I just saw an ad that used this techniqueÂ so I thought it was appropriate to rant about it:
One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of “matching donations” in fundraising drives.Â You know the whole “We have a generous donor who will donate $1000 if we can raise $1000 from our viewers in the next hour!”Â Or the standard “we have a donor who will match your pledge dollar for dollar up to $5000″.Â I hear it all the time on Catholic radio and it drives me bonkers.
Listen, either an organization is worth donating to or it isn’t.Â Whether it is worth donating to has NOTHING to do with whether others are donating.Â Is this rich dude really holding his donation hostage until others donate?Â And why should those of us with less money feel obligated to come up with cash to make the rich dude feel better about his donation?Â As my Dad would say: Shit or get off the pot.
Yeah, I know, it is used as a “technique” for getting more people to donate money and in the end more money is raised.Â But you know what?Â The ends do not always justify the means.Â Emotionally extorting people is not the right way to raise money.Â I’m all for the “your ‘free’ gift with your donation will be…” and numerous other techniques that are used, but the matching donation technique crosses the line fromÂ acceptable to emotional extortion.
The fundraisers always present this as an opportunity for us regular folks to “double the value of our dollar” but the way I see it, it is a way for the rich dude to double the value of HIS dollar by extorting the less fortunate.
How very generous of him.