Monthly Archives: July 2013

Another charity disappointment…

I blogged about my phone experience with Greenpeace recently, and now have had a disappointing online experience with another charity of which I’m very fond – the NSPCC.

What I’ve always liked about the NSPCC’s website is that they have this little drop-down box on the right where you can tell them who you are, and get a tailored experience:

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 00.09.29

There was a nice ‘MyNSPCC’ section where, as a regular donor, I could login and check my payments and get some tailored news. I thought I’d go and have another look, and get some inspiration for how we could look after our own donors better online.

But today, I clicked on that ‘Go’ button, and got this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 00.10.05

‘MyNSPCC’ is no longer available. Just that blunt statement.

Now, I guess that the number of people logging into that section was probably very low. That might have something to do with the fact that it was never advertised to supporters!

No little section at the top of every email to regular donors inviting us to log in and see something new, no story that would entice us there.

If it’s not feasible to maintain, that’s fine I understand. But come on NSPCC, you can do better than this, surely – the donors’ equivalent of a ‘404 error’ page? How about if a new regular donor comes on and clicks that button? That’s going to be their first experience of how they’re valued?

How about taking us to a page that gives us the same basic message, but shows us some latest news about how our gifts are helping? A photo or two? A letter from a care worker?

Here I am – a regular donor, one of the people who is supposedly doing a significant thing to help provide 90% of the income the NSPCC relies on, and I have had a door slammed in my face.

I feel like I am having to be very forgiving this month. Is there anyone online showing their donors they care about them? Please tell me that you are…


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Filed under Fundraising, Online fundraising

Yeah, if you could just…

It’s quite common, particularly in university fundraising in the US (and to a certain extent in the UK) to see a fundraising appeal at this time of year that is basically this:


I’ve never really got it, and I’m not sure that donors get it either. What’s the point for them about your fiscal year per se?

Unless it’s the date by which you know how much money you have for scholarships? In which case, why not say that instead?

Deadlines work in fundraising, for sure. But only deadlines that a donor might conceivably care about, surely.

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Filed under Fundraising, University fundraising

Oh dear. Dear @GreenPeace…

…I think you’re awesome, I really do. I love the Save the Arctic campaign – the polar bears, and the scaling of the Shard. But I wish you loved me more.

It’s the little things. Like getting my first cash appeal a week after I signed up to a regular gift online. And then getting my welcome pack two months later.

Or the phone call I had a couple of weeks ago after I’d entered your Glastonbury competition. Would I like to make a regular gift to Greenpeace?

I thought I had a regular gift to Greenpeace, but maybe it had stopped when I changed banks (I lose track of these things), so I asked the pleasant caller to check for me.

“Oh, I can’t do that,” he said. “Well, can you pass my question back to Head Office?” “Perhaps you could go online and check your bank statements,” he said.

Now I’m a busy person, and for various reasons I’m extra busy at the moment . So that’s a no, really.

So today I’m on the train and the same pleasant caller calls me back. “Just wondering if you’ve had time to check your bank statements,” he says.

“I thought I’d asked you to check for me?” I replied.

“Oh no, you see I’m in a fundraising centre and I just get passed certain details here.”

I feel like the folks in the Wizard of Oz must have felt when the curtains got drawn back to show a little man pulling levers and turning wheels. I’m just part of a mechanical system.

How much better would it have been if he’d been able to tell me either way?

How much, really, would it have cost to have the system in place to treat me like a valued supporter, whether my gift had lapsed or not?

That’s what I call a false economy.

Because now I don’t feel I’m special to you anymore, Greenpeace. And if my gift has lapsed (and I really don’t have time to check, believe me), do I really want to start it up again now?

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Filed under Fundraising, Telephone fundraising