Published on September 21, 2023

8 Causes of Donor Fatigue (& How Your PTA Can Avoid Them)

What causes donor fatigue, and how can you avoid it when you’re fundraising for your PTA? Find out from the FutureFund team and learn how our platform’s features can supercharge your upcoming campaigns.
Young boy sleeping with head on school textbook in classroom

Donor fatigue occurs when contributors gradually become less interested in donating to a cause. Over time, even the most dedicated parents, community members, and alumni may find themselves less willing to contribute to your PTA’s fundraising initiatives. This can result in decreased funding, making it harder to support educational programs, extracurricular activities, and other essential school projects.

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By understanding the root causes of donor fatigue, your PTA can better strategize to keep your school community engaged and generous. And with FutureFund, overcoming these challenges is easier than ever—our platform streamlines fundraising and removes friction for potential donors with:

  • Ready-to-go online fundraising campaigns with secure payment processing
  • Automatically generated tax receipts for each donation
  • Shareable links and built-in messaging tools to effectively raise awareness for fundraisers

So without any further ado, here’s our list of the main reasons why donor fatigue happens—along with tips on how you can use FutureFund to prevent it. Let’s go!

Over-Solicitation

The Problem

One of the quickest ways to cause donor fatigue is by over-soliciting. Too many emails, flyers, or social media requests can leave potential donors feeling overwhelmed or even irritated.

The Solution

FutureFund makes it easy to keep parents and community members informed without overwhelming them. With custom email templates and sender personas, your PTA can ensure that you’re sending targeted, well-timed messages to specific audiences.

Customizing an email template for a fundraising campaign in FutureFund

Do It with FutureFund:

Use FutureFund’s built-in messaging system to create targeted and effective messages about your campaigns. This should involve:

  • Directly identifying the group you’re reaching out to (parents, volunteers, alumni, etc.).
  • A clear explanation of what you’re raising money for and why (for example, a Back-to-School Supply Drive to provide basic classroom necessities for families in need).
  • A link to the campaign on FutureFund.
  • A clear call to action that encourages recipients to donate and share the campaign (see the sample message in the image above).
  • In the Admin, navigate to the Messages section, then click the Messages tab to find templates you can use to get started.

Lack of Personal Connection

The Problem

Without a personal connection, donors are less likely to continue contributing to your cause.

The Solution

FutureFund makes it easy to personalize your outreach. Our messaging tools allow you to choose a custom audience for your campaign updates so that you’re able to craft messages that resonate with specific parent groups.

Selecting recipients for an email update in FutureFund

Do It with FutureFund:

  • Go to Messages and click View next to one of the available templates.
  • In the Admin, navigate to the Select Recipients screen—then select the audience you’ll reach with your messages or create a new custom group.

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FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

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No Transparent Communication

The Problem

When donors don’t know how their money is being used, they may become disillusioned and stop donating altogether.

The Solution

FutureFund’s financial reporting tools make it easier for your PTA Treasurer to prepare and present updates on fundraising campaigns. Use these to keep parents in the loop after each successful campaign so that they feel encouraged to keep participating in future projects.

Using FutureFund to automatically generate report after fundraising campaign

Do It with FutureFund:

  • In the Admin, navigate to Store and then click Reports.
  • Choose Campaign Summary to generate a report for a specific campaign, or select one of the other options in the drop-down menu that appears.

Limited Donation Impact Information

The Problem

Donors want to see the tangible impact of their contributions.

The Solution

Your PTA can make the most of FutureFund by regularly updating donors on the progress of initiatives, sharing success stories, and showing pictures of the projects their donations helped achieve.

Live FutureFund campaign with progress bar and photos showing potential impact of donations

Do It with FutureFund:

  • In the Admin, navigate to Campaigns and click View, then click Design.
  • As your campaign progresses, upload images and post updates to your school group’s page to show your progress.
  • Share photos and stories of your success via email and social media as well. Make sure to include a link to the campaign with these posts—you can do this in the Admin by navigating to your campaign, clicking Share, then copying and pasting the link that appears.

Lack of Appreciation or Recognition

The Problem

Not recognizing donors can lead to reduced interest in future contributions.

The Solution

FutureFund has specific tools that allow you to recognize individual donors or families. Our platform can automatically display their names on the dedicated page for each campaign, helping parents feel acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions.

Enabling the donor wall feature on FutureFund to recognize parents who contribute to fundraising campaigns

Do It with FutureFund:

  • Navigate to the Design tab for your campaign and click Edit Advanced Settings.
  • Click Show donor wall to automatically display a list of parents who have contributed on the campaign page.

Uninspiring Campaigns

The Problem

Boring campaigns can discourage contributions.

The Solution

FutureFund offers a variety of ready-made campaign templates that can be customized to make them more engaging and relevant to your school community.

Live fundraising campaign created with FutureFund

Do It with FutureFund:

  • Go to the Store tab, click Campaigns, and then click the Create Campaign button.
  • Enter your campaign’s details to create your campaign, then go to the Design tab and click Edit Advanced Settings, and tick the box marked Sell in the online store to make it live.

Inconvenient Donation Process

The Problem

A complicated or inconvenient donation process can deter potential donors.

The Solution

FutureFund’s streamlined platform offers an easy-to-use donation process. It’s a user-friendly system that makes contributing to campaigns straightforward and quick.

Choosing convenient payment options for donors in a FutureFund campaign

Do It with FutureFund:

Donation amount option
  • In the Design screen for your campaign, click Edit Advanced Settings.
  • Choose whether to make donations tax-deductible, enable payments by installment, and more—so that donors can have as easy an experience as possible.

Lack of Trust and Accountability

The Problem

Trust is essential for sustained donor engagement, and donors want to know that their payment details are secure.

The Solution

FutureFund is designed for compliance with all major financial regulations and data privacy laws relevant to US PTAs and school groups. Financial reports can also be sent directly to stakeholders, ensuring everyone knows exactly where their donations are going.

Payouts and campaign summary report in FutureFund to help ensure financial transparency for donors

Do It with FutureFund:

  • Once you’ve generated the financial reports for your campaign, use the messaging system to send updates to relevant parties or post an update on your campaign page.

The Right Tools Make Donor Fatigue a Thing of the Past

Donor fatigue can be a significant challenge for PTAs, but understanding its root causes can help you develop effective strategies to prevent it. FutureFund offers a myriad of features designed to tackle these issues head-on—from customizable campaign templates and a built-in messaging system to robust member management and automatic financial reporting tools.

By leveraging these features, your PTA can build and maintain a strong, engaged donor base that continues to contribute to your school’s success. Get started with FutureFund today!

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