That relationship between donor and fundraiser has never been more powerful. To stay on good terms, fundraisers must respond to donors’ wishes in a way that is appropriate for their missions. Here’s how each of these four organizations reacted to the Haiti earthquake to meet their donors’ expectations.
The ASPCA doesn’t usually do much international work. The U.S. animal welfare organization does most of its work stateside. But for the Haiti earthquake, ASPCA wanted to be involved with animal rescue for the displaced animals after the human rescue was underway. So ASPCA joined Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), pledged $100,000 to the Haiti efforts and sent one person down there for three weeks to help ARCH.
While ASPCA was adamant about helping and the partnership with ARCH clearly upheld its mission, “we were very careful about not putting too much out there [in terms of publicity],” Meulensteen said. “We didn’t want to raise too much money, more than was needed for our goal. So it was on a smaller scale, purely e-mail-based communications.”
UN Refugee Agency
Even though those Haitians in need were not refugees, the UNRA, with the help of donors eager to give, wanted to negotiate a way to provide aid. However, Seller said, UNRA struggled to get the message out as it was working on a strategy. So the refugee organization sent out news to keep its supporters informed until a plan was in place, offering suggestions of other organizations their donors could give to for immediate action on the Haiti front.
Finally, UNRA did raise $10 million to $20 million to help benefit those displaced in Haiti. “It was not a huge fundraising activity for us, but it was a great relationship-builder.”
After being taken aback by its donors’ outcry for AARP to help after Hurricane Katrina hit, the elderly quality-of-life organization started to develop a network to expand its reach and initiatives. AARP created an association with HelpAge International, an international organization dedicated to elder citizens’ rights and disaster relief, and established a relief fund for older victims of the disaster.