Fundraising “DON’Ts”


Many times, we supply our fundraisers with a plethora of checklists, steps, ordered lists and PDFs as they start their fundraising journey with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. We try and create tools and resources to make fundraising less intimidating and provide a roadmap for where to start. This month I thought I’d discuss my top 3 fundraising “DON’Ts.”

DON’Ts can be easier than DOs because there is less interpretation. These statements are simple and easy to remember so that first-time fundraisers and seasoned veteran fundraisers can remember them and practice them often.

So DON’T delay! Check out the top 3 fundraising DON’Ts for November:

  • DON’T FUNDRAISE WITHOUT A PLAN. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and be so excited to start fundraising that you just start firing off emails or draft a general appeal letter. Don’t rush it! By taking a moment to get organized, segmenting your donor list and determining the direction and tone of your requests, you will more effectively encourage your donors to give.
  • DON’T HIDE YOUR ASK. By now you have probably decided your communication strategy with your donors. You’ve determined whether you’re planning a series of emails, or simply targeted messages to your segments of donors. Regardless of which path you choose, please don’t make your donors hunt for your request. Ask in the beginning, middle, and end of your email. Draw attention to your ask by bolding, underlining, or hyperlinking to your donation page. Your donation campaign will be much more effective if you keep this in mind and re-read your emails/letters while asking yourself, “What am I asking the reader to do?”
  • DON’T GIVE A GENERIC “THANK YOU.” Your donors are people. And more importantly, they are valuable people. They have supported your efforts and given to a mission you believe in. Don’t waste this opportunity to continue building the relationship. Use your thank you letter as a chance to explain how their gift made a difference and show appreciation for their support.

Thanks for fighting cancer with us and providing valuable resources to people with cancer now. DON’T forget to use these tips as you wrap up the 2013 season or kick-off a 2014 event.


  1. Randolyn says:

    Those are great ideas! I learned that personal thank you’s are the best to give! They tend to be well received and in the end they will be return customers!

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