If you don’t ask, you do not receive

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What is the number one reason charity do not receive donations? It’s not because they lack solid programs. It is not because they do not have strong leadership and vision. The number one reason charities do not receive donations is because they did not ask. Kind of simple, isn’t it?

FundraisingForce conducts a comprehensive mystery shopping study, as well as a mystery shopping product called NP Mystery Shop. The study shows that over 10% of the charities in the study never make an ask in their direct marketing appeals – whether in the letter or on the response device.

What’s even more disturbing is some charities take the time to include a response envelope, but never tell the appeal recipient what to do with the envelope. The piece lacks a response device altogether. Response devices exist for a reason – to drive donor behaviour to giving. We have conditioned our donors over the years and years of direct marketing fundraising to expect a response device in the appeal, which is personalised and offers prompts for giving.