A Look Back

After chatting with some people over the weekend about ideas for my blog posts this week, it was suggested to do a recap a ”Look Back” at some of the posts I have shared previsously.

Sounded good to me, so here’s Look Back at some earlier posts that I’m sure you will enjoy and gain something from.

When Something Goes Wrong
Negative feedback about staff interaction with donors can impact on the reputation of your organisation, how do you deal with it?

Every now and then someone doing work for your organisation may say or do something that causes donors to be left with a sour taste in their mouth.

How this is dealt with by you is important, you need to retain supporters and the best way to do this when someone upsets them, is to let the supporter know that you hear what they are saying, that you will talk to the staff member about their actions and that you will let the supporter know what action you have taken.

It doesn’t matter how long or the value of support you receive from a supporter, they are all equal and should be treated as such, respect is universal.

Keep reading here

Reigniting the Flame in Delinquent Donors
Before you start planning how to get delinquent donors back on board, have you made the phone call to ask why people have stopped supporting you?

Without some level of research any plan to reignite the flame in donors who have stopped giving for some reason, you have no idea the why, what and how of putting something in place to win them back.

Reigniting the flame in a delinquent donor in many cases is quicker and more cost effective than gainer a new donor.

The donor who has stopped supporting you did so for a reason, was the amount they were giving too high, they had a change in personal circumstances, or something else has caused them to stop giving.

Continue reading here

Business Support
It’s estimated that business donations account for six percent of the donations some non-profits receive.

If this is the case then the question must be asked “how much time and energy is being used to reach and nurture this group?”

Is the time you’re putting into gaining business support being used wisely?

If residential – general support if the main income source for non-profits, wouldn’t it pay to spend more time gaining and nurturing this sector?

Continue reading here

Pick up the Phone and Say Thank You
Don’t lose donors, respect them, acknowledge them.

An organization recently lost a major donor because they felt their support wasn’t really being appreciated.

Why, simple after sending in a substantial cheque on a regular basis all they’d hear back from the organization would be in the form a standard receipt, no acknowledgment of the impact the donation would have on the work that the organization carries out.

Result – support withdrawn. All the organization had to do was pick up the phone and call the donor, thank them and tell them how important they were to the work being carried out.

Continue reading here

As always, leave comments or suggestions on what you would like to see shared on my blog

You can email me charitymattersnz@gmail.com

When is a “charity” a charity?

At what point can you call yourself a charity, is it at the point you open your doors, or is it when you get registration approval?

Unless you’re a fully registered company, you’re can’t use “Ltd”,  shouldn’t the same apply to a charitable organization?

It would seem you can call yourself a charity, have reference to your ‘entity’ as being a charity without actually being one.

Is it fair, is it right, is it misleading? 

OK, before everyone jumps in and says “but you’re called Charity Matters”, yes I am, but where I’m different is I don’t, and never have said I am a charity, I work with charities and NGOs.

What is of concern is an organization calling themselves a charity when they’re not. Sure, they may have charitable intent, but the perception they are giving is that they are one.

Organizations who do this, whilst calling for financial support are in my opinion could be seen as misleading those who give financial support – unless it is clearly spelled out that any financial support given does not allow the donor to claim tax credits or rebates.

Further, is there potential for anyone to call themselves a charity and in doing so further cast clouds of doubt over the sector as a whole?

I’d appreciate comment on this, as if there’s a general feeling that the use of “charity” in either name or descriptor when an organization isn’t one causes concern, it would be good to start the ball rolling to prevent this and further protect and clean up the sector.

Your reputation matters – a social media tightrope

We all know what social media can do, the positives and the negatives – sometimes it can be like walking a tightrope, a balancing act.

Being personable, being yourself is important, people want to engage with an individual not a hum drum corporate code of practice, but in being ourselves online we do run the risk of our reputation coming into question, or tarnishing the reputation others have of us. 

Whether a business, a community organization the same applies – “

Protecting your Online Reputation – Walking the Social Media Tightrope” Simpson Grierson say “Social media offers new and powerful opportunities to connect with customers and build brand but carries with it significant reputational risk. In this FYI we suggest some strategies for managing your online reputation and mitigating the risks of using social media” 

Food for thought in the article are around 

  • a damaging post on a lesser known blog site gets picked up by mainstream media. Once damaging material is available online, it becomes difficult to completely remove the material or references to it, leaving your organisation vulnerable to on-going or resurrected attacks years down the track;
  • dissatisfied customers engage in digital picketing to criticise, complain or leave negative reviews about your product;
  • protestors or activists hijack your organisation’s social media presence and use it to vent their criticisms;
  • current or former employees make offensive, derogatory or commercially sensitive remarks via your organisation’s social media channels;
  • your website inadvertently publishes or republishes defamatory content, potentially exposing your organisation to unwanted publicity or legal liability; or
  • “fans” on your Facebook page post comments about your products, attracting the attention of the Commerce Commission. 

Selling space on your body for charity

We’ve seen plenty of talk recently about the young woman ‘selling’ space on your butt with the aim of raising money to help clear her debts – but in the ‘pitch’ she’s giving she says part of the money from the ‘sale’ will be donated to charity.

Since this hit the news there’s been copycat listing on TradeMe, with the ‘sellers’ also offering a portion of the winning bid being donated to charity.

