Fundraising favour or fundraising fail?

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Think of your group of core, reliable, engaged, loyal donors. You know, the ones that give nearly every time your write to them and ask? Think about how wonderful they are to your organisation and how fantastic their support is! Now think about how you would feel if suddenly, for no clear reason, they started lapsing. Not just one or two of them, I’m talking about 85-90% of them. You would be worried! You would be sad! You would probably wonder what on earth had happened that made this group of loyal, long term donors stop giving and how you possibly could have offended them! Sadly, sometimes the answer is because someone in your organisation tried to do them a ‘fundraising favour’.

This deadly ‘favour’ happens when someone in your team decides that because they have been giving so much and been so loyal that we should give them a break from asks. Usually, this person naively thinks this will be a kind of treat for the donor! THIS IS A FUNDRAISING FAIL!

We all know that people don’t give unless they are asked. Well, surprisingly they don’t continue to give when you stop asking either. They might keep up their standing order for a while, they may even visit your website and take a look at how you are doing. But, eventually, they will stop doing these things and with no further asks, they stop giving! They become a past donor, someone who used to give.

Do YOU want to lose that group of core, reliable, engaged, loyal donors you were thinking of earlier? If you do, by all means, do them a ‘fundraising favour’ and mark them as ‘do not solicit’ or ‘do not ask’ and wave goodbye to them one by one as they drop off your current donor list!

If you want to keep them, keep asking them for money, keep updating them on how they have made a difference and keep them engaged!

Have you ever experienced a ‘fundraising favour’ that turned out to be a fundraising fail? Tell me about it in the comments!

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