Communications: Missing the Mark

The Best Nonprofits know their "target"

Surviving the Disaster

According to the Wall Street Journal, the American Red Cross will be implementing new guidelines with regard to how they solicit for donations in the future.  These will increase transparency and information to donors about the use of funds raised.

Anyone who has been the victim of anything from a house fire to an earthquake, flood or hurricane has likely been helped by this organization, as they respond to approximately 70,000 every year, according to their website. Unfortunately, the relief organization weathered its own problems as the result of donation solicitation around last year’s Hurricane Sandy.

Good Lesson for All

Within this story, we can take away a valuable lesson: No matter how much ‘good’ a group does—if communications efforts aren’t all in line, there can be fallout.

To avoid fallout, remember these 3 points:

Transparency: Be clear about your group’s solicitation; what’s it for and how it will be distributed, for example.

Communication: If you’ve met your goal, let your advocates/donors know-and celebrate! If you aren’t at goal, communicate-rally the troops.

Acknowledging Donor Requests: If donations are earmarked per donor request, let them know that you’re going to do with those funds what they asked.

For additional tips on how to keep relationships with donors tight, check out our earlier post featuring Claire Axelrad’s advice on ” giving thanks.”