Yad Sarah: Good work, bad fundraising

By | July 12, 2010

I periodically post about organizations which can’t handle one of these two simple requests: (1) don’t spam me; (2) don’t send me junk mail. If an organization is incapable of implementing effective policies and procedures to accommodate these two straightforward requests from donors, they are probably also incapable of implementing effective, efficient policies and procedures for doing the work for which donors are sending them money.

I’ve had run-ins of varying magnitude about this with numerous organizations over the years. The ones that I post about here are the worst of the worst. They have either overtly refused to accommodate my requests, or claimed repeatedly, but falsely, that they had done so.

Today, I am forced to add Yad Sarah to this disreputable bunch. I am sorry to do this, because the work Yad Sarah claims to do is important, and because they appear to be respected by other organizations which I respect and tend to trust. However, after my experience with them, I must wonder how efficiently and effectively they use the money entrusted to them by donors to perform their mission.

I have had to ask Yad Sarah to stop spamming me on no less than four separate occasions, in July 2004, August 2004, May 2005, and most recently July 2010. Each time I made the request, they claimed that it had been acted upon. Each of the first three times, it turned out that it had not. Although I give them credit for managing to stop spamming me for over five years after my May 2005 request, I must ask which part of “You must remove my e-mail address from any and all of your mailing lists, immediately and permanently,” which is what I wrote to them in July 2004, they are incapable of understanding.

I had similar trouble getting their American fundraising arm, Friends of Yad Sarah, to remove me from their postal mailing list. I wrote to them on three separate occasions, first by email and then twice by fax, before I finally got a response. The person who responded claimed, “This is the first request we received,” which means that either she was comfortable implying that a donor is a liar, or the organization is so shoddily run that they lose track on a regular basis of attempts by donors to contact them. At least they seem to have done the right thing when they finally responded — I haven’t received any junk mail from them since April 2009.

I encourage those who value Yad Sarah’s work and might choose to support them to seek out better run organizations that will put your money to better use.

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