Why Do Charities Spend So Much Soliciting Donations?

I don’t donate a lot of money, but I try to always donate more this year than last year. One thing I’m wondering is when will non-profits will start realizing that I don’t respond to the fancy-dancy ask letters they send a couple of times per quarter. Actually, I’m pretty sure that most people my age don’t respond to those letters. I’ll give when I’m damn well ready to give, and no magnet set/holiday cards/mailing labels bullshit is going to get me to give a moment sooner. In fact, all you do is make me feel guilty when I put you right into the trash without reading you.

I understand, you have to spend money to make money. But you can’t keep spending money the way it’s always worked when there are new options on the table. This reminds me of one difference in Republican and Democrat fundraising. The Democratic fundraising crushed Republican fund raising this cycle and one cause was the HUGE advantage Democrats had in online fundraising. This, while Republicans still depended primarily on direct mail fundraising. I think the disparity in expenses is something like 30%-60% for direct mail to practically zero for online, further expanding the fundraising lead.

Non-profits should step up their game and start focusing their fundraising operations online. This will allow them to to optimize their fundraising to the people who are going to be giving more as opposed to those that are, you know, dying.

Why Do Charities Spend So Much Soliciting Donations?

OLPC Give One, Get One – What Happens to the Given?

One Laptop per Child is a neat, durable laptop built with the goal of getting as many children in third world countries learning how to use computers. The last couple years they have run a program called Give one, get one where the only way to buy one was to pay the double the price and buy two, one of which (or the cost, etc) was automatically donated to the mission of the project – getting laptops into the hands of children.

Portfolio recently pointed me to the blog for Laptop Magazine, which has been tracking the deployment of 30 OLPCs in Ouéléssébougou, Mali. Good stuff.

OLPC Give One, Get One – What Happens to the Given?