There has been recent news stories about charity collectors lately, some of these have reached the global ‘ear’ others have only been covered in the country of origin.
The latest to hit global news has been about ‘chuggers’, a quaint term for ‘charity muggers’. They’re the people out on the streets raising awareness, funds and subscriptions; who bail up people, use all manner of technique to ‘sell’ their story to the public.
This along with stories about contract charity collection companies who don’t pass on the full amount of the money raised.
The contract companies have been known to retain all of the funds pledged through memberships, subscriptions, in the first year; only paying the charity it’s funds in the second year.
Both of these have the potential to give the sector a bad name.
It’s hard enough for organizations to gain support, to gain a loyal following and be able to deliver the services it’s set up to do. What organizations don’t need, at anytime, is further distraction from their core activities.
Who’s at fault – Is it the organizations, is it the external ‘partner’ or is it both?
Something all nonprofits should do is check who they are getting into bed with, who they are building alliances with.
A partnership, no matter the type – sponsor, collection agency, or other significant partner needs to be well thought out, due diligence is needed, and if these checks are not done then some of the blame when things go wrong (and they can go wrong) has to lay at the feet of the organization.
If an organization is unsure about any partnership, if there is any niggling doubt – then it is time to stop, take a breathe and look at the partnership. Revaluation before things get too far down the track is a lot easier, a lot messier and quite possibly a lot cheaper than – after the event.
What should you be looking out for, testimonials and recommendations from others is a good place to start, but you should also be looking a little deeper, have the people behind the organization (agency) been involved in the field for a while or are they new to it, have they anything in their passed that rings alarms bells.
At the very least organizations should be using Google, their own personal contacts and doing some other more traditional checks to ensure that who they are partnering with has nothing to hide, that they have not been ‘investigated’ for running any scams or duping the giving public.
No organization should ever go into a partnership unless they have done their homework, would you?
Don’t let anyone you’re doing work with to raise funds for your organization keep the lot – no matter whether it’s for a month, a quarter or a year – it’s you’re money they’re raising.