Thursday, April 17

Do you have a "jilted donor" program?

DonorsChoose continues to receive lots of positive attention for creating a philanthropic marketplace where public school teachers are connected with individuals making direct contributions. The donors can fund a specific school project for varying amounts and they are supposed to receive thank you letters from the students that received the money.

...but that doesn't always happen.

Who knows why, but no matter how much oversight the staff performs, there are bound to be a few deadbeats who never send thank-you letters to their donors. Unfortunately, donors who are left with a yucky taste in their mouth may direct their ill-will toward DonorsChoose for the bad experience.

They seem to know this and have created a "jilted donor" program to deal with those contributors who never hear from the recipient of their donation. I've heard that if you complain about the bad experience, they will give you a "gift certificate" which can be designated to another project.

That's so cool.

This fundraiser thinks it is absolutely critical for nonprofit fundraising staff to be honest with their donors and say: "Hey, sometimes mistakes happen despite our best efforts to prevent them. We're embarrassed by the experience you received as a donor and we want to make it up to you."

If I was to ever give a donation using DonorsChoose, I would designate that my money be used specifically to fund the "jilted donor" program.

1 comment:

Conor Byrne said...

This is fantastic. We are only human, we make mistakes, its ok...just admit it. I think one of the issues we have as fundraisers is to actually be open to hearing things like this, allow our donors get in touch with us in as many was as possible to talk to us about whatever they need to. Too often I have worked in organisations where the person who talks to the donor sees them as a hassle, not as one of the most important people to the organisation.