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The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand: Motivating Donors to Give, Give Happily, and Keep on Giving by Jeff Brooks

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Chapter FiveWhy Branding Matters, and Why It Makes No Difference

Uncle Maynard is one of the most helpful people I know. One way he helps me is this: every few months, he brings me a banker's box full of charity junk mail.

An eclectic and generous donor, Uncle Maynard gets an epic amount of mail from nonprofits. He's a veteran and gets a lot of mail from veterans' aid organizations. He also gets a lot from local social service organizations (food bank, rescue missions, Salvation Army, and others). Then there are the international relief organizations, conservative political causes, liberal political causes (he's broad-minded), Christian teaching ministries, and more. A lot more.

Uncle Maynard always has a sheepish look on his face when he shows up with the mail. “Are you really sure you want it?”

“I want it,” I tell him. Believe me, I want it. Because it's fundraising in its natural environment.

Most of the fundraising messages we professionals look at are the equivalent of zoo animals: rare examples of winning tactics, showcased for their excellence or importance. It's been culled from the jungle of good, mediocre, bad, and really terrible efforts. Maynard's boxes have it all. Most of it is flying under the radar, because it's not the work that makes someone look good ...

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