Smile Train, Inc.
October 21, 2013
Since making a modest contribution over a year ago, I have been bombarded by Smile Train for more donations! The calls and letters began over 8 months ago, and despite my numerous requests that they stop contacting me, the phone calls now occur every other day or daily. Because this organization is a charity, it can get away with this, despite my insistence that they stop! If this was not a charity, I could take legal action, yet Smile Train grossly abuses its charitable status to incessantly badger its donors for ever-more money. There have been times when some of my family members were in need of financial assistance, yet if, after providing my own mother with sufficient funds, she continued to call me on a daily basis for more money, I would refuse even her! When one considers what must be the cost of Smile Train's enormous advertising budget and its monstrous fleet of telemarketers, and studies their revenue vs expense ratio, the total amount going to the children in need is minimal. There are doubtless many ways in which Smile Train can operate more efficiently and in a manner that does not disenfranchise its donors. So many donors are turned off by ST's perpetually extended grubby hands that they decide never to give again, out of irritation, and/or fear of extending the maddening calls and letters. Thus, ST loses countless numbers of potential repeat donors and must continually find more, and attempt to get more money from the donors it can rope in. This is a terrible, unprofessional, and abusive management strategy that screams "entitlement". Smile Train should instead treat its donors with respect and reason, demonstrating their gratitude for donors and their donations, maximizing the odds that donors will generously and appreciatively donate again and again.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Smile Train should stop harassing its donors for near-constant donations. It should also respect donors' requests to stop contacting them by phone/mail except on a reasonable basis (monthly at most). ST should never contact past donors on anything approaching a daily basis, which is how often it has been contacting me for the past several months! This practice eliminates past donors by angering them, especially when requests that ST stop the incessant calls are ignored.
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