Stop shaming your supporters!

Stop shaming your donors! So I’m out having lunch with one of my fellow CEO buddies. I do that a lot. It’s very lonely being a CEO so I like to get together for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with my pals so we can blow off steam and share fresh ideas.

He sends his kids to private school and he figured he’d ask me a question about fundraising since that sort of thing is right up my alley.

“Does shame work as a fundraising tactic?” he asked.
“Wow!” I said. “No, of course not!”

Then, he told me that his kids’ private school knows no other tactic. Here’s how they shame him repeatedly:

  1. They send him lists of people (his friends and neighbors) who are giving and how their giving ranks with his. Before he gave his first donation, they used to include a note that pointed out that he wasn’t even on the list.     —Shame!
  2. They invite him to events and ask for money from a stage with a microphone. If you don’t raise your hand and pledge some dough, they shout at you saying things like, “Don’t you care about your children?” and “You’ve got to give until it hurts!”    —Shame!
  3. They put notes in his kids’ bags so they’ll get the requests for cash from their kids.     —Shame!

“Holy cow! Is all that really happening?” I asked.
“Yep.” He replied. “I figured it must be effective. Otherwise, why would they do it?”

I asked, “How does all that make you feel?”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “LIKE CRAP!”

Good grief! If you are employing these tactics, stop! Stop shaming your supporters!

Related Posts

>> It’s Shameful to Shame a Major Donor
>> Words that Work 2: The Phrases that Encourage Planned Giving

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7 years ago

Wow, It is surprising that fundraisers, let alone a school, would use this as a tactic, it seems like it’s against the sentiment of charitable giving and wouldn’t give a good impression to the children. It’s a shame these tactics are seen as reasonable!

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