I’m Ticked Off!
Trust me, my headline is not something to just get you to read this week's post. I'm really ticked off. Recently (May 5, to be specific), an article was published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription required to view the whole article) by an associate professor of accounting at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. Just the thought of having someone in "finance" weigh in on fundraising strategy makes me nervous, but after reading the article I was steaming.
The title of said article is "Transparency and Lower Donor Tax Breaks Can Keep Telemarketers in Check." But before I go into why I'm so upset, let me go ahead and say the following:
- My issue has nothing to do with channel — I don't care if the article referenced telemarketing, e-marketing or direct mail — I would still be irritated. And, to be honest with you, the article could have easily referenced any channel in the same way.
- I am not blind to the fact that there are some bad apples in the bunch. Yes, there are nonprofits that are truly not doing the best possible job with donation stewardship. Yes, there are nonprofits that feel a lot more like a scam than a charity trying to fight for a cause. But this author has called out some of the most reputable and greatest stewards of donor dollars in this country.
- I am all about people having an opinion and sharing it. However, I do believe that before people cast bad mojo on some of our country's top nonprofit brands, they should at least understand some of the details. (Granted, I'm assuming this author does not understand the details because if he did the article would not be worthy of being an article.)
Now, with those disclaimers out of the way, let me give you some details about why I'm bothered. In a nutshell, the article called out the Alzheimer's Association, the American Diabetes Association, ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the American Lung Association, Easter Seals and Smile Train, and implied they were not good stewards of donor dollars. Why? To quote the article, they "... are just a few of the organizations the Michigan report listed as using solicitors to raise at least $1 million from donors but receiving less than 35 percent of the total collected."
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.