How has a recent investment in new Internet software affected your organization’s fundraising?
“The Wildlife Conservation Society now has a custom-built interface between our Web site and our database. This interface has made it easier for our members to donate and renew their memberships online by using their ID numbers to retrieve records rather than requiring that a new enrollment form be filled out every time someone gives. … Making the WCS Web experience more like other online sites by increasing convenience and speed, plus shortening acknowledgement and fulfillment time, has definitely had a positive impact. Our members tell us that the speed and benefits of joining via the Web lead them to choose the online experience over mail or phone.”
— Kathleen J. Allard, assistant director of membership, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, N.Y.
“In 2003, our organization celebrated 100 years of service to the community, so we wanted to have a “big party” so to speak, to celebrate. One of our board directors gave us access to more than 1,300 potential donors, and we needed some way to capture this information. So, we decided to purchase donor software. … I am pleased with the software [FundTrack] and have transferred all our donor records, including the 1,300 potential donors, to this system. There are a few glitches, but overall it has helped better manage our donor database.”
— Crystal C. Cox, development director, Wesley House, St. Louis
LETTERS to the Editor
To the Editor:
“Is Letter Writing Really About Good Grammar?” (Just Slightly Contrarian, April 2005) NO! And thank you so much for being a bastion to those of us who’ve been preaching that to grammar lovers.
I write letters, text for publications, text for the Web and the occasional speech or announcement. And there has always been some conflict over light and motivational vs. heavy and old school.
[Jerry Huntsinger’s] article is the second I’ve read. … I want to commend you on your frankness. I mean, really, who wants to read something that sounds stuffy, boring and wholly un-fun? Thanks again for flying the “dumb it down” flag.— Miranda Nerland, staff writer/Web content manager, Florida College,Temple Terrace, Fla.
To the Editor:
Just a few thoughts on your recent Editor’s Note (“Whattaya Know?” May 2005). Just because the session was not attended well doesn’t mean the majority of us at the conference are ignorant. I would assume that since the new legislation was a hot topic before, during and after the conference, the majority of us were well informed as to what was in the works and had been working to let our senators and representatives know just how we felt. I am certainly glad that I did not attend the session only to be called ignorant by you at a later date. The old stand-by of no question is a stupid question should be considered. --Sharon Will, CFRE, development director, South Wind Hospice, Pratt, Kansas
[Editor’s Reply: My apologies if anything I wrote in my Editor’s Note seemed disrespectful. I used the word “ignorant” to mean “lacking knowledge” on a particular subject — not “stupid,” which is how that word is sometimes construed. Judging by the session I attended (and other discussions), there does seem to be a great deal of ignorance within the industry when it comes to impending changes that could affect nonprofit fundraising. I include myself in that description, since I (like many people) am not fully educated on all of the implications. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those whose life’s work it is to raise money for worthy causes. I certainly don’t consider our readers (or their questions) stupid. Quite the contrary — they are a constant source of education for me. The intention of my column was to remind all of our readers of the importance of staying abreast of the latest developments that affect their jobs. — MB]