march for babies blog

25 Mar
Linda

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Posted by Linda
Walking in the spring

Springtime, March for Babies time!

Donor fatigue, giver burnout… what they mean is “hey, you’re not the only one asking me to help out.”

 

While you’re sending out your e-mails for March for Babies, people are getting plenty of other appeals in their e-mail and mailbox. So how do you break through the clutter?

 

Make them feel special: True, yours is only one of many requests. But you have a huge advantage over anonymous direct mailers: you know you these people. So, don’t send letters or e-mails in bulk. Personalize them! If you can make your donors feel they are being asked especially, they will be more likely to help.

 

Know what you’re talking about: Everyone’s hitting them up, but, with a little ready knowledge, you can stand out. And I’m not talking stats. Use your own story, or emphasize a project or goal of the March of Dimes that you care about – like supporting families in the NICU, or finding ways to prevent prematurity.

 

You know what? I don’t like being asked for money. But when I do decide to donate, I really enjoy the good feeling of giving that gift. It’s not that different from giving a present you know someone will really enjoy.

 

Have you experienced donor fatigue? How are you combating it?

COMMENTS

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Carrie — March 25, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

I think that a way to encourage the support of people you may know is by including in an email that the only way to help out is not just by donating money. They can also donate time by volunteering at their local office for the March of Dimes. These offices are always in need of help with a variety of different jobs. It is very tough for many families to donate money with the current economy. Donating time is appreciated just as much as monetary donations. You do not want to make a person feel obligated. Rather, make them feel excited and motivated to help such a great cause!

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Stephanie — March 25, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

Everyone is cutting back and trying to spend less. I agree that providing alternative ways to support the organization gives people who really want to help the opportunity to do so. Having a local March of Dimes team also encourages people to contribute. After they hear the information about what the local March of Dimes is accomplishing and how their contribution has made a difference, they want to continue that support or be a part of it

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by E West — March 26, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

I think another good way to get people involved is to show them that their contribution is actually making a difference. People may feel as if $20 wouldnt make an impact in such a large cause, whereas if they kept it for themselves it could buy them gas to last a week, or at least make a significant impact. We know that every penny and minute donated counts and makes a huge difference to the March of Dimes so we should communicate this when we are asking for help from others.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Rachel — March 26, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

I completely agree with Carrie about how to motivate others to get involved with the cause. When asking people to donate its not just about money but also about time. This semester our group is hosting an event called Laugh for Babies at Donnie B’s Funnybone and all ticket proceeds will go to benefit the March of Dimes but we are also going to set up a table outside of the show to give people the opportunity to donate more if they would like and to also try and gain some more volunteers for the organization. We feel by doing this, we will hopefully gain more in both ways by showing that we are not just concerned with digging into people’s piggy banks but also we want their time which will hopefully excite them even more to help out in which ever way they please. Getting people motivated and excited about the cause is the first step in getting support and hopefully squash the donor fatigue feeling. This organization needs both types of help so getting others excited about the organization and their cause is the first step to getting both taken care of.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Jason Waldron — March 26, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

I agree. I understand how donors get burnt out because once someone gives a monetary donation they are more than likely to be contacted in the future for another donation. This becomes difficult especially with the downward economy!

What people don’t realize is that nonmonetary donations are equally important. There are a variety of ways a person can donate to the March of Dimes through nonmonetary actions. For example, I am currently taking a college English class that is fundraising for the March for Babies. The class goal is to raise money and awareness in our local community through written correspondence and gracious actions. We’ve reached out to local businesses, sold candy bars, “tailgated” local supermarkets, and once the quarter is complete, walk in the March for Babies.

Not only did I learn a great deal about the March for Babies through this experience, it also motivated and excited all of us into doing something great for a wonderful cause and all it cost us was our time.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Amanda Barrington — March 26, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

In today’s world, almost all news is bad news and people can feel overwhelmed by all of the issues that need attention. People feel like they’re being asked to save the world when they can barely pay their mortgages. The most valuable thing we can do to fight Donor Fatigue is to be examples; not only will we prove to others that it is possible to make a difference without breaking the bank, but we will have personal stories and experiences from the March of Dimes to share with them. In order to get people to feel connected to our organization, we will first have to connect personally to them. That will make the difference between an organization asking for money and a cause worth sacrificing for.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Kara Kincaid — March 26, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

It’s true- a lot of people are feeling “donor burnout”, especially in this terrible economy. I’ve found that if I follow-up my letters with an in-person contact, it’s much more effective. Another thing that I’ve discovered is that it helps to put a price in any donor letters or emails. For instance, if you specifically ask the person to contribute $15, they will donate exactly that.

It certainly is effective to share your own March of Dimes stories, but if you don’t have one, it’s good to let your potential donors know why you are volunteering for the March of Dimes. Any application is almost always effective.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Aaron — March 26, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

Asking for money is hard (trust me I know) but there are things that can make it much easier for you and the people that you are asking. As mentioned in the blog asking through letters and e-mails is a good way to get a lot of people asked at once, but personalizing each letter will help in the long run. As another comment said “They can also donate time by volunteering at their local office for the March of Dimes.” Which helps just as much for the organization. While letters and emails can be personalized there is a better way to ask. Sitting down and talking to people face to face to really give them a personal touch. Yes this will take even longer but the results should speak for themselves. One final note there is a fine line between being persistent and harassing. So good luck on the trail!

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Brandon W. — March 26, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

I agree donors tend to get tired and agitated when constantly being bombarded by different foundations. People do not always have to donate, because there are other ways of getting involved to help the cause. There are walks and other similar events that people can participate in to help the babies. After all babies can not help themselves and if we do not help them who will?

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Kirsten — March 26, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

Donor burnout is a problem we all face, especially in today’s economy. You want to be persistent, but you do not want to become a nuisance. Your donor wants to help, but is being pulled in other directions as well. I usually find a direct appeal to be the most helpful. Recently, I was asking for a donation from a friend who was resistant to the idea of donating. Instead of just giving her a story about someone she does not know, I told her how her son has benefited from the March of Dimes, how she has benefited, how most everyone she knows has benefited from the March of Dimes, and how she never knew that the organization was working for her too, not just someone she had never met. This opened her eyes to the work the March of Dimes is doing and I was able to get her donation.

Donor Fatigue – How to Beat It

Comment by Brittany Oakes — March 30, 2009 @ 10:32 am

Throughout the last few months, I have done a couple of different fund raising activities and donor burnout is absolutely everywhere, especially with the poor economic state we are in. There are a few methods I have found to be very effective. It is very helpful to go to, or at least start out with, people that you know and are comfortable talking with. It is not good enough to simply ask for a donation. You must be able to sit down and have a conversation with this person and inform them on what the March of Dimes is, how it may have helped them, who it will help, and give an example. You could possible tell a story about a child they know who has been saved through the March of Dimes.
As some people had mentioned above, it is so important to inform the people you are speaking with that there are many other ways to help rather than just giving money. One of the most important things is going out in your community and raising awareness. It is like a domino effect. If the people you tell about the March of Dimes feel passionate about it, then they will tell their friends and those people will tell their friends and so on. The more people we can make aware of this great cause and organization, the more donations that will come in.
There are a number of ways to curb donor fatigue, but the only way you can find the right method for you is by going out into your community and trying them.

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