1 Email to Steal, 1 Email to Learn From
It’s no secret that whatever is in the inbox when your nonprofit’s email arrives is a competitor. In our efforts to filter down the contents of our inboxes to a manageable amount, we may toss the email from the well-meaning nonprofit even if we support it and believe in its mission.
But two recent emails caught my attention. The first came from eBay, reminding me it was my 12-year eBay anniversary and to tell me how much the company valued having me as part of the eBay community. It also attached a PDF of a certificate (sadly, not personalized) that I should “display proudly.”
I admit it — I was surprised (pleasantly); I had no idea it had been 12 years. And yes, I felt pretty good that eBay took the time to acknowledge and thank me. Yes, I know it’s all automated and no human woke up that morning and said, “Hey! It’s Pamela Barden’s eBay anniversary!” But my non-rational side — the side that decides where to invest my disposable income, — felt pretty positive about eBay that day.
The second email came from the issuer of my small business credit card.
Did I mention I am a small business? You know — I keep the books, buy the ink for the printer, reset the network when it goes wonky and even get to do some fundraising from time to time. Apparently my opinions are important to the folks at the credit card company, and they wanted me to complete a survey to share those all-important opinions with them and a research company.
But then I realized it would take me 25 minutes to complete this survey. Did I mention that I am a small business? For me, 25 minutes is a big chunk of time. And it’s a chunk I really can’t afford just to give my opinions to a gigantic bank and credit card issuer that I really doubt cares about my opinions all that much.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.