How to Prevent Donor Fatigue

Welcome to a new series on our SOGO Blog called “Straight from the Sales Director” where I’ll be popping in to share my unique perspective and experiences as a sales director that can benefit your business. As the leader of a sales department, I am well-aware of the pressures of meeting monetary business goals, while also creating and sustaining nurturing relationships along the way. These goals are just as important, if not more important at a nonprofit organization because the relationships made and the money raised are both vital to supporting our community. With all efforts focused on fundraising campaigns, one phenomenon nonprofits must address is the issue of donor fatigue. Donor fatigue is best described when a regular donor suddenly stops giving monetarily to your organization. 

Donor fatigue can happen between nonprofit organizations and their donors for several reasons, including poorly communicating the donor’s impact to the organization, over asking, or mistargeting your donor’s interests. Below are two essential tips to preventing donor fatigue and ensuring your asks don’t fall on deaf ears.  

  1. Wealth Screening – This process allows you to fully understand your donor’s interests, giving capacity, and demographics for targeted requests. For example, if you have 10 individual donors, what are the chances that they all have the same historical donation amounts, the same political and personal passions, or the same life circumstances? You’re likely to have 10 unique donors, which your asks need to reflect. Segmenting these contacts into categories and completing a wealth screening can ensure your message doesn’t fall on deaf ears, resulting in greater donations to your organization. If you don’t have enough contacts that fit your current ask, consider using a website like to get access to even more givers that fit your criteria.  
  2. Staying Authentic – Periodically asking the “why” of your nonprofit’s objectives is crucial. Your organization is fueled by its passion to help those in need and better the community. Remind yourself of that “why” and share with your donors the impact they have made in your organization’s operations. It’s not just about money; the ongoing nurturing of relationships is a vital part of staying relevant and valuable in donor’s minds. Be genuine about your ask, connecting your request to their interests, and avoid relying too heavily on automatically-generated emails and flyers 

Keep in mind that COVID-19 has drastically impacted the way individuals are donating. Many people have chosen to refrain from donating to save money during an uncertain economic time. This makes it more important than ever to study your donor database to ensure you are strategically soliciting your donors. Your fundraising plan has likely shifted, but keep pushing and learn from past mistakes so that you can begin to see steady donations come in again. And of course, don’t forget that our helpful agents are here to walk you through other nonprofit business needs such as Directors and Officers insurance, which protects the people who serve your organization from costly litigation arising out of a decision.