People won’t give til’ it hurts?

fundraising tipsSometimes I feel like I should make a list of all the silly things I hear fundraisers say. Here’s one I heard recently that just felt so wrong:
“To reach our goal, our donors need to give ’til it hurts.”

I’ve heard this before. “Give ’til it hurts.” Such a strange phrase. I can’t imagine why anyone would say it.

People never give because it hurts.
People only give because it makes them feel good. It makes them feel alive and connected to others. It makes them feel closer to an infinite power. Or, it provides them with fame or notoriety.

Giving also delivers a bundle of other joys.

People won’t “give ’til it hurts!” Nope! You’ll never inspire giving with negative messages, guilt or any other kind of pain.
So next time you hear someone say, “give ’til it hurts” I hope you’ll remind them that it simply doesn’t work that way.

Instead, help your supporters feel good. Provide value and benefits and you’ll get more gifts.

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8 years ago

I prefer to use the phrase, “Give until it feels good.”

8 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Well said Nancy!

Emily Capelle, M.A., LLC
Emily Capelle, M.A., LLC
8 years ago

Couldn’t agree more Greg! The message sometimes is that we must pressure donors, guilt them, twist their arm until they get tired of hearing from us and just give! But my question is, do you want donors you get that way just so you can make your goals/revenue numbers this year? Is that what will sustain an organization over the long term or will it be a one and done, short term gift through heavy handed pressure? If I put myself in the shoes of the donor, and I am a donor to several organizations, I want to give where I feel it will make an impact and to an organization who will utilize it effectively – besides feeling strongly about the mission!

8 years ago

Exactly Emily!
I have a friend who is an attorney. Gives a lot. He tells me that he often gives to fundraisers just to get them to stop calling him for a while. That’s not the way it should be.

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