Don’t Fault Donors

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From our Chairman of the Board, Neil Gallaiford:


Stop blaming the donors.

Lately I’ve been seeing pieces in the sector press and in the general media with headlines saying: Donors are giving less because of the pandemic. I think the media have got it wrong and we aren’t setting them straight.

It’s true that revenues are down for many charities, and drastically for some, but I have seen little evidence that donors are at fault. It’s not because donors are giving less; it’s because we are asking less. What happens when organizations cancel big events, especially peer-to-peer events? When there were hundreds and thousands of people walking, running, cycling, or whatever, all those participants were asking their friends to support them. They’re not doing that now. When hundreds of well-heeled people were attending gala events, they were often paying hefty ticket prices, and then participating in charity auctions, etc. Those events can no longer happen.

Add to this the fact that some charities have pulled back on fundraising because of the mistaken idea that people won’t be able or won’t want to give, and we can see that it’s not the donors’ fault that revenues are down, it’s that we as a sector are not asking as much or as often as before. Now is the time to ramp up investments in fundraising; the donors won’t abandon us. We need only ask.