Tuesday, August 01, 2006

There’s Big Money in Non-Profits

This authentic piece of junk mail is just too good to not share.

Major Donor

This system helps the admissions staff at your museum, be it art or natural history, immediately identify and target major donors to your institution. Here are some key features to Blackbaud’s Arts & Cultural Solution TM:

…Giving everyone at your organization the power to cultivate relationships and provide the highest level of service to each visitor. (Helps you identify rich patrons, so you don’t spend time sucking up to poor people who only look rich.)

Give admissions staff instant access to member records, so they can immediately identify and welcome patrons, with a special instant pop-up that identifies major donors, board members, or other VIPs. As you can see illustrated, this looks your average white middle class museum going family with a son, Porter, age 9, and daughter, Ryan, age 7 (oh Carter and Gillian are so lucky!) But NO, these aren’t some run of the mill guests. Oh, no, as you notice on the console, these are Major Donors, and they need the VIP treatment. You see that older couple in line? Thought they were lifetime patrons of the museum? No way, they are on a fixed income and will expect a senior discount.

Blackbaud also gives development an executive staff instant access to ticketing information, so they can immediately greet a major donor who is onsite. If you have good development and executive staff, with good relationships with donors, you don’t need a computer to alert you. Also, back our days at the MCA, the museum relied on the eyes and ears of their savvy workers in coat check and the front desk to spot and alert “upstairs” when someone famous came in. Case in point: Target darling Todd Oldham and co. roll into the MCA. Staff is on top of it and Mr. Oldham plus severe European heiress looking companion et al are presented with “FEAR NO ART” messenger bags containing catalogues of every show on view and given a tour. When Ilya Kabakov and his German dealer showed up, no one was quite sure if it was him or not. And not much interest in an artist. And so there were no messenger bags, no catalogues and no tours. And besides, you can’t call all the gossip rags when some Russian dude shows up with a stern Teutonic companion.

Finally, Blackbaud can give staff the ability to quickly identify cross- and up- sell opportunities. This doesn’t sound like a “solution” an art and cultural institution would want. But then again, looking at the new MoMA, and shows like King Tut, you’d probably be stupid not to treat your visitors as target demographics to seek out and solicit donations from with extreme prejudice.

If you think this is bad, non-profits are also targeted for spam, such as this one, personally addressed to the Art Institute’s retired director:
DonorPak TM enables you to easily micro-target your message and communicate with your donors the way that they prefer.

Another frequent nonprofit spammer always notes they are owned by FIREFIGHTERS. “You know, the guys who risk their lives everyday in 9/11-like conditions? So if a crappy spam email isn’t enough to get you to commit your institution to us, then out being firefighters sure will.”


Bill Gusky said...

What a scream. Let them take it to the Nth degree: pop a Crystale for each VIP, give 'em a backrub and some arm candy, then empty the galleries of all the other rabble ahead of them so they can enjoy their art in peace.

Use the same system to label art critics, represented artists, people who talk too loud in museums or who like to caress the artwork, people who smack their kids in public and people who don't but probably should.

Lisa Hunter said...

This is stupid (in addition to being inhospitable) because you never know who TOMORROW's major donor is going to be.

Maybe a parent of one of the screaming kids in Tuesday's school group, if little junior shows an interest in something besides video games for the very first time.

Maybe the college student who can only pay a fraction of the suggested admission, but will be a dot-com millionaire in five years.

Maybe the scruffy, slightly smelly guy who happens to be lead singer in a multi-platinum alternative rock band you've never heard of.

But that's not the point. One of the best things about museums is that they let everyone experience treasures that used to be reserved for the rich. That ought to include good manners and a hearty welcome.