How much pressure is too much? I am aware of churches and other faith based organizations that include a list of those families who have made financial commitments to the congregation in each week’s bulletin or order of service. This may or may not feel like too much pressure, but surely many of us would bristle over the idea of listing all the individuals or families that haven’t made pledges to the financial health of the organization—as a kind of charitable black listing. So how do we ensure that we are asking in ways that don’t feel like arm twisting?
The Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector® clearly states that:
“Solicitations should be free from undue influence
or excessive pressure, and should be respectful of
the needs and interests of the donor or potential
What does that mean for your organization? Do you rely on high pressure tactics or extreme guilt to encourage individuals and families to donate to your organization?
How do we ensure that our own solicitations are free from undue influence or excessive pressure? How does this play out in our own organizations? The Standards for Excellence Institute encourages nonprofits to enact a board-approved fundraising and solicitation policy as well as a gift acceptance policy. Such policies often provide the guidance needed by nonprofit staff members and volunteers to help ensure appropriate solicitations.
For more information on the in depth collection of Standards for Excellence educational resource packets on fundraising topics (Fundraising Practices, Fundraising Costs, Employment of Fundraising Personnel, and Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts) available to members of the Standards for Excellence Institute, please click here. For access to the members only resources, click here.
For information on joining the Standards for Excellence Institute, please visit our website.