Always engage the donor with how they can support your NGO while making it easy for them to donate. Transfer the joy of giving to the donors, irrespective of the amount donated and never fail to celebrate their generosity.
With Diwali ( The Indian festival of lights, celebrating the victory of Good over Evil), I am flooded with email appeals and letters in my mailbox, directing me to be generous and donate. The choice of causes spread in front of me gives me the feeling of being real-world and spoilt for choices. The choice of causes put in front of me vary from “Sending a Child to School in Jharkhand” ( An state in Eastern India, with significant tribal population ) ” to “ Saving Whales in Japan” and from “funding a Girl’s Engineering degree in Andhra Pradesh” to “Contributing for setting up a YOGA College”.
After going through all these letters, I feel a little exhausted and somewhat disappointed …
My reasons are simple … From the sample of 37 pieces of appeals that I have received now, I noted the following.
Salutations and greetings.
In the majority of the communications/ appeals I receive, I am treated as a non-entity… The letter addresses me as “ Dear….., “ and I am supposed to fill the space. One of the letters says “ Dear Donor”. …and one letter changes my gender orientation by calling me Ms. Verma Kunal.
Focussed on my purse, not my heart.
The appeals directed me to “ Give” and “Contribute” and “ fund” and “ Save”. I fail to understand, why this coercion? I am a donor; I am willing to donate to a cause that is close to my heart. Why Instruct me to “ Give”? Why can’t I be simply requested to donate?
Little or no connection to the cause.
I am asked to give because it’s Diwali season… Good… but is it a valid reason for forcing me to give? One appeal says, Give now, so that “ Name of the NGO” could send a million children to school”. I feel that a small donor like me is going to be insignificant if I decide to donate… Such big nos. puzzle me and I feel belittled by the call of NGOs with such huge reach. I am concerned if my donation would mean something to this BIG NGO.
Too much of Brand play.
One mail asks me to PAY “So that we( THE NGO) Can reach its target of pulling 5000 people out of poverty by 31st Oct”. I am a little perplexed if the call was to donate to support an NGO’s work or to complete my income tax returns.
Lots of details on what has been achieved and delivered.
I am a donor, and I donate to various causes as there are too many people who are not so blessed and fortunate. I wish to make a donation so that some of their basic needs could be fulfilled. When I get pages of details around how the NGO has delivered huge projects on the ground and made a big difference to the lives of most marginalized and poor, I get stuck. I feel my donation is not required by this NGO and I arrived too late to make a donation. Honestly, I would like to donate to an organization that is fulfilling the tangible needs of the people rather than making big differences. I am not against the NGOS aiming to change the world, but my vote would be for those who would care for my small donation made every month.