People talk a lot about how often you should be mailing, e-mailing and phoning your donors. Charities often ask me how often they should be contacting their donors. And whenever they do I always think about the Chicken Variety Meal at KFC.

Yes, KFC.

If you’re my age or older you might know them as Kentucky Fried Chicken. But they rebranded in an attempt to hide the word ‘fried’ (or, as some might have you believe, to hide the word ‘chicken’). KFC is my secret shame. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’m generally a good person. But, despite myself, I love KFC and have had to manage my addiction to the point where now I can proudly say it’s just a ‘special treat’.

Every time I go in to KFC and order my meal they ask if I want to give them more money to Go Large. And every time I say yes. And I never get annoyed. Even if I went in there every meal of every day they would continue to ask me to give them more more money. And I would never get annoyed.

Why not?

Because I love their chicken, I love their fries, and I love their Pepsi. I crave for it. Every bite is a euphoric journey to a salty land of nostalgic love. KFC and The Colonel are giving me exactly what I want, when I want it. And when they offer me more I’m grateful.

You see, junk mail is only junk if it doesn’t apply to you. I get pizza menus dropped in my letterbox every day…and they annoy me every day that I don’t want a pizza.

I hear anecdotal evidence on donor communications all the time: People don’t want to get mail, don’t want to get e-mails, don’t want to get phone calls. And people don’t want to be asked for money.

That’s simply not true.

People don’t want to receive bad mails. They don’t want to receive bad phone calls. They don’t want to receive bad e-mails. And they don’t want to be asked for money…badly.

If people don’t want to receive your updates and your appeals it’s not the donors fault and it’s not the mediums fault. It’s your fault.

The public want to hear from you as often as you have something interesting and relevant to say. How often should you be contacting your donors? Well, ask yourself how often have you got something good to say?

And ask yourself, honestly, how good is your fundraising-chicken?

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Simon Scriver

Simon Scriver

Consultant, Coach & Trainer at ChangeFundraising.com
Simon Scriver is a professional fundraising consultant, coach, trainer and practitioner. Simon received Fundraising Ireland's 'Small Budget, Big Impact' award in 2016, and has previously won Supplier of the Year, Eircom's Start-up Award and the Toastmasters UK & Ireland International Speech Contest. He sits on the Advisory Panel of Rogare, the international fundraising think tank, and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and the AFP. Simon also offers consultancy to some of the biggest and smallest charities in Ireland and abroad. He offers advice and training to non-profits to make their fundraising more cost-effective, speaking regularly at international conferences.