Every marketing channel needs to be optimized and employed properly. Sadly most fundraisers are using email the wrong way. Email should NOT be used primarily for fundraising. Rather it should be used mostly to build engagement.
It should be used to tell stories, involve supporters, report back how gifts were used and make them feel good… not so much for asking.
Think of an email to a donor as you would an email to your friend. Would you only ask for money from a friend in every email? No, of course not. Maybe every once in a while. But you would do that sparingly and only when the time is right.
I wish fundraisers would finally learn to stop “blasting” and “start engaging”. Too many treat email like the button they press to get money out of an ATM. That’s not how it works. That’s not how donors want to be treated.
It CAN be used to raise money. But donors first need to get value. If fundraisers would provide more value in their emails, they’ll get more donations. If you give, you’ll get.
One would think people employed in the ‘charitable sector’ would understand the law of reciprocity. Nonprofits need to give first in order to grow their relationships with supporters to the point where they feel that they got so much value that they absolutely MUST give back.
More on this in my 10 Commandments of Engagement Fundraising here.
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