Archive for December, 2010

Don’t Educate Your Donors, Motivate Them

Posted on December 28, 2010. Filed under: Fundraising, Leadership, Non-profits, Volunteer | Tags: |

In the December issue of Fundraising Success magazine, Jeff Brooks has a feature article, “9 Things About Fundraising I Wish I Had Figured Out Sooner.”

As always, Jeff’s comments are insightful, and here are 2 of the 9 headings: (2.) Focus groups can make you stupid and (3) Insider insights can mess you up. The link to the complete article in Fundraising Success magazine is below, but there is one comment that I believe is accurate, and yet is counter to the vast majority of fundraising techniques that are promoted as working, namely that educating donors is the key to motivating them to give. Here’s the quote from Jeff’s article that addresses that:

In fact, I never really understood that my copy was causing the problem until I moved to the agency side, where I was held responsible for getting results, not perfecting donors. Then it dawned on me: Trying to replicate insider insights is not the fundraiser’s job. It is directly at odds with motivating people to give. The more you try to educate donors, the less money you’ll raise.

As we develop our New Year’s Resolutions, and for many fundraisers, one is often some version of “Raise more money for _____________(employer, client, favorite cause, etc) it’s important to keep Jeff’s experienced advice in mind, concentrate on motivating the givers to your cause, not on educating them.

Bill Huddleston
The CFC Coach

Link to Fundraising Success Magazine article:

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    Fundraising and Leadership Development through workplace giving, CFC = Combined Federal Campaign


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