February 16, 2010

How NOT to Fundraise...

So I was on my way home earlier this evening from a quick trip to the store, and I saw an odd number on my phone with my old hometown's area code. I answered reluctantly, and heard the following:

"Hi Bruce, this is (INSERT NAME HERE), and I'm calling on behalf of the (INSERT COLLEGE NAME HERE) University volleyball team. I wanted to see if you wanted to donate money to us."

That was it. Literally... That was the pitch. Couple problems with it though...

1. I didn't go to said university (although I do regularly give to their Foundation to a specific fund named for a friend of mine who passed away)...
2. I am not a huge volleyball fan, nor have I ever gone to one of this university's volleyball games.
3. Aside from the fund named for my friend, I have no affinity to this university...

So, here are a few recommendations I have for associations on how to avoid such issues:

1. Ensure There's an Affinity - If trying to raise money, be sure the person you're calling has some semblance of an affinity toward what you're raising money for. (i.e. if it's for your leadership programming, they should have received some kind of leadership training already...)
2. Train Your Fundraisers - Be sure the people who are asking for the money are trained and know what they're doing. The girl who called was a member of the team, which while more personal, was just not someone who should be doing it. She likely had little training, and what if I had asked her about a very specific part of the university I WAS interested in supporting? She wouldn't have been able to effectively answer me.
3. Be Careful of Your Data - I wonder if the Foundation of the university provided my information to this team with knowledge of what they were doing? It seems as though the Foundation would not want to potentially lose a regular donor because of something like this...
4. Mine the Data - If the university would have done its due diligence, they would have known I had no interest in supporting a volleyball team of a school I never went to.

All in all, I'm still going to support the very specific fund that I do every year since it holds a very dear place in my heart. However, I have lost some respect for the institution because of this episode. Will your members lose respect in you? I think if you follow the tips above, they won't...

1 comment:

皮東 said...
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