- Fantasy Fundraising
Somewhere there's a vast cemetery of failed fundraising efforts, all of them beautiful fantasies that nonprofit organizations wanted to do. They believed they couldn't go wrong. But donors didn't respond. It always goes that way. When you use your own tastes and preferences as a guide, you miss what real donors respond to. Trust me, failure is the only outcome to fantasy fundraising.
- Fad Fundraising
Before you jump on the bandwagon of the Next Big Thing, think it through: Just because it worked for someone else, does that mean it will work for you? Even more important, ask yourself this: Is this Next Big Thing is really big, or just the recipient of a lot of hype? Fads spread because people want to believe there's a new, shiny, easier, better way to do everything. There isn't. Almost all the fads are a waste of time. The ones that are useful are the ones that stick around for a few years so they can mature. And fundraising is never easy, no matter what tools you use.
- Fact-Free Fundraising
The facts about what donors respond to are easy to find and to know. They're also easy to ignore, apparently, because they are so often flouted. When you discover the average age of your donors is 76, you need to stop doing young-donor fundraising. When you learn that Facebook isn't bringing in donations, you need to spend a lot less time trying to raise funds on Facebook. When you discover that long messages, old-fashioned design, and direct mail work, do those things! Facts are your friends.