The Five Deadliest Words in Fundraising

“I would respond to that.” 

Those are the five deadliest words in fundraising.

Relying on a focus group of yourself is among the worst mistakes any fundraiser can make.


If you work in direct response, as I do, there is a good chance you are a generation or two younger than your core audience, you grew up in a vastly different political and economic era, and technology plays a much greater role in your everyday existence.

Your donors are not viewing the world through your lens, which means your personal preferences are not a sounding board for success.  If anything, they are a barrier to success because they do not reflect the values, experience, or thinking of your core audience.

Never let your good taste, your personal likes and dislikes, or your “sense of it” replace good hard data in determining offers, messages, and creative treatments that your donors—not you—will respond to.