I’m beyond making excuses. I just haven’t been writing for a while. But I’ve been spurred into tapping out a post on fundraising, of all things! Having led a small unit that has recently forayed into fundraising, I’ve been learning a little bit. I’m certainly no expert but I’m going to ignore that and use my small amount of knowledge to pass judgement on the tactics of some of the larger organistions I have lately been approached by.
Twice at my door, and once because I made the mistake of smiling and responding to that damn question about a question: ‘can I ask you a quick question?’. And I hate interrupting people, but they know that and it’s part of their sell. So I let them go on, and on, and on, all with rather interesting and useful information. But what I really need to do is just interrupt and tell them straight-up – I will give a one-off donation and it will be of a good amount (until I don’t have a job) but I’m not signing up for any automatic payments.
And that’s what they all seem to want these days. Yes, I know. The cost of administration for one-offs, the certainty of the income for automatic payments, the security issues. It makes sense. But I don’t want to give that way. And I’m the one giving, so at least provide me with an option. But all three times, none of them have given me any way to make a one-off donation. So effectively, they are turning money away. Now this just does not make sense to me. Not one bit. Here you have a donor, ready to write-out a check for at least $100 and you say no! You’ve gone to the trouble of training these guys (and they were all men), sending them out marching up and down the street, decking them out in jackets and official tags, and you tell them to say no to money. If you’ve got somebody offering you money, I thought fundraising 101 says take-it now! But I guess bigger agencies are making enough to be a little bit pickier than what smaller organisations can afford to be. Or maybe my inexperience is showing through here. I’m a willing student so if anybody can explain…?