Don’t ever ask someone to give until it hurts

charity donors give until it hurtsGive until it hurts?
Like so many other things I dislike about traditional fundraising axioms, this one has always rubbed me the wrong way.

Remember, I got into this because I was fed up.
As a donor, the planned giving newsletters I received were complex, overly-sophisticated, and offensive. I felt like the organization sending them to me was wasting my donations on newsletters that talked down to me and confused me with legalese.

Then I started reading books, blogs and reports about donor cultivation. One of them instructed fundraisers to tell their donors to “give until it hurts.”

Remember, human beings are programmed to avoid pain.
People give to feel good. So, asking people to hurt themselves is just plain stupid. Don’t do it.

Instead, ask you supporters to give until it feels good. 


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Charles O'Neil
Charles O'Neil
8 years ago

To align with Dr. Russell James’ research, you could tell donors to give until a sufficient amount of oxytocin is released in their brains, but I kind of like your version!

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