When you get a bill in the mail or email for something you don’t remember buying, what do you do?
Do you just pay it? (I hope not.) Do you look into it? Or, do you make a note of who’s trying to defraud you, report them, and never get fooled again?
Nonprofits need to make sure their fundraising appeal doesn’t look like a bill
My good friend Joan Hill is a retired grantwriter and a generous person. Recently, she wrote to me:
This is either
a) an error
b) the worst fundraising technique in the world, or
c) a fraud
Plan to call the state Attorney General on Monday.
The correct answer: c.)
But does your nonprofit’s appeal letter look like a fraud, too?
Here’s the bill that Joan received:
Here’s your invoice
View and Pay Invoice
Due on receipt
The world has never faced a crisis like COVID-19. The pandemic is impacting communities everywhere. It’s never been more urgent to support the global response, led by the World Health Organization (WHO). Donations support WHO’s work, including with partners, to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them. Some donations also support additional Fund partners UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the vaccine development alliance CEPI. Donors from Canada, China, Japan, or certain European countries, and the UK, may wish to give online to our Fund partners in these countries.
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Looks impressive, doesn’t it? And in fact, it is a real PayPal request–but it’s not a request from the World Health Organization, or anyone connected with the WHO.
Does your ask look like a bill, to the donor?
Knowing that scam artists like this are out there, legitimate nonprofits need to go the extra mile to obtain and retain the donor’s trust.