Last week I received a succession of email appeals from a nonprofit that shall remain nameless.

On Tuesday July 10 I was told that the campaign in question had been extended for another week, and my gift would be matched 2:1 if I donated by that Friday, the 13th. A bar graph indicated $43,643 had been raised so far.

On Wednesday July 11 I received a follow-up appeal for this campaign, again telling me my gift would be matched 2:1 if made by Friday. Now the graph indicated $46,006 had been raised.

Finally, on Friday July 13 I received another follow-up, this time indicating the campaign had raised $52,671 (53% of the goal) and that my gift would be matched 3:1 if made by midnight.

Should we smile at the thought of all those dumb suckers who had settled for the mere 2:1 match?

Online fundraising makes this kind of game possible. Because the online fundraiser’s perception is that it costs virtually nil to make these three successive appeals (actually four or more appeals … regrettably I deleted the previous week’s). At least four appeals to raise $53k. I’m sure each appeal was ‘justified’ on the basis that it produced net income.

But is this any way to treat your donors?



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