Non-profits need donors to stay alive. Unfortunately, some non-profits never learned that those same donors can be easily annoyed. Below are fifteen ways that non-profits tend to annoy their donors.
1. You Contact Them Too Much
How often do you contact your donors? If it’s any more than once a month, it’s too often. In fact, you really do need to leave them alone when you don’t need them. Send them an email update when your nonprofit does something great and check in throughout the year, but please leave these people alone. They are busy making the money you need for donations.
2. You Auto-Renew
Nothing is more frustrating than auto-renewal. Companies auto-renew payments and donations so that people will forget about them and get locked in for another donation period. When you auto-renew, customers figure out that you’re just hoping to hit their wallets even when they don’t want to help you. Don’t put your donors in this position.
3. You Robocall
Yes, you have many donors. Yes, calling people takes a long time. If you have to resort to robocalls, though, you might as well stop calling altogether. No one appreciates a call from a machine, especially when that machine is asking for money. Eventually, your donors will figure out your phone number and move to block it. Robocalls are horrible for everyone, so stop doing it!
4. You Make Them Do the Work
A great way to lose donors is to make donations tougher. Require that all donations are hand-delivered to your main office, or maybe require that donations come only in the form of a certified check. Even better, make your donors jump through hoops as if they’re lucky to donate to you. You’ll get rid of them quickly by making them do the work.
5. You Forget They’re People
When you run a non-profit, it’s hard to remember that the people who give you money are just that – people. They might seem like walking ATMs, but constantly treating them like they are no more than money machines is a great way to lose them forever. Instead, start treating your donors like they’re people and like they are important parts of your non-profit.
6. You Don’t Show Progress
If you’re asking for money, you should be doing something with it. No one wants to throw money away, even if they are doing it for a good cause. Give your donors updates so that they can see their money at work. If you can’t prove progress, you can’t prove that you are using donor money well.
7. You Complain
No one likes a whiner. Your donors know that nonprofits need money to stay open. They should, then, also know that you are only asking for money when it is necessary. If you constantly whine about the little things as a fundraising technique, they’ll get annoyed enough to avoid you when you need real help .
8. You Bully
Your donors know how much they can give. They also know that they can give other places. Don’t try to force them to give you more money. Don’t be a bully that threatens them with revoking privileges or other unreasonable demands. They are doing you a favor, so remember that at all times.
9. You Stop Caring
Donors give your non-profit money because they care. When you start slacking, they’ll know. People want to see that you care – so keep a smile on your face and keep working hard.
10. You Sell Their Info
Want to really make a donor mad? Monetize them by selling their information. It might be a quick way for you to turn a profit – or to help out another non-profit – but it’s not something for which they have signed up. It doesn’t matter if they forgot to check the box on the online form that exempts them from having their information sold – do the right thing and keep the information in-house.
11. You Make Changes
There are good changes and bad changes when it comes to fundraising. If you’re using ideas from an organization like Fundraiser Insight , you’re making a good change. If you’re making your donation forms more confusing or eliminating a popular donation options because it doesn’t square with a new vision, it’s a bad change. Donors generally don’t like change, so avoid it when you can.
12. You Ignore Timing
Think about the last time you contacted your donors. Did you send a card at Christmas, hoping they’d just throw you some money? Don’t be the kind of non-profit that ignores timing. Give your donors some time to get together cash and don’t rush them at the holidays. A bit of annoyance at the end of the year guarantees that they won’t give you money when the new year starts.
13. You Waste Money
Donors want to see that their money is being used for good works – otherwise, they’d just invest in a for-profit business. Don’t waste your donor money on things you don’t need. Let your donors know that at least a portion of their money is going to things that can fulfill the mission of the non-profit instead of to costs that could otherwise be defrayed in another way.
14. You Keep Asking
Don’t keep asking for money. If someone gave you a one-time gift, let it be. If someone wants to get more involved as a donor, send out a mailer or an email. If they respond, that’s great – you may have a new donor who can help you do great things. If they don’t want to give you more, don’t bother them. This will not only keep them from coming back, but it will give your non-profit an annoying reputation.
15. You Ask for Too Much
Do you know one more fantastic way to annoy all your donors? Simply start asking them for more than they give. Did they give you fifteen dollars last month? Clearly, the next step is to try to get them to give you a hundred dollars this month. Getting greedy is a fantastic way for a non-profit to make its donors upset.
Don’t take your donors for granted. Look at this list and make sure you aren’t doing anything on it. The happier your donors, the more likely they are to donate again and again.