“The first $250,000 donated will cover costs associated with this appeal” is a line you will have never read at the end of a DRTV charity ad, or DM piece, however, “a fee of no more than 100% of your first year’s contributions, which equates to 20% of the average donation will be paid to the fundraising agency to cover all costs associated with this appeal” can be read on the final iPad screen at every face-to-face acquisition.
As discussed in our last post, this fee is not usually an accurate amount as there are many smaller additional costs paid to the agency such as locations, eForms, and travel trips etc.
But back to the main point. Not only must every F2F fundraiser wear an ID badge on their torso with the statement “Paid Fundraiser” in clear font, but at point of acquisition, every one of them needs to reiterate that not only are they are paid, but also the amount their agency will receive if the donor makes a regular donation. I have no issue with this principle as it shows transparency but would like to see equal treatment amongst fundraising channels. Why is it F2F and TM must share this information and not billboards and television ads?
F2F fundraisers often hear potential donors state that they won’t give to them because they are paid. I can only assume that these people think that all other fundraising channels are run by volunteers and survive on handouts of envelopes, paper and free air-time. Do we need to educate the population with the facts or is it best to allow them to continue under this misapprehension for as long as they keep giving? Is this ethical? Does this pass the transparency test?
In reality, a donor who refuses to give for this reason may be using it as an excuse to keep hold of their money, as any person committed to pledging their long-term support to your shared cause could overlook this small inconvenience. Many donors understand that nothing is free and have shown in the recent Frost & Sullivan Individual Donor Survey of June 2017 that it is not the fact that we are paid, but the amount we are paid that is the concern. Almost all donors do not stop signing the form when they hear the disclosure statements, they tick the box that states they understand and continue with their generous gift.
But the question remains, why is it just these channels that must prove our transparency?