Why I’m no longer donating to your no-good, very bad nonprofit

Written by Vu Le

I am a generous and humble man who wants to help sad poor people. This is why I give money to charity. If you help sad poor people, I might also give your organization money. But I have high standards, so I usually give initial donations to test organizations’ responses. Sure, $100 may not be much, though I believe one should be able to purchase at least 10 bananas with that amount. After making the initial donation, I wait in the shadows like a philanthropic hawk to see how charities treat me, which will determine whether I will give them more in the future.

I have been very disappointed to say the least. Some nonprofits don’t respond at all. Some wait excessively long periods of time before getting back to me. One time I had to wait a whole month like an animal for a handwritten thank-you note. Another organization received a huge grant from another donor, and I expected them to know immediately how that money would affect their operations, and more importantly, how it would affect me. My various attempts demanding answers were met with silence. In fact, across multiple charities I donate to, all seem to be avoiding communicating with me, which can only mean they are all no-good, very bad.

Do these nonprofits think their work helping people is more important than stewarding their donors and responding to our needs? Am I not as important as these “homeless veterans,” “refugees fleeing poverty and violence,” and other assortments of non-donors? Did Jesus not say the poor will always be around, but donors are precious and few and must have our feet washed or something?

I don’t want to cast a negative light on all nonprofits. Some are great. One nonprofit, for example, gave me treats, a tummy rub, and scritches behind the ear when I dropped by the other week to visit the impoverished waifs in their program. If you can’t get good scritches and tummy rubs, what’s the point of donating?

For the charitable organizations that want to improve their relationships with donors like me, here is how they can go about doing that:

Be prompt in your responses: Whenever you get a donation, immediately stop whatever you’re doing, such as helping a child find food during the summer or saving democracy or whatever your mission is, and make sure the donor feels properly thanked.

Have ongoing communications with donors: We don’t just want to hear from you when you need money, which seems to be curiously often. However, it’s important to honor donors’ wishes and communication preferences. For example, I only want to receive emails on Tuesday afternoons and phone calls when the moon is full.

Build relationships with your donors: You do this by taking an interest in your donors’ lives, hopes, dreams, favorite foods, childhood traumas, phobias, and the deepest most profound pining they hold in the bosoms of their philanthropic hearts.

Read the full article here.

DFW501c.news publishes every week.
All of our reporting takes hours of time to curate, research and report news that can impact the work you do!

Your contribution of a few dollars a month will support our reporters, expand our coverage and ensure we continue bringing you timely, relevant nonprofit news!

Support This Site

About the author

Vu Le

Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at NonprofitAF.com.