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Customer Service Fail – Charity Version

September 8, 2010
by Paul Jones

One of the side benefits to the Bonus Room Project (See previous posts under This Not So Old House… titles) was the purging of perfectly useful stuff that we had stopped using.  Piles of it.  So mostly it went to one of the well known charitable organizations that has a very efficient way of using the goods, and they have a drop near the house.  Use them frequently because of convenience.  But after the purge of the 12 + boxes of books that were stored in the bonus room, the ones not deemed re-readable or of sentimental value (yes I kept some of my high school required reading.  Billy Budd I still hate you) we decided to send to another charitable organization that will take good, used stuff and raise funds with it.  I am keeping the names anonymous until the organization has had time to respond to my email asking about the issues.  I take off, 6 boxes of books in the car, ready to make my donation.  This will be probably the 7th or 8th load of donated goods, yet first to the second charity.

I arrive at the center, that the website showed would be the proper one to deposit the books.  There are no signs, no arrows, no humans.  Doors are open.  I drive around, then get out and walk around.  Cars in the lot, but no signs of life.  No buzzer to ring.  No Donate Here sign.  I walked around the building, and didn’t see an office or anyone to ask a question. I did check and I was there during normal business hours.

I had to get to other places, so I did not wait long.  I found someone that at another charity that was more than happy to take my donation.

What has added to my frustrations have been the pleas for donations for this group that I hear on a regular basis. However it was hard for me to give.  In my time as both paid staff and a volunteer for non-profits, I learned quickly that the easier the method people can get to you to give, the more they will give.  Its not that difficult or costly to take a marker and neatly write “Donations Here”, or “Stand Here And Holler For Assistance.” on a piece of cardboard and hang it on the door.   It may be a while before my donations go to them.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 5:35 pm

    I worked in marketing for a non-profit and I can almost guess who this is. I’ll be eager to hear your reply. But when I worked for them, we saw people coming from far away that we didn’t recognize and met them at their car to receive. :)

    • September 8, 2010 6:06 pm

      I am really interested to see if I get a response. Should be fun! :)

  2. September 8, 2010 9:51 pm

    When I lived in L.A., one of my friends was collecting clothing for a shelter that helped abused women. So I cleaned out my closet and got together a huge bag of stuff. When I dropped it off, they were snobby with me and told me they preferred name brand things (meaning high end) and wanted stuff with the tags on still.

    Needless to say, I never tried to donate to them anymore. I’m pretty sure the women needing their help probably weren’t that picky, either.

    • September 9, 2010 8:54 am

      That is my big beef. Don’t plea for donations, then get all picky about what I bring you. When I was with the Food Bank, we took in a lot of junk, because there were always some treasures in the piles. One person giving a little bit, may be giving a lot in future years!

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