Despite the mountains of fundraising advice that’s churned out daily via blogs and other online venues, remarkably little of what’s being written is new. Whether in 140 characters or in a full-length article, what passes as counsel these days is more derivative than innovative.

That’s the reminder recently tweeted by Steve MacLaughlin, director of Blackbaud’s Idea Lab:

In 1932, Lyman Pierce spelled out the keys to a successful fundraising campaign. Still true today.

I agree.

If there’s a fundraising campaign in your organization’s future, you can’t do better than Pierce’s almost 100-year old counsel summed up in the following 11 requisites for success.

  1. An appealing case 
  2. Competent agency management 
  3. A reasonable objective 
  4. A friendly, well-informed constituency 
  5. Timeliness 
  6. Numerous points of contact 
  7. An unhurried period of preparation 
  8. An adequate scale of giving 
  9. Substantial preliminary gifts 
  10. Tested methods 
  11. Competent direction

My fingers itch to add color commentary to the above, but I’m betting you’re smart enough to do that for yourself. The headers are obvious in their implications for campaign planners.

And not to worry. Should you want/need more, there’s advice galore a mere click away (including over at Generous Matters). Just not much that’s new.


Reprinted with permission from Generous Matters, the fundraising and board development blog of Rebekah Burch Basinger.


Image credit: Viktor Hanacek.