Never make this fundraising mistake

By James Mulvey

Last month, we wrote about a very compelling fundraising tactic. The letter asks for a donation to help children with cleft lips and palates. 

fundraising mistakes

We loved the direct mail piece because, as our free fundraising report Motivate and Convince: the Most Effective Tactics for Attracting Donors and Volunteers showed, the frequency and tone of fundraising letters remains one of the most common barriers preventing people from giving more to non-profits. 

The non-profit seemed to get this pain-point in the audience’s mind. And they made a compelling offer: “Make one gift and we’ll never ask for another donation again.”

We gave.

And then we tweeted about it. We even mentioned it in an upcoming research report on developing memorable communication pieces.

And then this happened. 

We got another letter. But this time the "make one gift and we’ll leave you alone" just didn’t carry the same emotional weight. 

The biggest marketing mistake you can make is to break your promises. Because, if you don’t deliver, the next time you speak people don’t believe you. And if people don’t believe you, they’ll never send you money, spread the word about your mission, or invest in your cause.

Promises are easy to make. Delivering on them is what builds your brand for the long-term. 

don't make this fundraising blunder


Free Research Report: The Most Effective Tactics for Attracting Donors and Volunteers

If you work at a non-profit, you know first hand the challenge of fundraising, planning for the future, and retaining volunteers. As many of our clients are non-profits, Redbird Communications has produced a detailed research report, surveying the Canadian non-profit landscape and offering some strategic advice for attracting donors and volunteers.

    Redbird’s research report contains 21 pages of research-based best fundraising and communication practices for non-profits, including graphs, detailed stats, donor retention research, and strategic analysis of the challenges that many non-profits face.

    In the report, you will find:  

    • Research on approaching business leaders, corporations, and foundations for support. 
    • Actionable insights on the most effective fundraising tactics.
    • Donor motivations and psychology.
    • Research and tactics on attracting and retaining volunteers.
    • Analytical commentary, tables, and graphs.

    Get your free report (instant download)


    About Redbird Communications

    Redbird Communications is a marketing communications agency in Victoria, British Columbia, that works with non-profits, social enterprises, government ministries and other private and public-sector organizations.

    Founded in 2001, we provide research, strategic planning, creative services, and public relations to clients in BC, Ontario, and beyond. Redbird has developed province-wide awareness campaigns, including our most recent ‘Signs of Stroke’ campaign for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon. For that campaign, we helped to raise $250,000 from pharmaceutical sponsors to fund the media buy, and created TV and radio spots, print collateral, and online advertising.

    For more resources, tips, and strategic advice follow us on Twitter (@Redbirdcomms).