If you are part of a church, nonprofit or faith-based ministry you have to fundraise. It is the life blood of all you do. Why you fundraise may come in different shapes and sizes. You may need to raise funds for that upcoming summer missions trip to Kenya, or for the new capital campaign project or to raise money for the next ministry initiative.
Since fundraising is inevitable, how can you do it well and be most effective?
Jeff Brooks, the creative director at
1. The oldest recorded fundraising appeal was written by St. Paul around A.D. 55. It’s an appeal to a group of church members in Greece to help impoverished church members in Jerusalem. The appeal is a masterpiece of donor-centered fundraising, spending most of its words describing the benefits of giving.
5. The most read part of a fundraising letter is the P.S. That’s why the professionals always use the P.S. to restate the letter’s call to action, rather than for the traditional afterthought.
11. The more recently a donor gave, the more likely it is she’ll give now. “Resting” donors from opportunities to give for some period after they’ve given is one of the most revenue-negative strategies around.
13. Typos improve fundraising results. I’m sorry, but I can’t prove that. Seriously, I can’t count the number of times we discovered an egregious typo, then waited in horror for donors to voice their wrath and confusion by not responding in droves … only to experience instead an unusually high level of giving.
19. There is no objective evidence that there is any such condition as “donor fatigue.” Donors give extraordinarily in times of extreme need, like the Indian Ocean tsunami or Hurricane Katrina. “Fundraiser fatigue,” however, is all too real. Fundraisers routinely grow tired of urgent messaging and drift away from it, then blame the resulting drop in response on the donors. This unfortunate habit costs the nonprofit world billions of dollars a year.
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