This is not a strategy

September 25 2013 - Mark Phillips


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Nor is this…

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Great fundraising isn't about reducing the amount you ask for until it means so little to the donor that they simply don't care about handing it over. Nor is it about asking again until the donor feels uncomfortable saying no.

It's about engagement.

It's about finding a point of connection that resonates with your audience.

It's about creating that spark of understanding in your donor that giving brings joy.

It's about keeping that spark alive and watching it burst into flames as you show your donors that giving is one of the most enjoyable things they can do.

Any idiot can ask someone for a few pounds or dollars. What's hard is showing someone that their donation is worth far more to them than its cash value.

Note: All images adapted from Scott Adams' Dilbert series. Words are mine.

  • Hugh Wallace

    Thank you for posting this, it really resonates with my recent experiences with two big charities, both of which have left me feeling sad that things don’t move on (I previously worked in the third sector, but left in 2009).

    Fair enough, I can *almost* understand that a £5 gift-by-text results in a follow-up phonecall asking me to become a regular giver.

    I find it much more difficult to accept that having run two half marathons, and raised a decent chunk for a charity I have a strong affinity with, resulted in exactly the same approach. For all of the talk of engagement – and this particular charity does a lot of it – I can’t help feeling their fundraising model languishes broken and ill-equipped for the times we live in. And I suspect from the tone of your post they’re not alone.

    I don’t want a bunch of flowers, my back to be slapped, or my ego to be massaged, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a simple ‘thank you’ and an explanation of the great work that’s being done, rather than the first (and so far only) point of contact being an ask for more cash.

    The result – harsh as it may sound – is that they lose me; someone who would have been an advocate for their work, take an interest in their progress, and raise money for them again.

    Definitely not a strategy.