8 Fundraising Ninja Tricks
What looks corny and dated to young people like you and (ahem) me often looks comfortable and appropriate to donors. Design we like is often confusing and unattractive to donors.
People may snicker at your old-fashioned ways, but it works. While everyone else is laboring to get random people to "like" them on Facebook, the fundraising ninja is cranking out corny, old direct mail and raising a ton of money.
7. Your mantra: you
Every ninja is assigned a mystical word that calls forth strength and cunning. Fundraising ninjas all share the same mystical word: you. You is the word they intone over and over as they write fundraising materials. They use it to directly address the donor instead of create abstractions about the cause. They use it to put the donor in the middle of it all, because that's where the donor wants to be. They use it to remind the donor of her values and beliefs — the reasons she gives. The fundraising ninja makes every fundraising message into an exciting story that features the donor.
8. You are not the audience
This is the most powerful trick of the fundraising ninja, the one that truly makes you seem to have magical powers. When you master this one, you are a fundraising ninja.
You see, ordinary fundraisers judge the quality of their work with this principle: If I like it, it's good; if I don't like it, it's bad. It is a dungeon of their own making. Because what they like and dislike reveals almost nothing about effectiveness.
The people we are communicating with in fundraising are not us. We are different in key demographic, psychographic and attitudinal ways. Using your own taste to judge is like using a thermometer to learn if the soup has the right amount of salt in it.