Letter from a disgruntled donor

Fundraising is Beautiful Podcast

A donor writes a letter to the president of the organization. It’s an articulate critique of what the donor dislikes about their fundraising: It’s simplistic, repetitious, and emotional. What do you do? What do you say? We read an actual letter from a real donor and talk through the right — and wrong — response. There’s a disastrously bad response that many organizations make to letters like this. There’s also an affirming, correct, and revenue-enhancing response.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

2 comments on “Letter from a disgruntled donor

  1. At the beginning of my fundraising career in 1995, I sent a letter to an individual reminding her member was due. She was furious! “I never join an organization.” Fortunately, I was on holidays. I explained that we were all volunteers and were just learning how to contact people. I don’t remember all of what I said. It took 2 1/2 pages of type. I faxed it to her. I got a $300.00 cheque from her, and she donated at least $100.00 a year for well over 20 years.
    I don’t have a website yet for my new organization. Hopefully, it will be up this summer.

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