As you all know, I’m a big believer in actually asking donors what they think rather than trying to read their mind.
So yesterday I posted this question on LinkedIn.com:
As a donor to charity, what do we nonprofits do that REALLY annoys the tar out of you?
What do we do that irritates you? What do you complain about around the water cooler at work? What’s caused you to stop giving to a charity?
These could be small irritations or really big glaring things we’re missing. Here’s your chance to get it off your chest and help us serve you better!
I’d like to compile a list of, perhaps, 100 pet-peeves of donors. I’ll also give tips on how to avoid them.
Let the games begin!
PS If you work for a nonprofit:
(1) Don’t get defensive. The answers will help us serve our donors better.
(2) If you answer, please answer as a DONOR, not as a nonprofit employee
There are already dozen of responses. And most of them are quite passionate. As nonprofits, we have a lot to learn about showing donors the love that we say we feel.
Will you play?
- Do you work for a nonprofit? Read the answers to the charity question here. And feel free to leave your own!
- Are you a donor with a pet-peeve? Leave your answer to the donor satisfaction question here.
And, if you’re already on LinkedIn, feel free to invite me to connect. Just let me know how you found me!
You can always leave a comment here, but it’s fun having all the answers in one place!
Update 2/14/2013: LinkedIn shut down “Answers” this month. Here are the four pages of answers as saved in Evernote:
Page 1: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s5/sh/475b6f1c-e8fe-4754-9ce0-785f5ebfe927/7e2452d7057c22beb8cecc43435b9f46
Page 2: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s5/sh/941fffa3-0651-41ea-bdc8-1dce40ad1dec/c2410f70eb998c674680035b510c64cc
Page 3: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s5/sh/cf53b568-2050-4939-89a4-d13f3eed3acf/752961e556cebbdae238b917dc91f69b
Page 4: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s5/sh/5c37985b-99f1-4e53-a078-2025d8ebdf9e/db949c3824c809116311635695ad5b2a
I’m going to go with lack of recognition and high administrative costs.
Don’t call me and thank me for a gift from last year when I know I didn’t give. I don’t donate to liars.
Valerie: I agree! Lack of integrity doesn’t seem like an effective fundraising tactic!
1. Organizations that stretch the horrors their clients face. 2. Groups that reward victimization by acting co-dependent.
Great additions, Gary!
Four pet peeves from me!
First of all, I work for a non-profit and I hate when I try so hard to stretch a tight budget and find myself next to an organization with a higher marketing budget than our entire annual budget! Give-a-ways, fancy advertising packages, power point presentations with all the latest computer gadgets, full color brochures…I wonder how much is spent on all those bells and whistles.
Secondly, I gave to provide dinners to homeless shelter and during a TV interview, a family stated that they weren’t homeless anymore, but they really enjoyed the meals so they came back to see all their friends…great, I’m glad I could help. I didn’t give the next year to that shelter! Another news story showed a recipient of a utility payment program. It was January, colder than cold, I was in my house wearing a sweatshirt and thick socks while my thermostat was set at 72 degrees, watching my extra money go to a man whose was shirtless, in shorts and his thermostat was set at 82 talking about how cold it was outside and how he needed my help.
My third pet peeve is as a volunteer for a non-profit: I work hard to raise money for your organization, don’t give me meals, prizes, etc. to thank me, I’m a volunteer! I equate all the thank you gifts into how many fewer donors would I have needed to solicit. I appreciate the thought, but I don’t give my time to supply dinner or gift certificates to a room full of people who are supposed to be working for free, including me!
Lastly, food pantries ask for items that I know people don’t know how to use, or are too difficult. Ask anyone under the age of 50 how to soak beans or cook rice that isn’t the minute variet. Before you provide food, housing, medical equipment, whatever, to people make sure they are trained. Remember the old adage, feed a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Make cooking classes, budgeting classes, home maintenance classes, parenting classes, health management, etc. a part of your program so I am giving to help people learn to take care of themselves.