What Part of “Inspire, Don’t Guilt” Don’t They Understand?

Today I received a fundraising email with the subject line “Bad Start to December Fundraiser.” I didn’t open it. (Would you?) It’s from an organization that I won’t name, but which I’ve come to think of as the perpetual purveyors of doom and gloom in my inbox.

With all the access to fundraising wisdom out there, explaining the need to make donors want to join your winning cause, rather than getting them worried about throwing good money after bad, shouldn’t they know better? Only a couple of weeks ago, Nancy Schwartz wrote a fine blog about how to write good email subject lines — and among her tips was “Inspire, don’t guilt” people. (I talked about her post in my November 2 blog entry.)

But maybe this strategy is actually working for this group . . . . nah, probably not. I get too many emails from them telling me how badly their fundraisers are going. Time for a change in strategy.