Greenpeace reveals how many supporters cancelled direct debits in past month

The organisation says it has been 'blown away' by the feedback it has received after setting out the numbers


Greenpeace has taken the rare step of revealing the number of supporters who have cancelled their regular contributions in the past month, as part of a fundraising campaign to prospective donors.

In an email seen by Third Sector, Deborah McLean, the organisation’s fundraising director, says that “sadly, 2,352 people have had to cancel their regular gifts to us over the last month”.

She cites the worsening economic situation in the UK, adding that a weakened pound means “donations are not going as far as they used to”.

The email continues: “I’ve worked out that we need 1,649 people to start up a monthly gift to plug our funding gaps. Today, could you take action to help reach this goal?”

It is not common for a non-profit organisation to publicly divulge the number of donors lost, although the total value of the cancelled subscriptions has not been disclosed.

In a statement to Third Sector, a Greenpeace UK spokesperson said: “It might seem unusual to give supporters this level of detail about our income situation, but we have done it before and got a good response.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but we were blown away by the great feedback we received. Some supporters told us about how they’re struggling financially and won’t be able to help us – which was an opportunity to talk to them about what they’re going through.

“Many of the messages were very encouraging and over 150 people responded by becoming regular donors.”

The appeal comes as Charity Excellence reports a huge funding gap which will contribute to a prolonged crisis for the charity sector.

The Greenpeace statement continued: “Many of our supporters are being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis, which is why our appeal is aimed at those among them who have the slack left in their budgets to be able to support us.”

This article was updated on 9 December to include a new quote from Greenpeace, saying that it had reported its direct debit cancellation levels before, not that this was the first time.

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