Fundraising ‘Over-Complicated’ - Expert
11 March 2013 at 12:50 pm
Charity fundraisers “over-complicate” the fundraising process and should focus more on the donor, the Fundraising Institute of Australia conference in Sydney has been told.
Canadian direct mail and donor loyalty specialist Harvey McKinnon told the conference it is “extremely important” to know what donors are thinking and feeling when they are deciding whether to give to a charitable cause.
“A lot of really good fundraising is very simple and basic – people often try to make it too complicated,” McKinnon said.
“If we look at this [fundraising] from a donor’s perspective we will raise more money and do more good in the world.”
He said that while most fundraisers do overcomplicate fundraising what is worse is the CEOs and boards that do it the most.
“It feels to me at times that their mission is to overcomplicate things and make it difficult for fundraisers to do their job,” he said.
McKinnon’s keynote address, Eleven questions every donor asks was based on the book of the same title, which he believes are the basic principles of fundraising.
He told the conference, made up of fundraising professionals from some of the largest charities in Australia to the smaller Not for Profits, that some of the key questions donors ask include: ‘Is there an urgent reason to give?’, ‘Will I have a say over how you use my gift?’ and ‘How will I be treated?’.
McKinnon said that it was “incredibly important” to treat donors well.
“For the most part, we don’t treat donors very well,” he said.
“If you can answer a donor’s questions in advance, that’s a great benefit – many donors will not ask you the questions they’re thinking.”
McKinnon said that a legitimate question that donors are increasingly asking is ‘Do I have a say over how you use my donation?’.
“People fundamentally want to have that option. And when you can give donors that option, I totally believe you will raise more money,” he said.
Harvey McKinnon is a direct mail and fundraising expert from Vancouver, Canada where he founded Harvey McKinnon Associates. He spent ten years with Oxfam Canada as Senior Development Officer and was a 1998 finalist for the B.C.-based ‘Ethics in Action Awards’.
This year’s Fundraising Institute of Australia’s conference was themed ‘Aspire to Greatness’ and saw more than 600 professional fundraisers attend from across the country.
World renowned ethicist Peter Singer delivered the Syd Herron Oration earlier in the conference. Read the article here.