I started reading Jeff Brook's blog this morning, Donor Retention tells half the story and admit to getting a little excited...
70% retention rates for one organization, 90% second gift rates. I was scratching my eyes wondering if my morning caffeine fix hadn't yet hit me.
It continued to get better as I discovered both net income and organizational growth.
And then it hit.
Comments about stopping acquisition for five years, and how its unethical to tell a donor their (small) gift will make a difference when in fact its going to postage, printer bills etc..
This is not a dig at this organization who made the comments, it's a sector/society wide concern.
I actually wondered if time had stopped still. It was over two years ago I blogged about this very matter in Imagine a World whereby...
Citing Dan Pallotta's game changing book Uncharitable, I provided three practical recommendations for charities to control what they could control and flip the following dreaded question on it's head.
"How much of my dollar goes to the cause"?
The first suggestion was this:
1 Stop apologizing to donors for $ spent on overheads, administration, fundraising. These are genuine costs that are actually necessary and part of the work you do to fulfill your mission.
Finally, it reminded me of listening to Bob Geldof talk about his experiences and his response to the question "Don't you feel the scale of the problem is too big and you aren't making a real difference"?
His response: If I've helped one person, one child, then I've made a difference.
The same can be said for a donors gift, regardless off the size.
If you haven't done so already, please go and buy Uncharitable here at Amazon now. Send a copy to each board member, your boss, all your colleagues.
Because we really do have a long way to go to educate ourselves, as well as punters on the street.