Is cleverness killing your fundraising?

I sent this reminder to my Fundraising Kick subscribers earlier this month. The response was so good, I wanted to share it with you too.

Heed the warning!

Good morning, Kickers!

I need to apologize. I set out to write this email two days ago.

But the message was so basic, I decided to wait. I wanted to come up with something clever. Something innovative. Something that would make you think, “Gosh, Marc is really smart.”

Fortunately for all of us, that flash of “brilliance” never came.

Why is that fortunate? Such thinking could be the biggest killer of solid fundraising.

We’re going along, doing the slow-seeming, non-flashy tasks of working lists, building relationships, and making asks.

We get bored. We want to impress our board or boss.

So we try to shake things up. Maybe we devote all our attention to Facebook. Or try a crowdfunding campaign. We neglect what’s working in favor of looking for the “new” or what will bring in “new” and “young” donors.

This shift in focus causes us to miss our fundraising goals. And jeopardizes our entire nonprofit’s financial stability.

All because we stopped doing the work of fundraising in favor of something clever and innovative.

Good things we dodged that bullet this month!

Your Mission This Week

It’s the beginning of April, so run those lists!

  • People that gave in April last fiscal year
  • People that gave in April two fiscal years ago
  • People who gave all of last fiscal year but haven’t yet this year (LYBUNTS)
  • People who gave previous fiscal years but not yet this year (SYBUNTS)

Review those lists for people that you’ve stopped following up on. Plan follow up activities – engaging, asking, or loving – and put those activities on your calendar to remind yourself.

And be sure to make those 5 – 10 calls!

You’ve been Kicked,


If you'd like to get coaching emails like this every week, be sure to subscribe to Fundraising Kick at
About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the CEO of The Concord Leadership Group, the author of Ask Without Fear! and director of The Nonprofit Academy. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.
To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

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