The following is a true story.
Last fall, I made a gift in memory of a friend’s mother. My friend and her family requested gifts to one of two charities in lieu of flowers. I picked one and went to the organization’s website to make my gift.
The website would only accept a membership payment. The site offered a form you could print and mail in that included places to specify the memorial information and notification name and address. I printed the form, wrote out a check, and mailed off my gift in December.
On February 4th I received a thank-you letter from the organization. The letter was dated January 24th and referred to the “membership payment” I made on December 31st. Apparently I am now a member of this organization, which is halfway across the country from my home, whose benefits I did not request and cannot use. The acknowledgement envelope contained four pieces: reply envelope, information about planned giving, a letter/receipt, and a reply form requesting another gift.
So why am I not sending another gift?
This organization doesn’t know or care who I am.
- The thank-you letter does not mention the memorial gift. It is a generic membership thank-you including the text “It is members like you who provide us with the funds necessary to continue our mission of … ” and I can’t go on or I might identify the organization. I fear that the organization never notified my friend and her family of my gift.
- The reply form provides me the opportunity to make another gift, but it warns me that “This is a special appeal. Your gift will not renew your membership.” I’m not a member, I did not ask to become a member, and I certainly don’t want to renew my nonexistent membership.
- The reply form contains my member number. Good grief.
- And by the way, why did it take a month and a half to send an acknowledgement for my gift?