Should we chase replies?

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I’ve been pondering recently on the pros and cons of chasing people for replies when it comes to fundraising. Should we as fundraisers be assessing how many times is too many times when it comes to chasing? Should we chase for donations at all? Is it OK to ask for money more than once per appeal? Does the platform make a difference in your approach in terms of email vs phone?

I recently had a very successful Christmas appeal, which raised x3 our original target. I did choose to chase donations for this direct mail appeal with two follow up emails and we did see an increase in response rates after chasing. However, I did have one donor write to me, asking me not to chase in the future, as he personally takes time to decide if he will give and doesn’t like to feel pressured.

He did choose to make a gift, but from now on, I will make sure he is excluded from any ‘chasers’ that I send. IF I decide to send any!

Just because something creates a more desirable result (increased income), does that make it the right path? Could we be alienating our donors by pushing them too much? Or, do they appreciate the reminder in their busy lives? Is it ok to send them a chaser email if the original appeal was postal?

As many of you know, I am a big believer in treating donors how they deserve to be treated (as the heroes that they are!) and making sure they know how much their support is appreciated. I am also a very big advocate of #donorlove, especially in the form of hand-written thank you cards. So, by chasing donors that I usually treat so well, am I ruining the work I have done? Or am I simply doing what I need to do to achieve good results?

Do you have any experience of good or bad results after chasing an appeal? I would LOVE to hear from you as I am certainly questioning the practice of chasing.

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One thought on “Should we chase replies?

  1. When I was an annual fund caller I used to do pledge chase calling. Essentially ringing up people who had agreed to donate, but hadn’t fulfilled yet. I’d thank them for their donation and gently remind them their pledge was still outstanding and reiterating the difference it would make. Most of the times people had just forgotten and fulfillment was good.

    I don’t disagree with chasing, providing it’s done correctly. The email follow up from a DM is the favoured method and often provides an easy click through to donate, so those who forgot because they were busy can donate there and then. A chase can also provide further insight into why the donors support is going to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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