Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

I’m Not Feeling The Love From One Particular Organization

February 14th, 2014 by Karen Climer

One month ago, I went to the website of an organization and filled out the “contact us” form.  I checked the box that said I was interested in volunteering.  In the comment section, I mentioned the ways I would like to volunteer, but said I was open to doing anything.  I expected to hear from them within a few days.

I have been sitting by the phone for a solid month waiting for them to call.  Nothing.  I’ve checked my email every single day looking for their email.  Nothing.  It’s getting kind of lonely.

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Don’t let the window of opportunity close because you weren’t paying attention. When someone expresses interest in your organization, be sure to reciprocate by expressing interest in them.

When someone expresses interest in your organization, there is a small window of opportunity.  Don’t blow it.  There are two key reasons why this is important.

  1. The most obvious is that you will lose that donor or volunteer.  It’s just like dating.  If someone is interested in you, and you aren’t interested in them, eventually they lose interest in you and move onto to someone else.
  2. The way you run the administrative portion of your organization is a reflection on how well you fulfill your mission.  If an animal shelter can’t remember to return a phone call, how can I be sure they will remember to feed the dogs?  If you do one thing well (i.e. treat donors well), they will assume you do everything well.  The reverse is also true.  If you don’t return phone calls, people assume you don’t have your act together in other ways.

 

In this case, it is even bigger than that.  You see, this organization has billed itself as listening to the community, responding to the communities, and serving all people.  That’s not how I’m viewing them right now.  I’m viewing this as a direct violation of their mission.

If you are the person at your organization who responds to the “Contact Us” requests on your website, then I’m sure everything is working swimmingly.  If you aren’t, test it today.  Fill it out yourself, and see what happens.  The window of opportunity is not open forever.  If you can’t respond quickly, you will lose that donor or volunteer to a more responsive organization.

Posted in Donor-Centered, Volunteers

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