How To Avoid Being Unpopular In The Fundraising World

By Subodh / March 29, 2013

The act of raising money for a charitable cause may seem like the epitome of generous giving and goodwill, why then can it sometimes cause unpopularity for those people that are involved in the fundraising? These people have a career just like anyone else but yet their role within their job is often seen as harassment for donations but they are only fulfilling their job description. When it comes to building your career in charity and fundraising, it is always best to bear in mind what people may think about your job, and if you want to change the way your career is looked at then you could implement some changes that will not only boost your job image but raise funds for a great cause.

There are a host of factors contributing to a successful fundraising campaign and the type of event is crucial in determining its success rate. It may be fundraising at a local level a kindergarten or school, or a much larger nationwide campaign that raises awareness and funds for a war torn country. Whether it is a grassroots or an international appeal it’s important to determine attainable goals, the timescale and resources available before beginning the campaign and developing your job further.

Approach Methods in Fundraising


A successful campaign may take the form of direct sales; this could be through a local primary school embarking on a bake sale, a nation-wide appeal selling poppies (The British Legion), daffodils (Marie Curie Cancer Research), or little pink ribbons (Breast Cancer Care). The act of purchasing something in exchange for helping a charity is a tried and tested success story, simple purchases like home baked cupcakes, a ribbon or sticker goes a long way. Lotteries and fundraising events generate the spirit of goodwill and an atmosphere that encourages the act of donating draws in positive success.

Success may also lie in directly asking for donations. This may be by people collecting money in the street, or through online and televised advertising asking for donations. With larger charities it is often a combination of sales and direct donation appeal that proves most successful and when done in the right manner they stay popular in the fundraising world.

Avoiding Unpopularity

Fundraising isn’t a one man job. It is the combined efforts of a large team of people. From Campaign Co-ordinators and Marketing Managers to the volunteers who hold the donation buckets. It is within these varying roles that unpopularity can arise. The likes of ‘Hardsell’, aggressive demands or vagueness about the campaign may contribute to supporters feeling less inclined to donate.

How do we avoid unpopularity when fundraising? There are some key etiquette’s that organisations can abide by that’ll ensure no buttons are pushed, or relationships damaged.

  • Avoid Aggressive Demands. Niceness can go a long way in this line of business. It is important to appeal to the support base you are trying to reach. Taking an encouraging angle to generate donations has proven more successful than hard sell and hassling for money.
  • Vagueness Is A No. If people are offering money, time and energy to your cause it’s important to be transparent. This not only enhances a sense of trust, but will allow them to make an informed decision about where the money raised will go. Be open about where funds go and how the donations will be used.
  • Honesty in Fundraising. Fundraising is dependent on the act of giving out of free will. It is therefore empirical that the organisation reflects an honest and open demeanour. We aim to increase confidence in those who wish to support the cause.
  • Legality Always. Remain not only transparent in your campaign, but legal in all aspects, to ensure approval amongst the support base. Within the ‘Code of Fundraising Practise’, stated by the Institute of Fundraising, there are ‘musts’ and ‘Ought to’ rules that organisations should adhere to. Examples are that donations must go to the particular cause appealed for and that the charity ought not to pressure supporters for their donations.
  • Social Media Support. If you are involved within a fundraising project, it’s important to show your support for the cause. Backing up your fundraiser on social media sites demonstrates your support on a public platform. It’s important to be present and make noise, but nicely.

fundraising project people

Unpopularity within fundraising is easily avoidable by pertaining to the guidelines above; remain open, honest and personable to ensure a successful campaign.