One of the most terrible and lasting fears of fundraisers is that they're annoying their donors by communicating with them too much.
Let me tell you what you should really be afraid of -- what should make you wake up in a cold sweat because it's far more likely and much more damaging to your fundraising revenue over time:
Donors forgetting about you because you don't communicate with them enough.
Here's a post from the Fundraising Authority blog that can help you with the serious threat of donors losing track of you: Don't Let Your Donors Forget About You:
... you eat, sleep, and breathe your mission and the work of your non-profit every day. It's easy to think that your donors do the same… that they read your website every day, anxiously await your next e-mail, and think about your non-profit in the shower. I hate to break it to you, but this isn't the case. Your donors are busy, and your non-profit is just one of the many things on their minds.
Two suggestions from the blog:
- Communicate With Your Donors at Least Once Per Month
- Make Your Communications All About Them
There are several more, too.
The important thing, though, is to think realistically about the amount of communication that helps or hurts your relationships with your donors.
Donor do complain about too much. Especially this time of year, when it really ramps up. But what they're usually complaining about is the volume that's clogging their mailbox (or inbox) on any given day. Not the volume that comes from you alone.
If you stop communicating with your donors, there will be no meaningful decrease in the daily barrage of mail.
Except you won't be there. So the donor won't and can't give to you. Or be reminded of your good cause.
Every day you lose donors who basically just forgot you existed, or started giving to someone else, having confused them with you. That happens orders or magnitude more often than the too-much-mail complaints so many of us let rule our nightmares.