Two fundraising errors mar Thanksgiving email

From Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, a pointed critique of an email sent by CARE: Death, dying … and oh, happy thanksgiving.


The email, sent shortly before Thanksgiving, had this subject line: 25,000 people will die this Thanksgiving.


The message goes on in that vein. To uncharitably paraphrase: While you’re stuffing your face with friends and family, lots and lots of innocent people are dying of hunger. You pig! Why don’t you do something positive for a change?


I know that’s not the intent, but that’s pretty much how it comes across. This message makes errors:



  1. Large numbers almost never motivate people to action. More often than not, bringing up the astoundingly huge numbers generated by world poverty will shut down compassion. It’s much more effective to talk about the threat to one hungry person.
  2. Guilt is a clumsy tool. It can be a powerful motivator, but it can also (and more likely) have the exact opposite effect. People who feel good are much more likely to give than people who fell awful.

Needs work. Maybe next Thanksgiving.


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog