I've had nothing but bad experiences from the charities I support this year and it's really irritating me.
First of all I've been mailed at least six times (without response) after I sponsored two friends in an event. The latest appeal calls me a "long and generous" donor, which is just a downright lie.
Secondly, I tried to double my direct debit to a charity in August. Three months later it still hasn't been done.
I'd put it down to bad luck, but I've heard similar stories from other friends and colleagues. Here are threeexamples of bad fundraising that I've heard about in the last month alone:
- A colleague set up a direct debit to a charity and received no confirmation or thank you letter. The first communication they received was a cash appeal. The direct debit was quickly cancelled.
- A friend ran a half marathon and raised over £500 for a charity. Not one word of thanks or acknowledgement has been forthcoming.
- On Twitter, someone mentioned the automatic e-mail reply they received from a charity donor support team saying they'd try and respond in five to seven days. Twelve days later - still no response.
It's not good enough.
I keep hearing people saying they want to improve donor relations, extolling the importance of the donor journey and the need to increase lifetime value, but I'm seeing little evidence of this happening in the real world.
I've got a lot of things I can improve on in my own work (so feel a bit pot calling the kettle black), but I'd like to think that none of the above would happen and I know I have a plan to raise our standards.
I'd love to hear some positive stories from you about how your charity (or one you support) is really looking after donors and bucking the trends I describe above.
I'll donate the £30 I would have given to the charity my direct debit is with to the best story. Please e-mail me or leave your story or experience in the comments. I'll look forward to reading them and having my faith in fundraisers restored.
P.S. I'm also a sucker for a horror story, so if you've got any more examples like the ones above, then include them as well. I'd love to hear yuor experiences.