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.