Fundraising Myths: No 7: My fundraising method is better than yours

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Sometimes other people make life difficult for fundraisers. (Take a bow, programme and service delivery staff). But sometimes we just make tings hard for ourselves. And one of the ways we really undermine our own cause is by insisting that our method of fundraising is best and that all others are the preserve of fools and charlatans.

In the red corner we have mass market individual fundraising and our deity, the God of Regular Giving. In the blue corner, the heretics of the Conclave of the Major Donor. Bitter are the feuds as the righteous try and convince the other side that their method of fundraising is the most pure and the most effective.

OK I’ll stop this analogy before it gets any sillier. The point is, this isn’t helping guys. It is hard enough to get organisations to adopt sensible fundraising strategies without adding to the confusion ourselves. These methods aren’t better or worse than each other, they just work differently.

When major donor folks claim that there approach is better because it has a much lower cost of fundraising ratio than “mass market” giving (or should do), they are perfectly right. But it is also much riskier than regular giving programmes and tends to produce mostly restricted income. Mass or rather direct marketing giving is expensive, it requires investment and its ratios will always look high to the outsider. But it is predictable and the best source of unrestricted income. Apart from legacies which usually come from the people recruited through higher volume approaches.

And most sensible organisations do both if they can.

So people, can’t we all just try and get along?

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