Is this a charitable thing, or is it just a business transaction with the addition of a portion of the sale being set as a donation just an attempt to smooth the waters with people who think it’s not a great idea? 

Will charities benefit – sure, and as SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge was quoted in the NZ Herald, “What a wacky world we live in,” but says there’s no harm in it. 

“People do what they want to do, and if in doing it they can benefit their charitable cause, then that’s good. And if that charitable cause happens to be the SPCA, even better.” 

Sure – it’s great people support charity, but sometimes the way they do it may have a reverse effect and turn some supporters off. 

The other downside to this ‘campaign’ is that of copy-cats can dilute the impact, and people will turn off and lose interest in what’s happening, the charities could also run the risk of being associated with the wrong ‘image’. 

Have any of the participants sought advice, guidance or talked to the charities before going ahead? 

If you’re a charity and someone offered a part of their body to help raise funds for you, secondary to helping themselves, would you want to be associated? Why, and would you offer any guidance on how the ‘sale’ should proceed? 

Do you think multiple activities like these dilute the original campaign? 

What will people offer to ‘sell’ next, are there any limits people won’t go to, and at what point will charities say – thanks, but no thanks? 

Charities need to be cautious, there needs to be boundaries – some people will pick up on the charity because it’s been in the news and could become supporters, but this is likely to be short-term. 

Whereas longer standing supporters who are turned off my this type activity could walk away, is it better to retain the longer term supporter and lose the potential new support, who may not be in it for the long haul?


You are your Organisation

It is important to always be aware that no matter the means of communication you are the voice of your organisation.

How often have you dealt with a business and been surprised with how lacklustre they were – their manner offhand, the way they answered phone or in any other dealing you may have had with them?

The truth be known community organisations -nonprofits, are no different, but where the big difference is that you are appealing to your community for support and therefore your communication has to be impeccable.

It’s time organisations changed the way they communicate, many need to be more timely in responding to calls, emails etc, they need – whether run by volunteers or paid staff to have a communications policy, something that everyone in the organisation will be able to see how, when  and by whom any form of communication is to be managed.

It is important for organisations to have a communications policy, that includes not only traditional means (phone, letter) but internet and email also.

One area that really needs covering is the use of email for ‘personal use’. And that staff are aware that when they send what they perceive as being an ‘innocent’ email to friends and family from the work computer they need to understand that there is a high likelihood of it being seen by others. They need to understand that they have to watch what they are sharing!

How often have you received an email that has been sent to multiple recipients (with their names visible), opened it and seen something that you felt was ‘inappropriate’?

What would the potential impact be if just one of the recipients forwarded it?  From what started as an innocent email, reputation damage could ensue, anyone seeing the email could see it coming from the organisation not from the employee.

The impact can be even greater, worse, if social media isn’t managed well. Sure everyone using social media should be showing their true personality, but they should be mindful that when ‘representing’ their organisation they need to be aware of what could happen if they say, or post something that doesn’t truly reflect or is likely to cause offence.

Like email, social media posts have the potential to spread far and wide – a tweet posted from your account could have potential to reach many hundreds if not thousands of people.

Policies aside, people are only human and will wander off the path from time to time, breaking rules, it has to come down to common sense, maturity and an understanding by all of ’cause and effect’.

People in organisations are often told they are ‘ambassadors’ and that they represent their organization 24/7, when out and about they’ll undoubtedly talk about their job, the organization they work for, there’s no getting around it, often they are aware of how they behave when out in public, but when it comes to online activity they can forget.

If you’re representing your organisation online, offline think before hitting send, clicking post or saying something that could be misconstrued – one slip of the tongue, or in this case – slip of the finger could cost your organisation not only reputation but support in the community.

Like a pebble dropped into a pond the ripple effect of an inappropriate, unplanned, non thought out post could travel far and wide – is what you’re saying/posting appropriate – take a minute before taking that next step of sending or posting to make sure it’s something you really want to be seen as coming from your organisation.

Previously published on 101Fundraising – Crowdblog on Fundraising

How do you respond to negative comment


There will be a time when you’ll be faced with having to deal with negative comment online, how you deal with it is important, and it’s not a bad idea to have a plan in place so everyone in your organisation knows what to do.

Firstly you need to be monitoring what’s being said about you online – on various the social media platforms, TwitterFacebook, and any other websites. Using tools such as like Google Alerts help make the task easier.

It’s important you know how you will deal with any online comment – the good and the bad.


When using social media you’re likely to face lots of comments, either directly about you or your sector – do you want to only respond to those that directly affect you, or will you also respond to the others?


Blogs are another area you’ll need to consider, if you run a blog do you allow comments, do you allow comments to go live without moderation?  


If you’re able to delete any comment you don’t like – will you? It’s really important to think before deleting, something I learned from personal experience.


Be honest when responding to any comment, and acknowledge the negative comment people leave, apologise if appropriate – and avoid getting into protracted debates.


Some people find it good to ask people who have given positive comment to share it on other sites – Facebook etc.


You’ll likely be like most others and discover that most of the comments that have some reference to you will be of a complimentary nature, that they’ll be positive, so don’t panic.


Remember too there’s no rule (that I’ve seen) that says you can’t share positive comments  – put links to them on your blog, post them on Twitter, Facebook etc.


How are you currently handling negative comment? What would you recommend?