There was an interesting article in Third Sector on Friday:
Fundraisers should stop using incentives, such as pens and coins, in their fundraising packs unless they are relevant to the charity’s cause, charity direct marketing experts have told the Institute of Fundraising.
If adopted, the proposal could put an end to incentives such as coins or umbrellas in packs, the institute has acknowledged… The agencies suggested … the inclusion of statements such as: “This pen cost 2p. We included it because we encourage supporters to write to beneficiaries, which is an important part of our work.”
It could also require charities to include a statement telling donors that they should not feel obliged to make donations because they had received an incentive gift….”
This makes sense to me – I’ve often thought it felt all too easy to do this stuff, and that more consideration should be taken about the benefits of these promotional items weighed against the cost – to make sure that they are not a waste of money.
Ironically – and the reason which prompted this post – the same day, I got a letter through the post from a charity I’d never heard of before. (I won’t name them because that feels a bit mean)
They sent me a stack of Christmas cards, and some little diary/calendar things. And an invoice – prefilled so I could just write a cheque and send it back. If I wanted more, I could order more. If I didn’t need all of them, I could send them back.
Am I turning into a grumpy old man (entirely possible) or is this more than a little annoying?
An organisation I had never heard of before sent me a bunch of stuff that I didn’t ask for or want, together with an invoice. And it’s up to me to go to the trouble of sending it back.
Bah, humbug, harrumph, etc.
It’s an interesting perspective, though – we’ve put a lot of effort into doing mailshots in the past. It’s always hassle and tiring, and in all the effort it’s easy to lose sight of how it might be received. This sort of thing can have a big impact on people’s perceptions of your “brand”.