If you want their money, best not to insult them

There were red faces all round when the UK Conservative Party found an unusually insulting way of asking for donations to the Party’s cause.

Written by
Joe Burnett
Added
April 26, 2018

Note: this article features language that some may find offensive. You may also find this side-achingly hilarious, so watch out!

Regardless of your political stance, I'm sure we can all agree that it's quite a mistake to open a direct mail letter asking for money with the words ‘Dear Mr Fuckingjoking’.

Yet this is what happened to 67-year-old Raja Habib of South London, when he received a letter requesting a donation from the Conservative Party addressed to a ‘Mr Youmustbe Fuckingjoking’. Apparently their contribution would help the Tories ‘build a Britain for the future’ and ‘help defeat socialism in our country’ but Mr Habib was singularly unimpressed.

This farcical situation may tickle you, but this shows that, no matter how difficult, maintaining your database is essential. As the Habibs' neighbour said on Twitter, 

‘[They're] trying to argue they can run the country when they can’t even work mail-merge. My elderly neighbours were more than a little upset to be addressed in this manner by the PM. To add insult to injury the Conservatives then had the cheek to ask for money.’ 

The Conservative Party is investigating and this could be an unfortunate technical glitch or a cheeky prank by a disgruntled staffer.

It's an absurd example, perhaps, but it does highlight the pitfalls of direct marketing and using masses of data in one go. If even the current party of government in the UK can fall foul of poor data management, then maybe all our organisations can too. So before you send out that next DM pack asking for money, do make sure you haven't addressed one letter to someone called ‘Youmustbe Fuckingjoking’ or anything along those lines.

About the author: Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett is Contributing Editor for SOFII.

Recent Articles

An ethical, principled approach to donors and fundraising: a legacy case history from World Land Trust.

In this first part of three, CEO John Burton of the World Land Trust outlines his organisation’s fundraising ethos and how this has helped them grow and make an impact on the environment.

Read more

The Future of Corporate Social Responsibility, with Rachel Hutchisson, Blackbaud

In an interview with Tony Loyd that first appeared on his website and on his podcast, Rachel Hutchisson of Blackbaud explains the notion of corporate social responsibility and why it is so important in the modern working environment.

Read more

The BADASSforGOOD podcast. Episode five: not all fundraising campaigns are created equal

‘Inconsistency creates poor donor engagement experiences.’ With his usual dry delivery and sharp, concise analysis, R.Trent Thompson returns with episode five of the BADASSforGOOD podcast to demonstrate why not all fundraising campaigns are created equal.

Read more

Welcome to SOFII’s direct mail showcase: contents and index

Welcome to SOFII's direct mail, door drops and household deliveries showcase. We bring you a hatful of exceptional examples and words of wisdom that highlight the best direct mail and demonstrate how you can create your own brilliant packs and campaigns.

Read more

How I wrote it: the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s prospect letter

In the second of a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Harvey McKinnon talks with Fergal Byrne about a fundraising letter he wrote for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Canada, in 2002. In this conversation Harvey tells how he wrote this letter and expands on his approach, paying special attention to the art and craft of writing and telling fundraising stories.

Read more

Also in Categories