Is Your Non-Profit a Victim of These 4 Fundraising Lies?

Is Your Non-Profit a Victim of These 4 Fundraising Lies?

Can’t seem to reach your goals? Donation rates sluggish? Interest in your cause sinking? Your organization may be a victim of the 4 biggest fundraising lies out there today.

Lots of things that look logical on the surface make no sense at all when you take a closer look. The first lie I want to share with you is an example of this.


Lie #1      We can’t afford marketing.

On the surface this makes perfect sense. With funds trickling in, its tough to justify spending any money on marketing. Spending (let’s say) $10,000 on a fundraising campaign may seem illogical.


What if that $10,000 expense boosts your donations ten-fold? Would that still be illogical? What if one campaign, one drive, brings in 1.3 million?  What if you could break ground on your next shelter, church or much needed building 68 days after kicking off your marketing campaign? Well-crafted fundraising campaigns do this.

All the time.

Relay for Life raises 300 million a year to find a cure for cancer. Smiles for Life also raises millions a year. The Arbor Day Foundation, The ASPCA…

The list goes on and on.

Bottom Line…   You can afford successful marketing that helps you reach your goal.


Lie #2      People just aren’t as generous as they used to be.

Total bologna. The 2018 figures are not in yet but total charitable giving grew 4.1% in 2016 and 5% in 2017. Americans gave $410 billion to charities in 2017…

Yes, billion with a B.

Today’s donors are savvier. They seek out new approaches and fresh views. If your campaign is tired, boring or unclear, the funds go to your competitor. And the competition can be fierce with more than 1.5 million non-profits in the US.

Bottom Line…   You must stand out from the competition with a fresh approach


Lie #3      We don’t need marketing help, our Director, Assistant and Admin. do fine.   

These team members don’t have the skills to do the job well.  But the biggest hurdle is finding the time.

At many nonprofits, paid employees wear multiple hats and have an overwhelming number of responsibilities. In addition to their day-to-day duties, they often take work home, attend fundraising dinners in the evening, and chair special events and board retreats on the weekends.

When will they find time to compose a thoughtfully worded fundraising letter?

Bottom Line…   It takes time and talent to create a successful marketing campaign.


Lie #4      A website is not an important fundraising tool.

Numbers may be boring but they do tell a story. A successful tale, too. Let’s look at the numbers.

In 2017:

  •  Overall online revenue increased by 23% in 2017, accelerating from 15% growth the previous year.
  • Nonprofits received an average of 28% more online gifts in 2017 than 2016.
  • Overall, 1.1% of website visitors made a donation, an increase of 18% over 2016.
  • Nonprofits raised $1.13 per website visitor in 2017. International nonprofits raised the most, $4.11 per visitor.
  • Retention was 25% for donors who made their first gift in 2016, and 60% for repeat donors (who gave at least one gift before 2016, and again in 2016).

Bottom Line…  A well-crafted website is the best way to get and keep donors.

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