All the frenetic activity on the “fundraising problems” in the sector are driving me mad. They have been around for years. Having listened to 24,000 donors volunteers and charity service users over decades it is clear that fundraising has been heading in the wrong direction for years; possibly since the introduction of Relationship Fundraising.
Eight years ago I wrote articles about the unhappiness of donors and we then had a fascinating debate at the IFC. The articles and the debate were focused on “donors do not want relationships” – which I still believe. Do you really want any “supplier” to contact you to spend more? I don’t. In my view one way of looking at donors (in really simple terms) is a follows:
1) Fabulous loyal donors who found the charity they wanted to support (on occasions due to a personal experience) . They have enormous trust, do not want a “please give” message or a thank you message. Just a short blast on recent impact.
2) Recruited donors (mail phone and street) who really do not want any contact to be asked to give more because so many (not all, I admit) do not care ENOUGH to want more information and nothing will change them
3) Eventers who are often motivated by the event not the cause
4) Lottery raffle givers who like to WIN
5) Legators who want to invest in the future and look for information to make sure the legacy is a wise investment
All the talk NOW is about being donor centric/donor focused – nothing new there then it was always meant to be but we failed.
We do not need a Commission on the Donor Experience (started by some who could have encouraged donor anger in the first place) – it is yet another diversion by FUNDRAISERS FOR FUNDRAISERS.
Listening to donors day in day out I realise they have more common sense than most fundraisers. But people/fundraisers who rarely listen to donors refuse to believe in the views, attitudes and needs they express . This is the biggest change needed in the fundraising sector – not loads of new regulatory (or pseudo regulatory) bodies