Scaring Donors Off

October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

When a development department cultivates endowment gifts from major donors, they get to know them, they relate orchestra projects to the donors’ personal interests and they show them how their contribution to the organization’s future can really help the organization succeed in fulfilling its mission for years to come.

Then, if you’re Philly, someone comes along years later to call them up and harass them about their true intentions of a gift.

Excuse me?

Bankruptcy issues aside, I think this is huge. I understand that the musicians want their pension to be paid in any way possible, but I think if the donors get pulled into this legal battle, it could have ripple effects far beyond the Philadelphia Orchestra. Donors don’t want to be attacked with a barrage of questions years after they give. Some large donors want to remain anonymous, not to be associated publicly with their gift and CERTAINLY not to be questioned about whether they really meant what they did when the paperwork of their gift gets released.

Obviously this is not a common occurrence and hopefully it will not be widespread, but could something like this make donors afraid to give?

– Stephanie

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