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  • Writer's pictureAndy at Fireside Fundraising

Do you feel ignored?


Text overlaying bonfire image captioned "How many approaches on average do you need before you get a response?"

Happy Financial New Year to all those who celebrate!


I like any excuse for a party... so I’ve been celebrating non-traditional New Year’s Eves for over a decade. It started when I was 19 and celebrated 'Academic New Year’ with some university friends. Then, last year I added in Financial New Years Eve with fellow self-employed friends, and of course I’ve been celebrating the calendar new year with my family since I was a child. 


The financial new year brings a whole load of things with it. New targets - which in turn, bring a release or a wave of pressure - and a whole lot of strategic planning.All of this combined to a lot of emails going ignored. To that end, if you’ve read this far, I want to thank you for opening this email. This brings me to a point that comes up quite regularly in fundraising, though. Emails being ignored.


A study by ‘Campaign Monitor’ showed the average office worker receives 121 emails every single day and whilst it revealed that they received that 121 emails... it did not say that they read them all.


Because of course they don’t.


It would be physically impossible to do anything else if they were reading emails all day everyday. And what that means is a lot of the emails that you feel are being ignored likely haven’t been read at all. You might have spent hours crafting the perfect email and are sat wondering why it didn’t inspire the person you sent it to to action. But the truth is, they haven’t read it. And so while you’re worrying about not harassing them, that’s not on their mind at all. You’re not chasing them, you’re bringing it to the surface for the first time.


When I ask corporate fundraisers how many times they will contact a company without a reply, they will often say they follow up four times. And then when we drill down into it, I realise what they mean is they’ll often contact them twice. At that point they take no answer to mean no.



This means that when we stop emailing after 3 approaches, we are 5 short of getting the meeting that could change the game for us. All of this is to say, if someone hasn’t responded to your email, you should go back to them.Start a new email, with a fresh subject line, a new call to action, and say it would be great to get a meeting. I know it can be overwhelming to picture yourself making 8 approaches without a reply, but it’s worth saying that those approaches can take place over months, in different formats, and through different people. You can try emails, LinkedIn messages, or you can even try calling their office. 

Creating these engagement plans is something we’ve been doing quite a bit of recently, and it’s awesome to see them start making a difference to the number of meetings charities are converting. We’ve worked with a conservation charity. They're getting more meetings - and the secret is they're sending more follow-ups than they were before. Where they were giving up on the third contact, they’re now getting meetings on the fourth or fifth approach. It’s really cool to see the effort they have put in to finding good companies has paid off because they’re now meeting those companies.That persistence is paying dividends.


If you’d like a bit more advice on how to keep going when someone’s ignoring you, I’d love to grab a quick chat.Fireside’s books are open from June onwards, and we can work with you to start securing value in this financial year.We know it’s a long game. We know you’re at the start of your targets.


But you’re not in this game alone. We’re so glad you’re by the Fireside.

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