Flutterby™! : Losing Support

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Losing Support

2008-11-18 23:11:30.240278+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Dear organization of the moment, we love you, we've given money to you, and we plan to give money to you in the future. You have the records of us giving a reasonable donation, consistently, every year.

If you call us every two weeks saying "help, it's an emergency, send us more money", we're going to start to become skeptical that the organization is run by professionals.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-19 13:36:45.272911+00 by: petronius

I once attended a seminar on direct mail techniques, and one participant worked for a relief charity. She said they were considering setting up a subset of their mailing list which included their most reliable donors. They were going to call it the "Disaster of the Month Club". As it is, in their world the only foreseeable event is an unforeseeable disaster. She said that every other year Bangladesh is flooded by a cyclonic storm, like clockwork. After a while you wonder if they keep the begging letters on file, like the NYT having obits of famous people on tap for their eventual demise.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-19 14:51:12.322414+00 by: Dan Lyke

The best part is that during the last administration they've been using the various transgressions of the Bush administration as their urgency plea. I'm sympathetic. Now, it's "we have to act fast to roll back 8 years of Bush administration policies...",

I realize that they need to keep the organization going, however, I'm feeling like that cynical interpretation of politics that Republicans want to create more big government so that they can campaign against it, and Democrats want to make government ineffective so they can promise to fix it..

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-20 00:54:29.934733+00 by: Larry Burton

Dan, that's the whole problem with so many things, organizations keep going after their goals are accomplished. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth even remained organized until May of this year.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-20 04:57:03.870578+00 by: pknox [edit history]

I work with a LOT of nonprofits/fundraising professionals, and once every two weeks does seem quite excessive unless you're getting emails, and even then I'd expect most of those to be newsletters and other information-based communications, rather than appeals.

Of all the groups I work with, my favorite has always been the Grameen Foundation - http://www.grameenfoundation.org/ The entire idea of microfinance has appealed to me since I first read about it, and it doesn't take a huge donation to have an impact.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-23 04:28:36.869946+00 by: Diane Reese

And I'll make my standard shout-out for Kiva.org if you're looking for a simple and reliable way to participate in microfinance, in any increment of $25 or above. (It is indeed "Loans that change lives": one step beyond the "teach a man to fish.." aphorism is the thought that these people already know how to fish, they just need a loan to buy a net.)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-23 14:09:58.483676+00 by: meuon

I've been on the board and/or near enough of enough non-profits to understand that it's a method of employment for the un-employable. No, not the people they are trying to help, the people running the non-profit.

I give monthly to one, because I know the guy in charge is so filthy rich (and competent, decent) that I know he's not living off of the non-profit he started and still helps run.