Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You Broke My Heart

Yes, I know! I was not able to post something yesterday. I have a good excuse. I had to bring my wife for an emergency check-up with her doctor, so I know you will forgive me.

Which brings me to my topic for today--what to do when you break your promise to your supporter. The promise I am referring to is one that you make when you ask for funding from your partners. For example, you have a direct mail piece and you promised a premium. Your supplier made a product whose quality is suspect. Would you give them something of inferior quality because you want to be able to meet your promise? Or would you rather wait for the better quality product and apologize?

The question above is very delicate and it is nightmarish. But the example above happens in real life. If you are a small non-profit and you work alone, you'll be having a tough time. This even happens to the well organized. You are not alone. So, what does one have to do?

Well, the best thing to do is apologize, simple right? And you need to do it early. If possible, before your promised date of delivery. Write them or call them and tell them (honestly, okay?) that an unfortunate incident happened that will not allow you to make it on time. Your partners will appreciate it.

But then there are times when you are in a complicated mess that it is so hard to find way how to apologize. Please bear in mind that people understand that we all make mistakes. Some non-profits take making a mistake to the extreme that it seems like you will go to hell the instant you make a mistake. Let's be honest here, have you ever found a non-profit that does not make mistakes?

In the organization I work for, we made a lot of mistakes. Our partners are still with us! Yes, there may be a few who may have been upset, but donors help you because they believe in your cause.

So, when you make a promise make sure that you make all the necessary steps to deliver as promised. When you hit a snag, don't wait until its today to apologize. Tell them earlier.

God bless you!

P.S. Tomorow I will be blogging from Siquijor, an island in the Visayas area of the Philippines.

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