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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Celebrating Charities That Get It Right When It Comes To Respecting Their Donors' Wishes

As we've discussed many times before on this blog (including here, here, here, here, and here), donors are concerned when charities start sending them numerous appeals. Much of the feedback posted by donors on our site, reveals donors' fears that their donations are being spent on more solicitations rather than the programs and services that they had hoped to support.

At Charity Navigator we recognize that charities do need to ask for support and that many charities do so in a respectful way. But, there are still some that send too many appeals. So, we encourage donors to contact their favorite charities and share their preferences for receiving appeals. This can lead to a win-win situation in which the charity spends less on fundraising and the donor feels respected as evident by the following donor's comment:

"At the end of every year I sort out the many envelopes from organizations asking for money, and the ones that send the most spam usually don't get any of my dollars. I know that Americares uses their dollars pretty well, but I did complain about the number of pleas I received, and they not only cut them down to one or two a year, but I now am contacted by phone by one particular person in the organization once or twice a year. It makes gift giving much more personal, and I don't have to wade through their paperwork!"

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good points here. Failing to interest a donor in your non-profit is one thing, turning off a potential donor who otherwise would have been supportive of you is really bad.

I'd love to see a definitive independent study of the usefulness of snail-mail appeals (by independent I mean dont by someone other than those companies who 'sell' their services in this area!!).

In todays internet age I would be surprised if there were many donors who wouldn't prefer to receive such mail by email, which in turn is far more cost effective and environmentally friendly to carry out.