It’s surprising how often that I either hear or have the experience myself – you send an email to a contact at an organization and get an automated reply “sorry that mailbox is no longer active” – or something similar.
You quickly check you have it right, your go back through emails double checking only to find you have the details right.
A phone call soon clears up the confusion, the person you’ve been trying to contact has left.
Imagine how supporters feel when they get an automated response saying the person they want to contact is no longer available, do you think they’ll spend time trying to track the right person down, will they even bother checking to see if the email address they’ve sent something to was right – chances are they won’t.
Why would any organization leave themselves open to being ‘shut off’ from supporters?
How would you feel if someone tried contacting your fundraising or sponsorship manager to discuss a possible donation, and all they got was an error message in response to their email; would they think – oh, lets try that again, or would they give up and look for another organization?
Can you afford for potential supporters to wander off – NO.
Make it easy for people to stay in touch, when key staff leave, don’t deactivate their email address immediately, have it routed to go to someone else.
If you don’t know how to do this, check help in any email programme you’re using – it’ll save you time, money and opportunities – see it as an investment in the future.
And, make sure you have a succession plan for every key staff member, not just for the CEO, CFO – but every key staff member.