I’ve been publishing the Extreme Fundraising Ezine since 2003. How time flies! All that time, I’ve wondered when someone would ask me, “Marc, what’s so ’xtreme’ about your ezine? Most of it sounds like common sense.”

Fortunately, that hasn’t happened–yet! But here’s my reason for calling it “extreme.”

Have you ever gone to a basketball practice? No matter how good the team is, they still practice lay-ups. Boring, simple, lay-ups. But those simple basics are the foundation for a winning team.

I think it’s the same way with fundraising. So much of fundraising is common sense. And so much of it is repetitive. Too often, we get bored and end up trying gimmicks and trinkets to raise more money. And that becomes addicting. Who’s doing what? Who’s mailing what? What gimmick will increase giving by a percentage point?

All the while we’re forgetting the basics: fundraising is about people asking people to invest in a cause. It’s not a letter asking a person. It’s not a website asking a person. It’s a person asking a person. Plain and simple.

And incredibly extreme. If you start treating people like people, your response rates will go up far faster than a percent a year.

And you’ll see your costs come down. Why? You’ll be asking people based on their interests, not based on your organization’s need. No one gives to need anyway. Not even in disasters like Katrina. We’re giving to help the people needing help and to help the people doing the help.

So in an effort to help keep you at the peak of your game, I’m dedicating the next series of ezines/blogs to going back to the basics. If you’ve ever heard me speak, you’ll know the basics are summed up in the term “Get R.E.A.L.!”

We’ll go into that in depth over the coming weeks. But for now, why not look at your fundraising efforts and P.Y.I.T.S.—Put Yourself In Their Shoes. Step outside everything you know and ask, “How might this look to a donor?”

The results may surprise you!

Remember, fundraising IS an extreme sport!!

There are many terrific tools to help you create an ezine or some other broadcast mailing list for your organization. Ezines can be an incredibly effective way to stay close to the folks that love your cause and help them introduce their friends to that cause.

If you’re interested in starting an ezine or using broadcast mail, I’d highly recommend you check out http://www.aweber.com.

I’ve used them since 2003 and they just keep on getting better. One of my favorite features is the autoresponder. Remember the e-course you received when you signed up? That was part of the autoresponder feature.

I also love that you have the opportunity to easily manage your own subscriptions to any of my lists. You don’t have to wait for me to get around to unsubscribing you!

Give them a test drive by going to: http://marc.aweber.com (my affiliate link)or http://www.aweber.com (not an affiliate link)

To your extreme fundraising success!

21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

You'll discover the 21 ways each board member can help their nonprofit's fundraising - even if they don't like to ask for money!

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