Shock Therapy for Fundraisers

This post could be listed as shock therapy for fundraisers.  Mark Atkinson has posted a fictional letter from Mrs. D. Donor to her favorite charity describing her frustrations.  As so many organizations race to the end of the year with a myriad of appeals, this blog post reminds us to work toward placing a greater value on the relationship between the organization and its most loyal donors.

I’m stopping my donation

Mark Atkinson
Chief Executive at VCSchange

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to let you know that I will no longer be able to support your charity. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a worthy cause…I do. You provided a fantastic service to my dearly departed husband 12 years ago at a time of greatest need. I have been supporting you ever since. Whilst I am now in my dotage and energy prices are rocketing, it’s not because I can’t afford to continue with a small regular donation. Like many people my age, I have been relatively frugal in the run up to my retirement and have a few shillings set aside.

So why you may ask am I stopping my support?

The answer is because you don’t know me. I feel like a stranger. We’ve been dating for the last 12 years but we’re not on first name terms. Sometimes, you even forget my name.

I do enjoy the occasional magazine you send me but it always comes with a request for an extra donation. I also acknowledge the fact that you write to me a couple of times per year, usually at Christmas and Easter with a warm thank you…along with a very polite suggestion that I may wish to support your seasonal appeal. That’s ok, I don’t mind.

What I do find upsetting though is that you don’t seem to be aware of the deep fondness I have of the charity. I feel like I’m just a cash cow.

Do you know that I’ve been running a monthly coffee group to raise funds for the charity for the last 4 years? I’m not too sure how much money it’s raised but I think it must be getting on close to £3,000. I used to do a collection tin round but visiting all the shops was playing havoc with the ‘arthur’ in my right knee during the winter months.

Are you aware that I regularly donate my unwanted clothes to one of your shops and that I buy all my Christmas cards from you? Don’t tell anyone but I often buy quite a few stocking fillers as well!

Yes, I do make a regular gift by standing order and that’s how I like to make my donation. I’m long in the tooth, set in my ways and to be perfectly frank I’m sick of getting your direct debit forms. I’ve had several in the last 3 years. Surely you must realise by now that I don’t want to switch?

I’ve been supporting the charity for 12 years. I don’t want my name in lights and I’m not after a medal. I just don’t want to feel like I’m ‘supporter reference number 5439’ which I’m told I should quote if I ever ring you up.

Come to think of it, maybe it would be really nice for you to give me a call every now and then? I wouldn’t want to take up too much of your time and whilst I may be retired, I do keep myself busy. Nevertheless, a short chat to keep me in the loop…maybe as an alternative to one of the 40 page quarterly supporter magazines you send me would be a good idea?

Anyway, I’ve had enough so I’ve decided to call it a day.

Yours faithfully

Mrs D Donor
(Supporter reference number 5439)

P.S Awfully sorry if it’s a lady who is reading this letter. I would have liked to have addressed the letter personally, but unfortunately you’ve never given me your name.