A perfect example of ‘spray and pray fundraising’

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

This email wasted my time and annoyed me because…

  1. I don’t know this person
  2. I don’t know this organization
  3. I didn’t give her or them permission to email me
  4. I have no connection whatsoever to this cause or this organization
  5. And, since I have no idea who she is and am not aware of the good this organization does, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be asked to give them $5,000 to sponsor a local event that is 500 miles from where I live…. all through an email that is clearly the same one used for everyone else)

spray and pray fundraising

 

Good grief!

Am I offended? Yes. This is clearly a form email. In other words, she used it over and over but just changed the name of the company.

Should I be offended? I think so and that’s all that matters.

Do I get a lot of emails like this? Yes, about once every 2 weeks.

Will I ever give to this organization? NO!

Will people like me who get targeted like this ever find value in this kind of outreach? NO!!!

 

Folks, THIS is spray and pray fundraising. Don’t do it.

Fundraising Climate Change is happening because of emails like this.

Want to learn more about that? Check out my report titled: Fundraising Climate Change and What You Can Do About It.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHY SPRAY AND PRAY COMMUNICATIONS FAIL HERE.

LEARN 3 STEPS TO BREAK YOUR SPRAY AND PRAY ADDICTION HERE.

MORE ON WHY MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFT DONORS THINK YOUR MARKETING STINKS CAN BE FOUND HERE.

3 responses to “A perfect example of ‘spray and pray fundraising’”

  1. Katherine Swank says:

    Greg, examples like this just say to me that this person, this organization, have a fear of fundraising. Which, to me, equates to a fear of rejection. Spray and pray fundraising gives the solicitor and the organizational leadership a false sense of “Whew! Thank goodness we didn’t have to build a relationship with anyone and ask them them to partner with us to (fill in the mission statement blank). I mean, they may have said ‘No’ and then I’d feel personally rejected. At least with this spray and pray email campaign we can hide from our fear and hope someone says ‘Yes’.” Sad but all too common.

  2. Sadly, this is an all-too-common approach to solicit business sponsorships for events. The development staffer is then able to report back to their boss that they sent out XXX solicitations, but only got X response. They translate this as: “We’re not the type of organization that can get business donors. I tried. I did my job, but it didn’t work.” It’s an excuse for working hard, but not working smart.

    Somehow people who understand the need to build relationships with individuals don’t understand that businesses are people too!

  3. Greg, you are being very charitable by not revealing the name of the organization. I’m not sure I would have shown the same restraint. What you received was spam in the guise of a sponsorship appeal.

    There are a number of reasons why nonprofits send out such ridiculous appeals. Years ago, I had a client who was seeking corporate sponsorships the correct way. Part of what that meant was that he sent very few proposals, though they were targeted and appropriate. However, his boss was angry that the fundraiser was not doing enough. So, the boss set a high quota for how many sponsorship proposals he expected to be sent each week. To keep his job, the fundraiser sent out a bunch of blind proposals. His boss was very, very pleased. Years later, I still shake my head about that story.

    Keep shining a bright light to stupid fundraising practice!

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