3 Annoying Fundraising Tactics You Shouldn’t Use

Written by Tim Grable

October 30, 2017

There are many causes worth donating to. It is completely understandable for non-profit organizations to be invested and try anything to raise money for something they believe in. The problems are the annoying fundraising tactics that end up driving donors away. It is detrimental to everybody because the donors get angry, and the organization loses donations. Here are three tactics you have to stay away from:

1. Endlessly pestering donors

A very common tactic that charities use is to send constantly their donors emails, letters, and phone calls. The idea itself sounds good: You do not let the donor forget about the cause so they’ll donate in the future. The problem is that, more often than not, donors get so annoyed that they decide to stop donating just to get away.

3 Annoying Fundraising Tactics You Shouldn't Use

Since it is also one of the most common fundraising tactics, many people know about it before donating, and the moment they are asked to give their email or phone number, they start having second thoughts.

It is completely normal to want to keep in touch with your donors, but remember that they are busy, too, so don’t go overboard when reaching out to them. Be upfront about how often you’ll call and send emails, and don’t force them to give out personal information. It is better to get a donation with no way of contacting the donor than not to get anything at all.

2. Showering donors with gifts

Again, it is understandable to want to keep donors invested, but you have to be careful not to go overboard when offering them gifts.

Sending a small present like a sticker or a calendar may be a simple way to of reminding donors about the organization and it does not cost much, but you should not go further than that. You do not want to give donors the impression that their donation goes into the gifts you later send them. Keep the presents straightforward and inexpensive and don’t send out too many.

These gifts are not very useful for donors either. If they need something, they get it themselves. A better alternative to generic gifts with the charity logo are personal things. Write a letter thanking the donor and telling them how much they have helped, and they will be more likely to donate again.

There’s nothing wrong with sending one small gift to a donor, but don’t expect them to donate more just because you send more presents.

3. Using emotional blackmail

Out of the three fundraising tactics, this one is the most unpleasant. There aren’t worse ways of thanking donors for their help than guilt tripping them into contributing more.

It is not uncommon for non-profit organizations to use shocking imagery to pressure people into donating more, but this way of thinking is completely backward. Put yourself in their shoes; they wanted to help, so they donated, and your response was to try and manipulate them into giving more money.

The result is that they’ll just feel worse, and you’ll most likely never see a donation from them again. Adopting a “the end justifies the means” mentality will only alienate donors and make them regret helping in the first place.

What to do instead of using these fundraising tactics

The basic idea you have to start with is that donors are people who want to help. They do not like being treated like piggy banks or children. Actual human interaction is the key to actually attracting donors, not constant reminders, gifts, and shock tactics.

Here’s another great idea: Offer your donors an excellent experience by holding a fundraising event. Get in touch with us to get the best entertainment possible and make a long-lasting impression on your donors.

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