Charities 'treat donors badly', consultant tells IoF Scotland conference

Ken Burnett claims charities do not engage with donors sufficiently

Ken Burnett
Ken Burnett

Charities "routinely treat their donors badly", a fundraising consultant told delegates at the Institute of Fundraising Scotland’s Scottish Conference yesterday.

Speaking at the event in Glasgow, Ken Burnett said charities were not engaging with donors sufficiently.

"Our organisations routinely treat donors badly," he said. "They don’t stay as long as we would like them to. We’re losing donors before we recover the investment needed to recruit them in the first place."

He said that charities should have better conversations with their donors and offer them "world-class donor service routinely". Six out of seven donors were not happy, he said.

"I think we need to get angry," he said. "We need to stand up and say ‘this is not good enough’."

Burnett said billions of pounds were being lost, and that fundraisers were complacent and underachieving.

Speaking in the same session, fundraising consultant Giles Pegram, a former director of fundraising at the NSPCC, said that since he had become a consultant he had found that some fundraisers "think big, but many are happy just to muddle through".

He said: "Thinking big and acting big really does take bottle. We need to stop apologising and be proud of fundraising."

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