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20 September 2011


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Right on. Here's an example of how we do it. One of our churches is fundraising for Namibia by selling our Christmas trees. Rather than focusing on all the great things our Namibia team does, we keep it simple. "Buy a tree and help orphans in Africa" - "Pre-order your tree and it's one less thing to think about". By designing the pitch around donors motivation to feel like they helped out by purchasing and the convenience of not having to shop around, the church runs an effective campaign that makes giving from the perspective of the donor a no-brainer.

Those interested in learning more about how we fundraise can go to http://treesforacause.com/

Jeff, you've reduced donor motivation to 4 essentials. Bless you for making the confusing world of fundraising ever more focused and do-able. Here's another example to add to Scott's: in Australia, the Fred Hollows Foundation went through a rebranding a few years ago that dramatically simplified the organization's appeal to just one straightforward offer, "Restore sight for $25." Result? Giving soared. Fred Hollows gave people something important to do that didn't cost much and was easy to understand, and donors responded en masse.

Scott, great example of focusing on the donor. A lot of organizations would be unable to get away from self-talk to that degree.

Tom, your example from the Fred Hollows Foundation is one of those extremely rare rebrands that was built around the donor. Usually rebranding is an attempt by the organization to more tightly define itself, done in ways that make the fundraising more complex and abstract.

My hat is off to both Trees for a Cause and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

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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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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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