THE ANSWER IS "NO"
It's a good cause, but the answer is "no." Virtually every day by phone, by letter, and in person you get requests:
? Will you put an ad in our high school annual?
? You certainly want to sponsor a person in the neighborhood king and queen contest.
? Your contribution to the Special Olympics will really help children and get you lots of publicity.
? By contributing an appliance to the church raffle, you will be helping a worthwhile neighborhood activity.
On and on... some days it seems you have more requests for contributions than you do customers with cash in their hands. You are a good person . . . and want to contribute to every request, but you need to be a responsible businessperson. To contribute to one raffle and not another would result in hard feelings. Therefore, you have decided not to contribute to any groups. You will make one large contribution to the local United Way each year. Your business did well; however, your donation policy is clearly outlined. You do not have endless funds.
The first request since you started this new policy arrived today. The American Red Cross is requesting donations, money and/or items as the summer storm season is under way and already has spelled disaster for many communities throughout the United States. The town of Joplin, MO, was almost totally destroyed on May 22 for example.
Write a letter to the American Red Cross, 101 West 31 Street, Kearney, NE 68845. Explain your new policy and refuse, as gently as possible, the request for a donation. Remember the goal is to refuse and still keep the people working with the organization as potential customers for your business.
The American Red Cross
101 West 31 Street
Kearney, NE 68845
Dear Red Cross Professional,
I received your request for a donation to assist with the summer storm season which has created hardship in many communities. Red Cross provides critical help for those hit by storms and disasters. We know what an important role you play in getting communities back on ...
Your response is 256 words and explains that the Red Cross will now receive an allocation from United Way rather than responses from annual campaigns directly from the Red Cross.