Put yourself in this scenario.
You love a charity. You love them so much that you raise money for them from your friends, colleagues, clients. No, I’m not talking about sending emails and getting people to give on your fancy personal fundraising page.
I’m talking old school. Selling flowers, selling tickets…
You hustle for days, weeks, maybe even over a month. And, of course, you buy a few for yourself. At the end of the campaign, you helped the charity raise hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars.
Hopefully your charity shows you love, affection and care. They write you, they call you, they know your first name, they know your dog’s name.
Then it happens.
Down the road, when you least expect it, you get a letter. You open it, of course. This is the charity you love. But why are they telling you what you already know? That this disease is really cruel… or that their organization is the only charity that blah, blah, blah…
Someone decided to “convert volunteers to donors” and there is a cheap and convenient way to do this – tack it on to an existing mailing. The absolute worst case scenario is that you have been added to the latest acquisition mailing. Ugh.
How do you feel? At best, you feel disengaged.
At worst, you feel insulted.
You’re probably not going to call that charity and tell them how you feel. You’re just going to sigh, slump your shoulders and feel a bit crappy.
We make stupid decisions every day like this that can affect those who care about us the most.
Death by a thousand cuts…
Earlier this year, a client of ours included volunteers of this kind in the “in-house” segment instead of the “mailing house” segment. It was hand signed, live stamped and looked and felt like real mail. Yes, it took longer. Yes, the CEO had to sign more letters. Yes, there were more envelopes to stuff at the lunch table.
But how do you think those donors felt?
Amazing. Cherished. Loved. Important.
And what do you think happened?
They raised more money. Way more money. Double the money.
And what’s next?
Legacies. These people just won’t cross the major gift radar. They buy a few flowers for themselves. They give $50 or $100 during the holidays. But they are more precious to you then you can imagine.