Non-profits need donors to stay alive. But when you're busy working hard for your worthwhile cause, it's easy to forget that donors can be easily annoyed. Below are ten ways that non-profits can annoy their donors:
How often do you contact your donors? If it's any more than once a month, it's too often. Try to leave them alone when you don't need them. Send them an email update when your non profit does something great and check in throughout the year. Any other time? Let them get on with making the money you need for donations.
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.
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!
A great way to lose donors is to make donations tougher. If you require that all donations are hand-delivered to your main office, or that donations come only in the form of a cheque, expect donations to diminish. Make it easy for time poor donors by being online and payment flexible.
When you run a non-profit, it's hard to remember that the people who give you money are just that - people. 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.
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.
Want to really make a donor mad? Monetise them by selling their information. It might be a quick way for you to turn a profit - or to help 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.
Think about the last time you contacted your donors. Did you send a card at Christmas, hoping they'd donate 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. A bit of annoyance at the end of the year guarantees that they won't give you money when the new year starts.
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.
Do you know one more fantastic way to annoy all your donors? Simply start asking them for more than they give. It's not unreasonable to encourage greater giving, but be gentle. Did they give you fifteen dollars last month? Maybe ask for $5 extra rather than $100! Don't take your donors for granted. The happier your donors, the more likely they are to donate again and again.
Â We're delighted to host this guest post by blogger, Helen Cartwright.Â Helen is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing, Fundraising and Finance niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-writes for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.