In her second annual experiment to track national charities’ reactions to unsolicited donations, communications consultant Kivi Leroux Miller once again finds “a pitiful response.”
Writing in her Nonprofit Communications Blog, Ms. Miller describes how she gave 10 big charities $20 each online in December through Capital One Giving Site, an online donations portal, and agreed to share her e-mail and mailing addresses with the recipient organizations.
After confirming that the donations were transmitted to those charities on January 15, Ms. Miller settled in to await thank-you notes and acknowledgments from the 10 charities. Ms. Miller says that she does not count the automated e-mail response she receives from the online payment processor. “I’m looking for communication from the charity directly,” she writes.
But by February 18, more than a month later, she had heard from only three organizations. “I’m so discouraged by the results that I decided to name names this year,” Ms. Miller wrote in an e-mail announcing the experiment.
She described the three responses she got from Ashoka, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Girls Incorporated. “None of these thank-you notes wowed me, but hey, at least they exist,” Ms. Miller writes.
More troubling, Ms. Miller says, is a complete lack of response from the American Red Cross, Defenders of Wildlife, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oceana, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Remote Area Medical Foundation, and the Wikimedia Foundation. She invited those charities to share the reason for not acknowledging her gift by commenting to her blog post or sending her an e-mail.
“How can nonprofits expect to thrive off the kindness of others when the kindness of a simple thank-you note to an unsolicited donation is too much to ask?” Ms. Miller writes. So far, she’s still waiting for answers.
Photo credit: iStock