I’m a big fan of Jeff Brooks. He is an influential voice in the world of nonprofit communications, particularly related to raising funds. Here are 25 ideas that he recently shared. I’ve listed the ones that I think will immediately challenge those who lead churches to think differently about communication pieces related to giving:
7. Ignore your brand guidelines
“Brand guidelines are about us, but fundraising is about donors,” he said. Worry more about your donors and what’s important to them, not what your board demands in branding.
9. Make the donor the hero
“You’re always going to be tempted to make your organization the hero,” Brooks warned. “But donors don’t give because you’re great; they give because they’re great. It’s all about the donors.”
10. Raise funds online
Everyone is online already anyway, and the channel keeps on growing. While online giving might not be a huge percentage right now, “suddenly, it’s going to be a bigger slice of the pie,” Brooks predicted.
12. Ask more often
“Most organizations are really timid about asking their donors. They have systems about giving rest,” Brooks said. “The more recently somebody gave, the more likely they are to give now. Donors like to give.” So ask them to give. More times than not, they’ll be happy to respond with gifts.
19. Design is boring
Don’t focus on fancy designs and intricate fonts. People want to be able to read your letter. Plain, black type on white paper works the best, in readable fonts. Don’t get fancy. It’s all about readability.
24. Tell your donors you need them
“Donors want to matter,” Brooks said. “It’s all about their significance.”