We’ve all seen them before; the fundraising mistakes that even fundraising software can’t prevent and make us cringe even as we feel sympathy for the coordinators and donors alike. Even online fundraising doesn’t seem to be immune; event planning software can help you prepare for a fundraiser on the ground or online, but once you’re in the middle of the event you’re often on your own.
Here are some mistakes you should probably avoid:
1 – Impersonal direct mail campaigns
Make sure that you are addressing your postcards or thank you mailers to the right people. Sign your name by hand, no matter how many notes you need to prepare. Make things personal and your thanks heartfelt.
2 – Annoying your donors
Create a communication calendar and stick to it. Don’t send updates or requests for donations too frequently. Don’t request a small-time donor to jump to being a big-time donor with no preamble or even asking them if they’re interested in increasing their donation amount.
3 – Broken promises
No matter what you’re selling or what cause you are promoting you need to deliver on what you promised. If someone has given you money they want to know that it is being used the way you told them it would be.
4 – Taking the wrong approach
Generic mass mailing or impersonal solicitations in front of stores have never brought good results for anything less than the best known organizations. So unless you are the Girl / Boy Scouts or the Salvation Army, stick with more personal communications to attract donors.
5 – Falling behind the times
Instead of relying exclusively on out-dated methods of fundraising, take your efforts into the virtual space and gauge the effectiveness of an online fundraising campaign. Use new technologies like email and social media to give your campaigns a kick!