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The Ethics of Opt-Out Donation Increases for Nonprofits

By Net Assets posted 04-08-2021 03:14 PM


(From The Chronicle of Philanthropy) Last week, the New York Times published an article on the Donald Trump campaign’s widespread use of an “opt-out” checkbox on its online donation form, sparking renewed conversation around the ethics of using a prechecked box on donation pages. While some nonprofits have also used opt-out tactics to automatically increase the size of a donor’s recurring gift, many fundraising experts are highly critical. They’re wary of its potential to turn off individual donors and harm the nonprofit world’s reputation.

Erica Waasdorp, a monthly giving consultant, urged nonprofits need to think about the potential consequences of their actions. “You’re always better off asking your donors for permission and to indicate the new upgraded amount they’d like to give," Waasdorp advised. "You’ll raise a lot more money, you’ll keep your monthly donors happy, and you’ll keep the future of our still growing monthly giving processes a lot safer.”

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