About Jeff Brooks
First, the basics about me
I've been a professional in fundraising for nearly 30 years. I started as a copywriter, then eventually became a creative director. Almost all of my career has taken place at fundraising agencies: The Domain Group, Merkle, and until recently TrueSense Marketing.
Now, some facts that are likely more relevant to you
My breakthrough as a fundraising professional came in the early 2000s. It dawned on me that great fundraising wasn't just a mass of smart tactics, but a mindset: It's all about the donor.
Real fundraising isn't bragging about how awesome your organization is. Nor is it trying to educate your donors about your superb processes and approach. Real fundraising, the kind that changes the world, is connecting your cause with the donor's values and putting some action in her hands.
Okay, I wasn't the first to figure that out. Frankly, I was late to the game. But that bit of insight has been the foundation of my approach ever since. I've been fortunate to work with a lot of smart people who helped put legs to the idea that it's all about the donor. When you work with me, that's what you'll get.
Maybe more relevant yet
Here's the real reason you want to work with me: I've made every fundraising mistake you can think of, plus many more. Errors and disasters teach you a lot! I know what works and what doesn't.
And always, it's about donors. You can't go very wrong if you keep them in mind all the time.
That's the main thing you need to know about my approach to fundraising. If we should end up working together, you'll find me returning again and again to the donor. She's so important, yet so easy to forget.
In addition to having served hundreds of organizations as a fundraiser, I'm on two nonprofit boards (Providence Hospice of Seattle Foundation and Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra) and on a church stewardship committee. I can handle whatever you put in front of me.
The non-fundraising stuff that you can skip
My mom was a painter; my dad was a math professor. Ours was a musical and religious family. That little nexus of facts tells you almost everything about me.
I was an English teacher for a while. I taught basic college English. You know – that "Eng 101" course you either hated or loved. I know grammar and every rule for formal writing there is. But I won't hit you over the head with that. In fact, this is one of the few places you'll ever see me admit this sordid part of my past.
I've also been a freelance musician. I'm still a musician, but not for money. I play the double bass, mainly in symphony orchestras.
I read a lot, especially history and fiction. I like to collect rocks, especially when they're agates waiting to be found on a chilly Northwest-coast beach. I have two adult offspring, and live in Seattle with my wife and our cat, Dulcinea.