen to some wisdom from Benjamin Franklin, who said: He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than whom you yourself have obliged. It's called the Ben Franklin Effect. When you help someone, you want to ..read more
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Top fundraising blogs for 2023
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
2w ago
I follow a lot of nonprofit blogs. A lot. These are my favorite active, go-to sources that can help you be a better fundraiser: A Direct Solution The Agitator The Better Fundraising Blog Bloomerang Blog Culture for Hire Fired Up Fundraising Get Fully Funded Blog Joan Garry Hands-on Fundraising Heroic Fundraising Kivi's Nonprofit Marketing Guide Know Your Own Bone Moceanic Blog NextAfter SmartIdeas Veritus Group Passionate Giving blog What amazing blogs should I have included? If you are the author or fan of a fundraising/marketing blog that's not here, share it in the comments below ..read more
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Partners, not parents: How you relate to your donors
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
2w ago
Your donors are not your parents. They are your partners. This is a critical distinction that all fundraisers should keep in mind, because it’s easy for some to slip into a child-parent relationship with donors (especially large donors) -- and the outcome is always bad. Sometimes disastrous. Listen to this short account at the Grow Gelt Podcast: Why this fundraiser almost fell for this common scam (you can click through to play it, or play it here below). Here’s the important point in the podcast: Donors are not giving you something you don’t have. You and them are working together to create ..read more
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Is AI coming to get your fundraising job?
Future Fundraising Now
by Jeff Brooks
3w ago
To hear some people, it seems like Artificial Intelligence (AI, probably pronounced “Aiyeee!”) is a big robot, stalking us all, ready to take our jobs and turn us out into the cold. So I asked AI (at Chat GPT, a free tool set up to answer questions) if it’s after my job. Here’s what AI said: I’m sorry, but I am not capable of taking on any jobs or tasks outside of providing information and answering questions. I am a large language model trained by OpenAI, and my purpose is to assist users in generating human-like text based on the input provided to me. I do not have the ability to take on ta ..read more
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