Copying Good Ideas

I am constantly amazed at the diverse strategies and creative ideas all around us. However, in reality most of what’s new and exciting has already been done. Why, then, do we feel like we need to start from scratch? There is a lot of value to keeping your eye on what other people are doing and replicating strategies that work.

Often, a fellow fundraiser is more than willing to share his or her ideas. I’ve even had nonprofit professionals offer to let me use pledge forms and program descriptions they created word for word to save me time. In this way, I have found most nonprofit professional to be more collaborative than combative, very willing to speak candidly about techniques that work for them.

Before starting a new program I encourage you to search for some stories and organizations online that have already tried a similar concept. Call them up to see if they will give you a few minutes to chat about what did and did not work for them. This will help you evaluate your programs and avoid problem areas. Through collaboration you can have a refined program your first year launching.

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One Response to Copying Good Ideas

  1. Jono Smith says:

    I agree. Unfortunately, too often fundraisers get themselves into trouble when it’s not just a pledge form they are copying, but it’s a whole case statement or development plan. While there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel for every task, too many people use “fundraising best practices” as a substitute for thoughtful planning..

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