What Your Fundraising Efforts Tell Donors

A donor can only take so much.

That’s why I asked certain nonprofits to stop fundraising. The situation improved somewhat … until now. So far this year I have received monthly solicitations from one nonprofit, along with other fundraising mailers from a similar organization who either purchased or shared that nonprofit’s donor list.

I understand and respect nonprofits need to raise money on an ongoing basis to support their work. But when their fundraising continues on auto-pilot, it shows a lack of respect for donors.

Your organization may craft different mission-focused messages in multiple fundraising requests, but here’s how your constant solicitation can be perceived by a donor:

  • I feel like my contribution isn’t valued when you keep asking me for money all the time.
  • Maybe you should spend more effort on doing good work instead of continuously soliciting me for donations.
  • You might be earning additional revenue by selling your donor list, but I’m getting fed up with receiving requests from similar organizations.
  • I was happy to support your organization until you started treating me like an ATM.

Take a step back and view your fundraising efforts from a donor’s perspective. What message(s) are you sending to them in your ongoing solicitation?






5 replies on “What Your Fundraising Efforts Tell Donors”

Excellent points – Not-for-profits need to take their brand reputation as seriously as for-profits, and they definitely need to respect donors perhaps even more than commercial customers.

Sybil, I agree…and let me add the flip side. Nonprofits should replace some of that fundraising with communications. Suppose instead of those monthly asks, you got 8 messages about how your donations made life better for a specific person, different each time. I’ll bet you’d be HAPPY to be asked for money at least twice, and maybe more!

Thanks for your comment, Penny. The good news is there are reputable professional fundraising organizations that help nonprofits without charging them exorbitant fees.

I like one non-profit that offered me an option to charge $5.00 per month on my credit card since this was more “budget friendly”. Since then, they wisely have not solicited any further donation.
I have heard that some non-profits hire marketing companies to solicit in their behalf. These marketing companies may take 50 percent or more of donated dollars. I don’t agree with this practice even if the nonprofit brings in more dollars for their own uses just as I don’t like non profits that pay their CEO millions of dollars in compensation

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