Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Maybe This Will Get Their Attention

Or, How to Lose a Donor: A redacted version of a letter I'm sending to an organization I have supported for many years.

Dear [Executive Director]:

Back in November, I received an email from [your organization] telling me about your new web site and inviting comments. I emailed comments back that day.

I never received any kind of reply. In December, I sent you a letter (copy enclosed) mentioning this, and also enclosing a donation of $250, which my company will match.

I never received a reply to that, either, other than the standard “thank you for your donation” letter.

If a donor takes the time to send you comments - twice - you really owe her a personal reply. It would not take very long to send an email saying “Thank you for taking the time to look over the web site and send your comments. We appreciate this and will take them into consideration.” Alternatively, don’t solicit comments unless you’re prepared to respond to them; I have to assume that the expectation was that you would get cheers for the new design, not serious feedback.

This letter is just to let you know that inaction has consequences: I will not be donating to [your organization] again.

Very truly yours,

Lisa R. Hirsch

This isn't the only time an organization has failed to reply to reasonable communications from me. There's the web publication that I emailed twice? three times? to ask whether they'd made any efforts to publicize their site to the hundreds of people currently blogging about classical music. There's the chorus with an info@ email that I contacted twice about their unreadable season brochure (8 pt red type in a very pretty font on glossy white paper - no kidding).

Seriously, don't solicit comments and don't have an email address on your web site unless you are going to respond to correspondence you receive.


bamazzur said...

That's really a shame. It takes virtually no time to write a "thank you" letter. Sorry you went through that!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks, though it more an annoyance than anything else. I've been donating time or money to this particular organization since it was founded more than 20 years go, too!