Were they for real?
I was at a meeting with a number of organizations the other day, along with some fundraising consultants. During the course of the meeting, I was surprised to hear the respected counsel suggesting that the organizations cut back on their communications and solicitations with their donors.
Why? Well, donor fatigue.
I sat there with a skeptical look on my face, struggling to understand how they could make this claim so confidently.
Were they looking at a particular audience, I asked? Had they factored in the quality of communications? Was this based on anecdote or evidence? I didn’t get much of an answer.
I disagree with an across-the-board diagnosis of fatigue.
I know we’re all seeing full mail and email boxes right now. Mine runneth over, too. But have you looked carefully through them? How many of the appeals you receive are inspiring? How many speak to you, as an individual? How many fit your desires to make the world a better place?
Count me with Simone Joyaux and Jeff Brooks on this one. Don’t claim “donor fatigue” as an excuse for bad results. And don’t stop talking to your donors. Take a hard look at how you’re communicating and what you’re communicating. Is it personal? Is it inspiring? Then stop to really listen to your donors.
As Jeff says:
The good fundraisers go into search mode and figure out what they need to fix, and they fix it. The lame fundraisers? There’s always donor fatigue!