When intuition fails

As an aspiring storyteller I love the Flannery O’Connor quote “I find everyone thinks they know what a story is until they sit down to write one.”

It’s hard and there’s so much more to it than you think. And much of it is not intuitively obvious.

I’ve come to realize that the same can be said of fundraising. We make a million assumptions about the best way to persuade others to give, and I’m here to tell you that more than half of them are wrong. At least that’s been my experience.

One of my favorite sages, Jeff Brooks, recently re-blogged (is that a word? Should be!) a piece on some of the things we think should work in fundraising but that don’t and may even do more harm than good:

They include:
Educating with facts.

So-called ‘mythbusting’ – almost guaranteed to backfire

Details about organizational process or strategic approach

I don’t know why they don’t work but I’ve seen them not work so often that I’ve come to accept that they don’t work with the same certainty that I have that when I listen to a Donald Trump speech I will get mad, or if I put my hand in the fire it will burn.

Fundraising is not rocket science, but if you’re not doing it, chances are it’s a lot harder than you think.