Ask the Experts: Vendor/Client Relationships, Part II
I am often surprised at this. You wouldn’t ever approach individual donors and twist their arms this way, even people whom you know to have lots of money. So why would you do this with your vendors, even if they seem to be making a lot of money from doing business with you? As I see it, this is indeed a question of ethics — shouldn’t donations always be voluntary and not coerced?
Nonprofits want us, as a vendor, to maintain a high ethical standard. It may come as a surprise, but as a vendor, we want our nonprofit clients to maintain a high ethical standard, too. We don’t see nonprofit clients as fungible — we value every one of our clients dearly — but a strong-arm “request” for us to donate at a dictated amount, in a dictated time frame, as a condition for continuing our business relationship would quickly signal the end of a beautiful friendship.
— Joel Zimmerman, director of consulting services, Creative Direct Response
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