Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Listen to your donors, and this one in particular

Listen to your donors, and this one in particular

There is plenty of free advice on fundraising on the web, but not much from donors. And here is a very good example from the latter type.

Cork-based writer Paul O’Mahony has shared details of how he chose an Irish charity to donate to. You can hear his process of finding and then selecting the lucky charity via an Audioboo sound clip. The 9 min 44 second talk is worth listening to whether or not your charity was in the final shortlist of three, although those three charities will have got some useful free feedback.

O’Mahony, who tweets at @Omaniblog, first asked Irish charities to contact him to explain why he should donate to them. He had spotted the Fundraising Conference in Dublin last week and the conversation about it on Twitter and joined in.

Make it easier for the donor

After a few reminder tweets to try to generate responses, he received some replies and was then able to shortlist “three very strong candidates whom I’m highly motivated to donate to.”

In his Audioboo, he gives very constructive advice, and makes it clear his views are “from the point of view of someone who wants to give money quickly”. He notes how difficult charities make it to people who just want to give them a donation. At the same time he highlights how well the charities responded via Twitter: he was pleased by the speed of response and by the detailed helpfulness of at least one of the charities.

He was particularly keen to see how easy charities could make it for him to donate from his iPhone. He was not impressed.

“How easily could I give the money from my iPhone?” he asked. “To be blunt, folks… it’s hard. You’re missing a load of money because people like me, although we’re highly motivated to give, may not give now because we haven’t got time.”

He added: “The big challenge is – can we please make it an awful lot easier for people like me to give away their money?”

And he knows the potential value of enquiries from people like him: “if I give you five euros today, I might give you a legacy in the future.”

Whom did he donate to?

He described the shortlisted as “drop-dead gorgeous charities, all of which hook my values, my ethics”. However, “all three are equally bad in the space of mobile donations”. He really didn’t relish the amount of time it would take to donate to any of them.

So, which charity did he choose? You had better listen to him to find out.

His final comment? “Thank you fundraisers for the work you are doing and the inspiration that you are giving to people like me who sit around on the outside”.

Do you know of any donors who have shared their advice via audio or video, or text? Share the links in the comments below.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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