Brooks' 5th Law of Fundraising concerns donor complaints, among the most difficult and confounding areas in fundraising, rivalling the mind-bending features of quantum physics:
The more effective the fundraising campaign, the more complaints it will generate.
First Corollary to the 5th Law
The weakest fundraising campaigns do not generate any complaints, and are thus considered successful by many.
This leads to a number of other laws and observations about complaints, the people who complain, and how organizations respond to complaints:
Brooks' Speculation on Complaint Quality
The more silly and unfounded the donor complaint, the more seriously it will be taken.
Corollary to Brooks' Speculation on Complaint Quality
Substantive and meaningful complaints by donors are seldom taken seriously or acted on.
The less effective an organization is at fundraising, the fewer complaints they get, and the more distressed they are by any complaints they do get.
And this related theorem...
"We were flooded with donor complaints" means there were four complaints. And three of them were actually questions.
And this theorem about who makes complaints...
The length and passion of a donor complaint message is inversely proportional to the financial value of that donor.
And finally, given only for information purposes, Brooks' Observation for Would-be Nonprofit Saboteurs:
If you want to destroy a nonprofit organization, complain to one of its board members about its fundraising.