The unique unimportance of uniqueness in fundraising

Many organizations believe that their uniqueness is the main reason donors will choose them for their charitable giving. That's a revenue-crushing mistake.

Successful fundraising starts where the donor is -- not in the organization's uniqueness -- and makes a clear, simple case.

"I'm looking for an organization to support that's completely unique," said no donor, ever.

Your uniqueness is important. But it can drag down your fundraising if you over-focus on it.

Program #79

Play: The unique unimportance of uniqueness (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 6:48

Fundraising techniques that everyone does: Are they bad?

How often we hear someone say: I will never use that fundraising technique because everyone does it!

We see something again and again and think it's hackneyed, out-of-style, and ineffective.

Actually, it's usually the other way: Those fundraising "techniques" you see again and again are the things that work.

This special podcast for fundraising nerds only includes the cheapest way to get a powerful fundraising education.

Program #78

Play: Fundraising techniques (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 9:16

Fundraising From Yourself: Beware

We're taking a look at one of the most destructive forces in all of fundraising: The need we all have to make ourselves the audience for our messages: Fundraising From Yourself -- or FFY.

It's the quick and sure path to failure.

We'll show you the three signs that FFY is happening in your organization and give you the tools for avoiding this common problem that costs nonprofit organizations millions of dollars every year.

Program #77

Play: Fundraising From Yourself (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 18:26

Are you Yoda or Batman to your donors?

Imbatman

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 himself.

One of these raises a lot more money than the other. Do you know which? And do you know which of them you are?

Program #76

Play: Are you Yoda or Batman (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 8:17

Want relationships with your donors? Prove it!

Consider this: Most nonprofit organizations want "real relationships" with their donors. But they communicate with donors as infrequently as possible, and when they do, they tend to talk only about themselves. What kind of relationship-building is that?

We'll examine three ways to walk the talk if you really want to build relationships with donors:

  1. Communicating frequently enough.
  2. Talking to donors about donors.
  3. Reporting back to donors about the impact of their giving.

Program #75

Play: Want relationships with your donors? (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:

Time: 4:44

Donor acquisition vs donor cultivation -- know the difference to succeed in both

Donor acquisition -- in any medium -- has a fundamentally different "ecosystem" form donor cultivation. Knowing the difference will make you far more effective in both.

We discuss the differences in response numbers, cost, messaging, and long-term impact between acquisition and cultivation.

Program #74

Play: Donor acquisition vs donor cultivation (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 9:18

Fundraising Is Beautiful 101 -- the basics of great fundraising

Before you know anything else about fundraising, there are three basic assumptions you should know about it:

  1. Fundraising is all about specificity. It's the specific change you're asking the donor to help make with their gift. Abstractions and generalities fail to move donors to action.
  2. Fundraising is about building relationships. Don't think of donors as ATMs that dispense money from time to time. Think of them as friends who do cool things with you. It's a two-way relationship. Both sides give and both sides receive.
  3. Fundraising transforms donors. When you know they amazing things that happen in their lives when they give to you, you'll enjoy fundraising a lot more. And you'll do a better job.

Working with these basic truths is the key to success.

Program #73

Play: Fundraising Is Beautiful 101 (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:

Time: 11:03

The 12 tips of Christmas

Partridge Encore podcast from our best-of archives!

Here are 12 fundraising tips -- most of them super-easy and ready to try immediately -- that can boost your fundraising results, this holiday season or any other time of year.

Program #72

Play: The 12 tips of Christmas (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

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Time: 19:47

ENCORE PODCAST: Maximize your year-end fundraising

Re-posted by popular demand! The coming weeks are the probably the most important of the year for your fundraising. Here are practical tips for both direct mail and online fundraising that can make the most of the generosity your donors feel as the year comes to an end.

Program #71

Play: Maximize your year-end fundraising (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:

Time: 13:11

Letter from a disgruntled donor

A donor writes a letter to the president of the organization. It's an articulate critique of what the donor dislikes about their fundraising: It's simplistic, repetitious, and emotional. What do you do? What do you say? We read an actual letter from a real donor and talk through the right -- and wrong -- response. There's a disastrously bad response that many organizations make to letters like this. There's also an affirming, correct, and revenue-enhancing response.

Program #70

Play: Letter from a disgruntled donor (right click or "save as" to save the file for later).

Or subscribe via iTunes here:


Jeff Brooks is creative director at TrueSense, the growing, innovative fundraising agency for organizations that care about donors. Steven Screen is co-founder of The Better Fundraising Company, and a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year award from FundRaising Success magazine, which surprisingly lead to him getting fired. Between them, they have nearly 50 years of experience helping excellent nonprofits raise money for their causes. That's a lot of years, but they aren't all that old, really. Yet.




      

      


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