December 5, 2013

Fundraising Without Cute Puppies, Kittens, & Kids

Over and over, I hear nonprofits leaders complain that their fundraising efforts are hindered because they have nothing cute to offer donors. They envy other nonprofits who have baby animals and sweet children to show in pictures.

Hogwash! Stop putting excuses in your donor’s mouths.

Instead, recognize that cute is only one reason why donors fund nonprofits. Donors fund nonprofits because they offer services and programs that change and improve lives. Donors are attracted to opportunities to that they cannot create on their own. Donors are attracted to meaning.

Intelligent-thoughtful donors (the kind you want to sustain you long-term) understand that meaningful work is often unattractive. What’s cute about a homeless family? What’s attractive about client that seeks legal services to deal with a troublesome landlord?

Don’t use lack of cute as an excuse for pursuing not donated funds.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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