In some ways, we’re in a golden age of fundraising. There have never been more ways to capture attention, rally supporters, generate revenue, and measure fundraising performance than there are today. The accessibility of this technology has also never been greater, even to the smallest charities.

But with all the software, tools, apps and intelligence available to us, why has fundraising performance stagnated? Has technology actually gotten in the way of building a personal connection with our supporters?

In this book, we’ll explore ways to apply time-tested principles of philanthropy to the modern technology available to fundraisers — with the goal of keeping the donors we already have, inspiring new donors to give, and maintaining the sanity of our team members.



How Nonprofits Can Maintain the 💛 in the Digital Age

A prolific writer and speaker, Steven Shattuck curates Bloomerang’s sector-leading educational content and research, and hosts its weekly webinar series which features the top thought-leaders in the nonprofit sector.

Steven got his start in the nonprofit sector producing fundraising videos and other digital content for organizations like Butler University, Girl Scouts, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Heart Association.

Steven volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and the Study Fundraising Steering Group at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University. He is also an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving.

Steven has contributed content to the National Council of Nonprofits, AFP, NTEN and Nonprofit Hub, and is a frequent conference speaker, having spoken at AFP International, NAYDO, Cause Camp, ADRP, the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, and Planet Philanthropy to name a few. He is a contributor to Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition.

Recipient of the David Letterman Scholarship, Steven graduated with multiple honors from Ball State University in 2006 with a degree in Telecommunications and Creative Writing. He resides in Indianapolis with his wife and children.




After exploring why retention matters, what donors want from us, and how the personal touch can help, we’ll cover how you can use common nonprofit tech in ways that are grounded in time-tested principles of philanthropy. We’ll also cover how algorithms and automation come into play, and how you can optimize them to your benefit.

Part I: The Case for the Personal Touch

Part II: Donor Management

Part III: Your Website and Online Giving

Part IV: Email Marketing

Part V: Social Media

Part VI: Giving Tuesday

Part VII: Crystal Ball – Future Predictions

Robots Make Bad Fundraisers | Copyright 2022 Steven Shattuck

Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE

Capital Campaign Toolkit

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. If for no other reason, you should read this book to learn "why retention eats acquisition for breakfast.” The good news is that there are also 37 other reasons (chapters) to read this book. I wish I had this book 10 years ago! It’s a must-read for anyone raising money for philanthropic causes.


Kishshana Palmer, CFRE 

Kishshana & Co. + The Rooted Collaborative

Technology helps us accelerate the way we learn, the way we do business and the way we give. But what happens when AI stands for "all in" in your fundraising operations? Steven challenges us to turn our reliance on technology off auto-pilot, take the wheel and shift gears into a more human-centered approach to philanthropy.

Erica Waasdorp

A Direct Solution

Steven's book hits on all cylinders when it comes to the best way to communicate with your donors. While there's a place for 'robots' and automatic messaging or automated approaches, Steven gives you many examples of how robots can make mistakes and thus hurt your donor retention.


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Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, FAFP

Joyaux Associates

I've always liked Steven. Smart and supportive and insightful and... Then I see his book. I'm so impressed. Can you imagine a tech company leader actually telling us fundraisers that technology is not the answer to everything?! How cool that is! Read this book...because robots really aren't good fundraisers!

Jay Love

The Fundraising Standard

Every professional fundraiser and/or volunteer involved with fundraising about to dive into this book will be so delighted they did. The cutting edge insights and proven best practices begin early and literally keep jumping out of every page turned!

Barbara O'Reilly, CFRE

Windmill Hill Consulting, LLC

Steven has that unique expertise of really understanding what drives nonprofit fundraising best practices. He doesn't take an "either/or" approach between technology and human-based donor management. He sees the effectiveness and inextricable link between technology and 1:1 fundraiser/donor relationships built the "old fashioned way" and offers practical tips and advice on how to create meaningful digital and face-to-face donor experiences that make them want to keep giving for years!