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Fundraising Tip – Donor Fatigue

Your fundraising can be more successful, and less stressful, if your current donors continue giving.

Donor fatigue is an idea that donors become overwhelmed with a nonprofit asking them to give. This typically looks like an organization asking and asking, and asking. To some donors, this excessive asking can be a turn off, and there is a chance of losing the donor.

The first thing I suggest doing around this is to take a look at how much you are asking your donors to donate. In my work, I’ve seen nonprofits who think they ask too much with three appeals a year, and others who think they don’t ask enough at 12 asks a year.

This brings up the idea that perhaps every donor is different.


If every donor is different, perhaps we need to look at how we treat them differently, especially in how often we communicate with them around giving.

For example, we donate to several nonprofits that we have been supporting for 15+ years. We love their work, their missions, and will most likely continue donating for a long time.

We don’t need to be “cultivated” or “nurtured”.

Yes, if there is an urgency, and we trust these organizations not to overuse that word, we would love to know about it so we can help.

How does one find out how their donors want to be communicated with?

You ask them.

The more you know about your donors, the less likely they will experience donor fatigue. The better relationship you have with your donors, the more you let them know what you are up to and how you are doing work that they love, the better chance you have of them continuing to donate.

Donor fatigue isn’t inevitable.

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Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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