DickersonBakker Blog

A SURE Way to Greater Fundraising Success

I once met with an executive director who had 99 problems and her case for support wasn’t one of them. Well, at least she didn’t think so. During our free consultation, she laid out a good number of problems her agency was trying to solve. Any one of them would have contributed well in her case to her donors. Her problem was that she wanted to talk about them all.

Her nonprofit’s needs were overwhelming to the point where their donors were easily lost in them. They needed to tighten their case, so that when they did their “ask”, the donors would respond enthusiastically.

A few weeks ago, Jeff Brooks (author of the Future Fundraising Now blog), was featured in a great video about a simple fundraising acronym: S.U.R.E. This SURE way to greater fundraising success will help you focus your ask and help you raise money more effectively.


Your ask should be simple. It’s about getting your donors to do one thing that is easy to understand. For instance, “This amount will feed this person for a month” or “Donate a bucket and bleach to stop the spread of infection.” Keep it simple.


As Jeff Brooks says, “in fundraising, tomorrow means never.” Give them an action they can do right now. Give them a reason why it’s important to respond today.


Say your message several times. With donors, they don’t hear you the first time. They start to hear you the second, kind of hear you on the third. Repetition drills it into their head, so when you feel like you’ve repeated yourself 50,000 times, that’s when they’ll pay attention.


Giving money isn’t logical. Most donors make the decision to give with their heart. So, don’t drown your appeal with facts and figures. Break their heart with a problem, and then excite them with a solution. “Aim for the heart, not the head,” Brooks says.

This system will help you tighten up your case and equip your donors to give more effectively. It’s hard to give when you don’t know what your money is doing. By keeping it simple, urgent, repetitive, and emotional, you’ll design an ask that stimulates your donor’s soul and your agency’s revenue.

Not S.U.R.E. if that will be enough? Let us help! Dickerson, Bakker & Associates provides a free fundraising consultation that will reveal ways to accelerate & breathe new life into your organization. Contact us to find out more.

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