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No Choice But Choice

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

We’ve been talking about giving donors choice and control over their giving for a couple of years now. The type of control we now expect from our gym membership (thank you PureGym), our mobile phone tariff (thank you GifGaff) our bank (thank you Monzo) and countless subscription products – from coffee and snacks to loo rolls and razors.

But as a sector we have been very resistant to this. Why?

Because we think we know best. And what is best is a Direct Debit. Fixed monthly donations for us to spend on what we want, when we want and how we want.

We struggle to sign people up to support us on this rather ‘our way or the highway’ basis. And when the going gets tough, the only control they have is to go online and CANCEL. Everything’s binary.

This lack of flexibility is going to hurt us and we need to start thinking differently. Because in these uncertain times it’s going to be even harder than before to sign someone up to a regular financial commitment without some flexibility and control built in.

Let’s be sensitive to the financial pressures that many of our donors are facing and proactively offer people the opportunity to reduce their gifts, or pause their gifts for a period of time. By email or by SMS. 

And while we’re at it, let’s accept that most people want to give cash. It makes sense to them – especially when they see the acute need that’s everywhere at the moment. And I’m guessing that for lots of organisations who are struggling with cancelled events and increased demand, cash gifts at a sensible ROI make a lot of sense too. So let’s make it really easy to give cash – and to give again. 

Easier said than done I hear you say? Well yes. It is. But it’s not impossible. Our Mobilise system does all of this and we’d be happy to set you up. Or you could build your own system. Or you could do it manually. 

But however you do it, I suggest you do it soon. 


One Reply to “No Choice But Choice”

  1. Really well said Tim. Especially as many younger people, who are generally comfier with DD, are facing huge job losses or huge uncertainty at best. While older people, who generally prefer cash, with final salary pensions, may have less to spend their money on while they’re trying to stay safe, so may be better able to help. Just a hunch. Email. Mobile. Post. If we don’t go where people are at in their lives right now and, as you say, only focus on what’s best for the charity, I fear that charities will appear out of touch and hard-headed. But those who show supporters that they get it will be appreciated.

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