We’re all susceptible to the negative review or blog post. Before being quick to react, however, we need to assess from where this negativity is coming and to whom it is directed.
Your charitable organization lives in the public spotlight. There’s no denying it. The public image of your organization is important. Perhaps the most sensitive area for your organization is in the arena of trust. Once trust is lost, regaining it is very costly in both time and money. The time is measured in years and the financial cost—well, you can estimate that in lost gifts, grants and program revenue.
There is, however, the negativity which is merely background noise on the channel. That is the negativity produced by the arm chair critic, the naysayer, and the disgruntled whomever. What your organization needs to be mindful of here is what your investors are saying about you. They, after all, are the ones putting their philanthropic dollars into your mission—your organization. What are they saying about you?
Staying close to your donors is the best way I know to discern whether a criticism is either warranted, important or both. Once you know where your donor-investors stand, the others really don’t matter.
Larry C. Johnson
M. E. Grace & Associates