Jul 12, 2010

Fundraising Oops of the Week: The Email That Wasn't Ready for Forwarding!

I recently received a forwarded email from someone I respect, encouraging me to attend an event at, he said, a "great organization."

Here are key portions of the original email. I've changed the organization's acronyms, but only from other acronyms -- collections of letters that gave me no clue as to what the organization was called, much less what it did:

"Please help us get the word out to your Bay Area friends, relations, and colleagues that ABCD will hold an informal gathering in Oakland on [date] at the [location]. . . . ABCD movement leaders will offer an overview and update on our movement's exciting new initiative:  the EFGHI Leadership Institute.

Huh? I kept reading, just to see whether I'd get more information about the organization's mission and why I should support it. Nope: Just descriptions of plans to construct various buildings, and instructions on where I could give online.

If I'd already known about the organization, the email would, I assume, have made sense. But even then, I wonder, would I have been moved to give? How about a little reminder of why their mission and projects are important to me? What's more, the email's writers clearly didn't give even half a thought to the prospect that their well-meaning supporters would forward the email to others. They should have!