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28 October 2010


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Jeff, I totally agree with your comments about branding. Branding helps large corporations, (like my former employer; Procter & Gamble) use their massive media budgets much more efficiently. But for smaller nonprofits and businesses, the cost of trying to create a memorable brand image typically excede the revenue gains by a wide margin.

Ha ha, laughing out loud! Have first hand experience of almost all of these frights! Couldn't agree more!

Cute concept for a blogpost, but do you have any evidence to backup your assertation about brand experts? What about the times when branding (and marketing and PR) SUPPORT fundraising efforts? How can you have a remarkable fundraising event, social media presence, or excellent website with donation info without these things?

I have the same question as Ciara; what is your source for your claim that strong branding results in an up to 50% drop in contributed revenues?

Agree with Ciara. And also agree with your point that it's time to talk WITH donors, not at them - which is why your comments suggest a narrow understanding of branding and the power it can have on social change. Branding today isn't about a slick logo and fancy video; it's about what you stand for in the mind of your donors. It's your message, image and most importantly, experience - how you engage your donors today to build relationships, win loyalty and inspire action.

Source for claim that branding experts hurt fundraising results: first-hand personal experience. Many times. Every time these guys to their thing, revenue drops.

Please note that I'm not talking about branding as the problem, but about the version of branding that the "experts" foist on us.

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What this blog is about
The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It's not about any technology, medium, or technique. It's about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It's already here. More.

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About the blogger
JeffJeff Brooks, creative director at TrueSense Marketing, has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 20 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you'll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff.brooks [at] truesense [dot] com. More.

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Instead of talking at donors, TrueSense is proving it's smarter to listen. Asking donors how they prefer to give. Because we’re about creating relationships and building trust and communicating honestly and powerfully. One to one. Want to talk fundraising? Drop me a line.
Branding can boost fundraising

MoneyRaisingNonprofitBrand Is branding evil? Of course not. It only seems that way sometimes because it is so often wrongly applied to nonprofits.

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  • Why commercial-style branding is so destructive when applied to nonprofits.
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  • How to find and use images that remind donors why they care about your cause.
  • How to become your donors' favorite cause and set your organization apart in their hearts and minds.
If your organization is even vaguely considering "branding work," you need to read The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand by Jeff Brooks. Read more here.
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TheFundraisersGuide Raise funds with your eyes open. Skip the guesswork. Show your boss what really works. This book takes you on a fact-filled and memorable journey through writing, design, strategy, and the mental game of effective fundraising.

Proven, tested, real-life techniques that give donors what they want so they can make the donations you need. If you care about fundraising, about your donors, and about supporting your cause, you need The Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks. Order it today from Amazon.

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