Do you keep an eye on the obituaries to ensure key donors or prospects are not amongst those listed as having passed away? It is vital you are not only aware of a donor or prospect’s death, but that you send condolences to the next of kin. Establishing Google Alerts is an easy way to track the news on key donors and prospective donors.
I recently read about Darla Moore and the fact that the University of South Carolina failed to acknowledge her mother’s death in a timely fashion. Why does this matter? According to the Post and Courier, Ms Moore is a $75 million dollar donor to the University of South Carolina. Moore is also a former Trustee of the University. Moore called the faux pas to the attention of the University Board. “There is not a university in the country that would exhibit this degree of thoughtless, dismissive and graceless ignorance of the death of a parent of their largest donor,” Moore wrote.
It is quite easy to keep your eye on the news by creating Google Alerts for the top 100 donors and prospects of your organisation. Such search results will ensure you see any news on the individuals, which may include the unfortunate news of their passing. This powerful tool allows you to have the news pushed to you rather than requiring a staff person to scour hundreds of news sources each day. Establish Google Alerts for donors, prospects, and volunteers is a way to recognise the happy occasions in addition to the sad.
Ms Moore apparently has had other issues with the university over the years, including issues with the process for the selection of their President.
Some may say Ms Moore is expecting more than she should from the University of South Carolina. I beg to differ. Additionally, the fact there appears to be some history between Ms Moore and the university should not matter. The University would have shown great class had it stepped up and provided terrific donor care during this difficult time for Ms Moore. Not only should the University have sent a condolence letter from the President and the Board, but other gestures should have followed including attendance at services and the like. To not send condolences in a timely fashion suggests a lack of caring and class on the part of the University.