Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Small Things Matter

Recently, I received an email from someone asking me to donate $.99 to a nonprofit organization. The ask was all about this 99 cents and how if enough people donate the 99 cents it would add up. I thought it was great- who wouldn't donate 99 cents? So, I went on to make the donation, only to find that the smallest amount that I was allowed to donate was $5.

Now, this is a mistake that many of us have made at one point. We have sent out a link to a website that doesn't work or told a donor we'd update them on something and didn't or asked someone to donate 99 cents when the online donation site only accepts donations of $5 or more. These sorts of minor mistakes are all about keeping on top of things and double-checking everything. While these mistakes are minor, and are easily forgiven/forgotten, they do matter.

In this case, the opportunity to donate 99 cents was taken away, and the nature of the ask was changed. Donors who thought "it's just 99 cents" now were being asked for 5 times the amount they had planned to give- yes, it's still only $5, but it's still more than planned. With the dozens if not hundreds of "asks" a donor receives a year, it is important that when you have their attention you say it right, you include accurate information, and you make it count.