Fundraising | Common Pitfalls
Dear Sir/Madam! There is no excuse for not addressing a named correspondent and preferably the correct name! Circulars waste time and money.
Long-winded and vague appeal letters/e-mails - try to avoid! Be concise and precise. Increasingly most letters, (and even e-mails), will be scanned.
Not understanding the commercial world, Companies want to know what they will get out of it. Companies expect some good publicity, even from a small donation. In fact the expectations have reasonably increased over the years especially if the donation or grant is significant. Company Directors just like recipients of money, have to account for the expenditure to shareholders.
Gone are the days when money is sent without a clear understanding of what it will be used forso it is incumbent upon Organisations’/Groups to see it as crucial part of their work, (whether asked or not), to periodically write to contact and let them know what you are doing; what has been spent; and what benefits was derived from spending their moneyoutcomes.
All of this to be measured against what you said you would do (input) and achieve (outcome) in your original appeal to the Company.
Not clearly stating what you want. Many appeals give lots of information, but the donor is left wondering what you actually want from them. Be very clear what you are asking for and why.
Insufficient time - plan ahead and appeal in good time. If you want the money next week it suggests bad planning.
Wrong address. Appeals may end up on the right desk, but a two week delay is unhelpful and creates a bad impression.
Tactical error. When sending images to Microsoft in support of an appeal, do not send in an Apple product format!
Not valuing their time. Applications should consist of a short letter. Do not say all the information is in the enclosed video! However, if your Organisation/Group has a web site, provide the web address.
Being unrealistic in what you ask for.
Lack of professionalism. Appeals, particularly by telephone need to be carefully thought through. Trying to make them feel guilty rarely produces a positive response.
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