Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This is Why Donors Don't Trust Nonprofits

This post is far from an April Fool's joke, although at first glance it may seem as if it is one. Remember this mailing where I said that the nonprofit was clearly out of touch with modern fundraising and was not employing best practices? Here are some examples from the mailing:

Well, last week I received the following in the mail. Now mind you, again, I've never given a gift to support either cause. 

And so I was intrigued, and saddened. I decided to do some digging. Can you imagine how this would confuse a donor? First a letter about macular degeneration, then almost the same exact package about Alzheimer's. What gives? How is this possible? Well, as my Dad says, it's all in the fine print:
There my friends is the small print, and it says that the "organization" behind both letters is a place called Bright Focus. So I did some digging, and I found out that only half of every dollar they collect actually goes to the causes they support. 

 And this, this confusing set of mailings, this truth about how much goes to the cause, this is not an April fool's joke. This is why donors have a tough time trusting us. For those that work in great organizations and bust hump to ensure that their donors are valued, that the money is spent on the cause, that we do it right, this spoils our day. I'm not being pessimistic here. We do great work and it matters, but for every good apple, there's a worm. And our donors have a tough time distinguishing the two sometimes.
Keep hope alive, I say all the time, and fight the fight! How do you combat donor trust issues in your organization? How do we share the message that we're not like Bright Focus?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post.

1 comment:

  1. BrightFocus Foundation has been widely recognized for its impact, transparency, and operational efficiency. We are proud to hold excellent ratings from prominent charity evaluators such as the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Maryland Non-Profits, Guidestar Exchange, and Charity Navigator.

    A recent edition of Inside Philanthropy article noted, “BrightFocus is remarkably transparent, showing off all of its recent grant recipients and providing links to their research from their website.” BrightFocus is currently managing an over $20 million grants portfolio, investing in over 400 scientists who are seeking cures for Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Two of our researchers have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, and we are consistently a leading presence at scientific conferences. In addition to supporting some of the most innovative research in the world, we leverage the results of these discoveries in our extensive public education efforts, which help families better understand and manage brain and eye diseases.

    Please visit our website, or call 1-800-437-2423 to learn more about how BrightFocus is working to save mind and sight.