It's not often I'll draw on something a telecommunications provider has done to inspire fundraising greatness. I'm often the first one to scorn at my phone company.
But I make an exception here.
Last night I got this email from the CEO at Vodafone.
Pretty candid. Quite gutsy. He even put his photo on here so we could visualize him apologizing. The only thing he could have done to expose himself more is done this via a video clip (but then the reach would likely have been lower).
I like the way that Nigel makes no bones about the fact that they haven't been up to scratch. He doesn't try and make excuses, simply tells it as it is.
"The simple answer is that we’ve been growing fast, and when problems came, we responded too slowly. "
He could have given us some garbled response tinged with big words that would have left us flummoxed but he didn't. Merely admitted they tried to run before they crawl.
I love the rawness of this. It reminds me of a client a few years back who had a major internal meltdown days after an appeal lodging. Database crashed, staff shortages, the works.
And what did they do?
Something similar to Nigel Dews. Wrote to their donors, explained what happened and asked for a little patience as it may take longer to get back and thank them if they had indeed already sent a gift.
Gifts flowed in. To the apology letter. It wasn't the point, nor the intention. But it proved that showing their cards, opening themselves up, was absolutely the right thing to do.
Now if this client had done this again, and if Vodafone doesn't deliver, then people will walk.
But right now, it's hats off to Nigel Dews and the Vodafone gang. Never thought I'd say that.