When her daughter Mary was 8 years old, they decided to sponsor a child in South America through a reputable organization. Together they chose a girl who was the same age as Mary.
It felt good to make a difference. Their monthly donation was not only helping the little girl, it was helping her community as well.
Mary was thrilled to hear from this sponsored girl and over the years they exchanged many letters.
It was such a good experience, that they decided to sponsor a second child, a boy in Africa.
Time went by and Ann fell on hard times. She felt horrible, but she knew she had to phone the organization and let them know she could no longer sponsor these two children.
As a fundraiser, I’ve taken calls like this myself. I would hear in their voice that they felt bad about having to cancel their monthly donations. I would thank them for all the support they had given, tell them I understood their decision and wished them well.
When Ann phoned, she was told that she was being transferred to the donor retention department or some other equally offensive department name. Ann questioned this and asked why the person she was speaking with couldn’t honour her request.
Nevertheless, she was transferred to a new person who asked Ann if she wouldn’t prefer to just suspend her donations and have them automatically start up again in 3 months. Ann, who by this point, was starting to get frustrated restated that she wished to cancel the automatic withdrawal from her bank account.
You would think that would be the end of it but the woman at the organization then said, “But what about the children? Don’t you care what happens to them?”
Thankfully Ann stood her ground. She thought about following up with the organization’s leadership, but never did.
A week later she received a letter from the organization informing her how she could start donating again if her financial situation improved. But Ann had been so hurt by this experience with the organization that there was no chance she would ever support them again.
If we don’t care about our donors, our organization and ultimately those whom we care for, will suffer.
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