“Fundraisers always prosper when they focus less on the money

that people send in and more on the people who are sending it.  As a

fundraiser, you’ll get better at your job and get more out of life when 

you deliver what your donors want rather than chasing after what

          you want for yourself or your cause.”


                                                         –Ken Burnett

This gem of essential fundraising wisdom introduces the new video series just launched on SOFII.

Titled Light Bulb Moments the short videos in this 32-episode series will be released each month. If you’re looking for some easy-to-digest insights and guidance for fundraising change in this era of donor centricity, you’ll want to subscribe free of charge right here.

I want to underline the importance of the first video in this new SOFII series and how it relates to every Agitator reader.

For the rest of this week and many times in the past and future we’ve dealt with important concepts like “door identity”, “donor preference”,  “donor intent” and “donor feedback”.  All are aimed at improving your bottom line by improving your relationship with the donor.  Unless we concentrate on improving donor relationships we’re headed for a future of lousy bottom lines.

As much as possible here at The Agitator we use new research findings and the application of new techniques to illustrate how these concepts can be used to improve donor experiences and fundraising results.

And just as often we get questions from readers about how or if “small” organizations can use some of the approaches we recommend.  Quite candidly, in many cases because of skill levels or budget limitations some of these breakthrough techniques are difficult or impossible to apply.

However, most of the concepts and theories behind what we recommend can be implemented by any group regardless of size and budget provided time and elbow grease are applied.

Throwing up your hands because you don’t have the budget or lack certain skills is simply not an excuse for ignoring the emerging body of empirical evidence on how to vastly improve your organization’s relationship with its donors.

Which brings me to the first video in the new SOFII video series.  This is the remarkable story of Botton Village. This  moving and inspiring account of actions taken by this UK charity  –actions now 30 years old—show what’s possible for a near-broke organization to pull itself up by its bootstraps. No computers. No predictive analytics.  No social media.

So inspired was their effort –as told in the video by Ken Burnett, the first fundraising consultant on the scene back in the ‘80s—that you’ll cheer as you review just a few of their accomplishments:

  • An average of 24% response rates on appeals;
  • An average of 51% on the Christmas appeal alone;
  • Success to the point where Botton Village could cease annual fundraising and continue operating successfully, thriving on legacy income from their donors.

The Agitator has highlighted the story of Botton Village here.  But I hope you’ll gather your colleagues and instead watch this inspiring, practical video from SOFII.

In it you’ll learn their secret to success as Ken shares his insights.  You’ll see how abstract concepts like “donor preference” and “donor intent” are practiced in the real world.  No wonder the Botton Village experience is often called “the cradle of donor relationship fundraising.”

Most importantly, you’ll see how they answered the one question so few fundraisers ever bother to ask:

If these donors are doing so much for us, what can we do for them?”

If you think that ‘donor preference services” are new and something to be feared you’ll think again once you’ve seen this video. (And you’ll also understand why so many charities today are missing the mark.)

So, gather your fundraising, communications and donor service troops  ‘round your screen and prepare for a treat.


Now take a moment and hit the “subscribe” button so you so you get all future SOFII videos. And, while you’re at it signup and register free to make sure you get all the updates about great fundraising innovations on SOFII.