What’s in my Inbox | Don’t beg please. It’s not pretty.

October 18, 2016

What's in my Inbox

It will never be pretty. In the process of reaching out, the urge to beg undoubtedly crosses, or has crossed, your mind. Maybe it’s because you’re a fundraiser, and sometimes, you’re swimming against the tide, aching to be heard. But if you’ve got the idea that begging amplifies the sound of your voice and propels you high above the fundraising masses, I implore you…

Think again.

Begging in your fundraising communications is not okay. It falls into the category of what I call “manipulative mail,” and I eschew this territory at all costs, for a wide variety of reasons that I’m not going to go into. But if I had to sum it up in a single thought, here and now, I’d say this: begging is rooted in evoking negative feelings in an attempt to gain a positive outcome, and it’s not a tool that is conducive to building long-lasting donor relationships.

Take a look at the most recent email to land in my inbox from Progressive Turnout Project, an organization that initially had me at hello. I’m all for their cause, but I’m not all for this, their use of begging to capture my attention. So they’ve caught it, but where will that lead? I’m afraid it stops there. You see, I’m aware that our country, our history, is at a crucial turning point, and that without focused, devoted human action, it’s impossible for us to get where we need to be. Additionally, I’m keenly aware that we share common core beliefs and values, PTP and I. We’ve got a mutual respect for the political process, especially now. So why couldn’t they have approached me from that angle instead?


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