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What Turns Donors Off (Ask Reddit)

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Mar 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM

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Nonprofits Reddit

You could have the perfect mission, a beautiful website, and a solid fundraising plan. There will still be potential donors out there who just don’t click with you.

Sometimes it’s something you can help, other times there’s nothing you can do about it.

We wanted to find out why a potential donor wouldn’t give to a nonprofit, even if their mission lined up with something they cared about. So we went to reddit and asked that community what turns them off to a nonprofit.

The results?

Most of the answers had to do with one thing: trust.


If a donor doesn’t trust you to be a good steward of their gift, they’re not going to support you. Many of those who responded had specific stories in which a nonprofit lost their trust.

This is a bit intimidating, as it shows nonprofits must be on top of their game in every interaction with donors.

But some even had stories in which they or a loved one had their trust broken by a nonprofit as beneficiaries of the services they offer.

The best way to build trust is through transparency and reliability, with donors, beneficiaries, and everyone else your organization interacts with.

Take a look at the comments below, and feel free to add your own in our comment section.

Note: we’ve blurred out some names and language in the interest of keeping everything friendly on these pages.

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Reddit | Nonprofits

Observations

Ahh, the neverending battle between fundraisers and donors over overhead (one more for good measure.) It would seem that even for young donors, this issue remains top-of-mind.

While certainly frustrating, there is a glimmer of hope. Most of the responses who mentioned overhead as a concern seemed to come from a feeling of being duped by a nonprofit.

Trust was the biggest overarching theme in the answers, so transparency is key. If your organization has a higher overhead, but makes a bigger impact, come right out and say that.

The popular social media tool Buffer has adopted a fully transparent pricing model. While this is a for-profit business, the idea can be applied to the not-for-profit world. Show donors exactly where their money goes and explain why each allocation is important.

What do you think of these answers? Anything particularly frustrating or encouraging? Let us know in the comments!

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Topics: Fundraising, Donors,

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