How to Make Life REALLY Complicated for your Donors

August 25, 2017

Have you ever started to make a donation online and realized halfway through that this is going to be an overly arduous process? And all that you want to do is help the charity/sponsor a friend? And then you decide to give up because the process is so cumbersome.

How many websites have you seen that make you register first and then make your donation? How many times have you got to that all-important submit button, only to find that the site has either timed out or that you must disclose other unrelated (but seemingly mandatory) information on the donation form?

Your online donation page should be one page. It should also be mobile-friendly. While these suggestions seem pretty obvious, they are not universally followed — usually to the charity’s detriment (in people getting frustrated and giving up).

But that is just the online presence. How many times have our own internal fundraising/accounting policies come back to bite us? I remember being told that I needed paperwork for every donation over $1,000. Yes, you read that correctly. If someone came in with a $1,000 cheque, there needed to be a gift agreement. While I recognize the need for accountability and making sure that funds are allocated appropriately, there must be some level of magnitude (and common sense) that would prevail.

Sometimes our efforts to be donor-centered smack right in the face of policies that have been established. Quite often, we can make life cumbersome for our volunteers — who, basically, just want to do good. Our task should be to make donating and supporting our organization one of the easiest things to do. If it is complicated, many donors and volunteers will choose to put their resources elsewhere.

There are so many tools out there that make life easier. Why not adopt some of them in your day-to-day business? We have started to use Square for our event auctions. The donors love it (and it is PCI compliant). Writing down a credit card number to be charged at a later date is a risk that people (and organizations) shouldn’t be accepting. This solution makes life so very easy.

It should be so easy to support your organization that even a monkey could do it!

I am off next week, assuming my annual role as Head Counselor for Daddy Day Camp with my two boys, so there will not be a posting.