I’ve faced two letdowns recently, from people who “picked my brain” and then thanked me by leaving my email list. Not enough for a trend–and hardly monumental rejections–but they’ve got me thinking.
One gentleman came to a Planned Giving workshop at a local nonprofit support center. He joined my email list, as many do. About a year later he emailed me to ask for help finding an internship that would broaden his fundraising experience. We talked about his interests. I connected him with a former client and he got what he was seeking, with a very well known nonprofit. A few months later he unsubscribed from my list.
More recently, a friend whose business is real estate-related asked me for fundraising advice around a project she was taking on at a charity she’s active with. I counseled her for about an hour-and-a-half on the phone, then gave her feedback on an introduction letter she wrote. This month she unsubscribed from my list.
I think after I willingly helped them for free, the very least they could do is stay on my email list.
When I help someone, I never expect something in return. That is to say, I don’t expect any gain. Nor do I expect a diminution in our relationship.
It’s not exactly an expression of gratitude to unsubscribe.
I’ve got over a thousand committed people on my list and I’m grateful to each of them. They make links trend when I send my weekly radio show alerts; they come out to hear me speak; they come out to my stand-up comedy; they listen to my show and give me constructive feedback. I’m enormously grateful.
It’s not a matter of numbers. It’s a matter of simple courtesy.
Am I being unreasonable? Overly sensitive? I’d be grateful for your constructive feedback.