The how to fundraise without annoying people checklist

February 4 2019 - Mark Phillips

  1. People give to make a positive difference to something that matters to them. Spend as much time, space and budget on showing what donors have achieved through their giving as you do on showing them why money is needed.
  2. Remember, your competition isn’t other charities. No donor really cares if you can dig a deeper well or imagines that you are better at inoculating a child. You are competing for someone’s time and attention against everything else happening in their life.
  3. If you are not interesting, entertaining, relevant or useful you are probably irritating.
  4. Don’t sacrifice a legacy for an extra £20 or $20 gift now. Fundraising that is effective in the short-term can lose you money in the long-term. Think about those people who don’t or can’t give. What feeling have you left them with?
  5. Consider what people are doing when you engage with them. People watch TV for entertainment, go shopping to relax or take out a phone to read a text from a friend. How does your message fit with what they want and expect?
  6. Direct marketing needs to talk to people directly – from their point of view. And remember a personal approach means they expect you to understand their living – and their financial – situation. Don’t ask for too much or too little.
  7. Don’t ask too often. People need more than one chance to give, but when you keep on asking and asking and asking, it just makes you look ungrateful. See if there are patterns or anniversaries in people’s giving and focus on them.
  8. Be wary of ‘loyalty’ schemes that focus on getting more money from the same people for no additional benefit – it can lead to irritation.
  9. Focus on how you pull people to you and how you answer their needs. If people feel good about giving to you, you have permission to ask for more.
  10. Ask people why they decided to give and remind them of their motivators when you ask again. You need to recognise that a legator wants something very different to a donor who just gives £3 or $5 a month.