Why I Feel Donor Remorse and How You Can Fix it

remorseI donate.
Not because fundraising is my business but, rather, because it’s part of “who I am”. It’s part of my religion. And, it’s part of my upbringing. It’s something I just do.
Not a lot. I’m not a major donor. The biggest check I wrote this year was $1,000. Mostly I like to give small amounts (by my measure) to lots of organizations.
Thanks to my habit, practice, tradition, routine or whatever else you want to call it… I get to see how lots of organizations treat their donors (including me). And, sadly, I think that treatment is pretty poor— leading to “donor remorse”.
Donor remorse is really very similar to buyer’s remorse. It’s a feeling of regret after having made a purchase (or, in the case of fundraising, a donation).
Why do I feel donor remorse?

  1. Because the “thank you” I got was disingenuous, mass-generated, and downright cold
  2. Because the organization never told me what they did with my money and if they did, it included facts and figures absent any emotion or a simple, powerful story
  3. Because the organization didn’t offer me an opportunity to engage with their mission in a meaningful way
  4. And most of all, because they asked me for more money several times after my gift without doing 1 thru 3 above

How can you fix donor remorse? With “3-to-1 Fundraising!” If you missed the post about that, check it out here.

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Becky Carter
Becky Carter
9 years ago

Another GREAT one!

Becky Carter
Becky Carter
9 years ago

Another GREAT one!


[…] For first-time donors, a prompt and personal thank-you helps reassure them. It makes them think, “Yes, I did the right thing,”—and wards off donor remorse. […]

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