A very dear friend lost her husband unexpectedly. I wanted to make sure the nonprofit in which she had been very involved knew about the funeral. I also wanted to make a donation in his memory.
I hit the website knowing that I would easily find the needed contact information, since I had worked with the organization as a marketing communications consultant in 2008.
Imagine my surprise when I could not find any email addresses or phone numbers except to a central box.
What a wake-up call!
So, as you get ready for your end-of-the year push, I want to share my personal pet peeves that make me think twice before supporting a nonprofit:
- No way to send an email and/or make a phone call to a specific staff member
- Sending me a letter and/or an email addressed to ‘Dear Friend” – There’s just no excuse. You need to send personalized email and letters.
- No one to answer the phone and/or respond to email the end of December – It boggles my mind when nonprofits completely close down during this most important fundraising period. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard from ‘almost’ donors who moved on to support organizations where they could reach a human being.
- Making me hunt for a way to make a donation – A donate now link is not enough. Visitors to your website need to see a donate button regardless of where they land when they enter your site. Complement each page with a donate pitch with an easy to find donate button
- Donate now buttons that don’t link directly to the donation page – For each extra click you are losing potential donors.
- Donation pages without contact information and an address for regular mail – Personally I like to charge my donations. But, there are still people who like to send a check. Be sure to invite visitors to do so.
- No way to make a tribute donation – I’ve developed deep relationships with nonprofits who provide a phone number and/or email address for tribute donation details. On the flip side I’ve crossed off nonprofits that don’t have some mechanism for making these gifts.
- No personal thank you notes for online donations – Most online systems have an automated response system. Be sure and follow up with a personalized thank you.
- A registration that promises an online newsletter that never comes
Don’t let these stumbling blocks keep you from reaping the end of the year fundraising benefits.
Do you have any suggestions ? We’d love to hear from you.
Have questions? Need more information?
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.