Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Dear Professional Fundraiser

Dear Professional Fundraiser,

I know it is your job to ask for money over and over again in any possible way you can imagine, but I have a suggestion for how your fundraising efforts might be more effective:  thank people for contributing and leave them out of your blanket emails for a while.  Your automatic thanks after contributions don't count.  Those aren't real thanks, they are just an acknowledgment of the contributions.  Do NOT follow them up immediately with requests for more money.  That makes the contributions seem worthless, as in, "We know you gave all the money you felt you could afford, but our cause will go down the tubes if you don't keep giving and giving and giving.  You are only good for us if we can keep begging you for more and more money."  I know the causes are urgent, but I, at least, already give more than I can afford - and I am giving less now, because I feel unappreciated.

And, be careful who you sell your lists to.  Good causes tend to proliferate.  I contribute to one cause and, like a hydra, three causes spring up in the same beast.  This actually dilutes your contributor base.  I cannot contribute as much to each one, so you get less or I may decide that your cause isn't as important as one of the other ones and you get nothing.

Email makes it easy to reach a lot of people quickly and easily.  Don't take advantage of it to bombard people with messages.  They may do what I have to do now - just delete them all.  Yes, I still believe in your cause, but I can't deal with all of the requests.  Be more selective.

Respectfully yours,

No, The Sky Is Not Always Falling

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