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28 September 2012

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Very true. Also we'll never stop finger wagging until we move from a 'what should be' mind set around donor motivation to a 'what is' one.

Back in 1996 George Smith wrote that we “beguile ourselves with the belief that the educated donor has finally arrived. This is a creature who gives to Oxfam because s/he appreciates the role of development in the South, who gives to WWF because s/he knows all about biological diversity, who gives to a cancer charity because s/he reads New Scientist.

S/he may exist. Indeed s/he may represent five per cent of donors. But there is no evidence whatsoever that we have increased the proportion of these knowledgeable and erudite people. At the risk of being totally overbearing I would suggest that most people give to Oxfam because they want hungry people fed, that they give to WWF because they want tigers saved and that they give to Cancer Research UK because they know a cancer sufferer”.

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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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