Why is it important to honour donors’ and prospective donors’ requests to limit the frequency or means of contact or to discontinue contact if requested? Alberta’s Charitable Fundraising Act (Section 50) states that if a person requests to not receive further solicitations or to be removed from donor lists, charitable organizations and fundraising businesses are obliged to comply with the individual’s requests.1 In spite of this, the 2012 Cygnus Donor Survey found that only a quarter of Canadian donors were fully satisfied with how organizations complied with their requests for reduced solicitations. This has serious implications; 58% of all surveyed donors and two thirds of those over the age of 65 said that they drastically reduced their giving or stopped giving altogether to organizations who they felt asked for support too often.2 Relationships are the foundation of an organization’s ability to fundraise effectively, and if requests regarding when, how, and how often donors wish to be contacted are not respected, this will negatively impact relationships and affect future fundraising efforts.
Why do organizations need a policy on donor requests? Developing a policy on donor requests will help your organization’s staff and volunteers to understand how and how often to contact established and potential donors. Setting expectations for staff, volunteer, and third-party fundraisers will ensure that donors are treated with respect and that your organization’s values are evident in its fundraising practices. For instance, your policy on donor requests could include the process the charity uses to ensure that someone who requests to be removed from a list is actually removed.
From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising," Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.
Standards Reference Guide