Video: Upgrading Your Donors with Angel Aloma from Fundraising Day 2014
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Dan Blakemore is assistant director of development for individual giving at International House. We talked at Fundraising Day in June about how to hold on to your donors, from phone to Facebook. (Archive show from 7/5/13)
Maria Semple: Goodbye Google Alerts?
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Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.
You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.
If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.
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Nonprofit Radio listener Matt asked me what to do after a direct mail mistake. I blogged his question and our community stepped up in grand fashion to help him.
His office sent thousands of appeal letters misstating previous gift amounts. He wondered what to do and these generous pros stepped up to give smart advice:
THANKS TO EACH OF YOU!
You’re proof that our community can come together quickly and generously to help someone in need. I’ve always felt the nonprofit community’s energy and commitment to the greater good–and each other.
So what was our advice for Matt?
Send a quick, sincere apology letter–signed by a senior person–stressing a commitment to accuracy and pledging to take steps to prevent a similar mistake.
I agree. Openness, transparency, honesty and contrition are most respected when you’ve made a mistake. They’re never easy but they’re always best.
Have you got a question for our community? I’ll blog it and ask it on Nonprofit Radio.
What’s on your mind?
Nonprofit Radio listener Matt emailed me, asking for advice on a sensitive direct mail fundraising problem at the Minnesota charity where he is a gift officer.
Let’s help him!
With a bit of editing for conciseness, here’s what Matt says:
“We have a direct mail that just got out the door and was delivered to 6,000 donors today.
“I just received a call from a confused donor who received this letter. She has given to our organization before, but at a smaller level, but her letter said she has given a gift of $1,500 in the past and asked her to give over $2,000 to this appeal (she actually gave $50).
“Obviously, somewhere our spreadsheet that was exported out of Raiser’s Edge was in error.
“I was wondering if you have any recommendations on how to follow this up? A second letter acknowledging the mistake? Ignore the mistake? Etc.”
Thoughtfully, he asks that other nonprofits take care in their appeal mailings. He wants others to learn from his office’s mishap.
Matt and his office need help fast. They’ve got to make a decision and execute quickly. What’s your advice?
I’ll get us started, but feel free to disagree with me. Good decisions come from open dialogue.
Matt, I suggest you send contrite emails and then letters to each person whose letter is wrong. Explicitly apologize. Assure them the organization tries very hard to achieve 100% accuracy in its work and you regret that this time you fell short. Your CEO should sign the letter.
Time is of the essence. What’s your advice for Matt?