Sunday, November 24, 2013

Charity puts all donations “on sale”

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Metro’s largest charity has announced a 48-hour sale on all annual gifts. The Metro Cancer Center Trust says it’s cutting prices on all donations for two days only during its special “Don’t pay a cent” Sales Event at the Cancer Center.

“If you’re looking for philanthropy, you’ve found the right place. We have the best quality philanthropy on sale right now at not 15 percent, not 25 percent, yes, at 50 percent. But it’s only for 48 hours this weekend at the Cancer Center,” said Trust Executive Director Sam Snidely, who recently took over the failing charity after a career in used car sales. “You’ve got to be there.”

Last year, the Trust didn’t make its capital campaign goal. That led to a major shakeup at the charity, with the exit of several long-term fundraising leaders. Snidely was hired shortly afterwards.

“It was pretty clear what this organization needed – more sales, sales and sales. They were asking people for money just like a girl guide would asking for cookies on your doorstep. Pitiful. You need to get people’s attention with a big sale. So, we’re cutting our prices – big cuts, too,” said Snidely.

The half-price sale is backed by a whole new advertising campaign that features the word “Sale” more than 42 times as well as scantily-women in bathing suits. The TV spots feature Snidely wearing a cowboy hat in the parking lot of the Cancer Center with his “sales girls”.

Snidely says the Trust has also repackaged pledges into “Don’t pay a cent” events that give donors 12 to 15 months to pay off their outstanding balances. At the same time, the Trust has abandoned its major gifts and gift planning programs in favour of hiring more sales people and opening sales offices at local malls.

“These fundraisers don’t understand people. If you want to make money, you don’t go begging people to put you in their will. No, you just blow them away with sales promotions and keep after them night and day until end up in a hospital like this one,” said Snidely.

“Maybe these fundraisers care. Maybe they are nice to their kids. I don’t care. There’s just two types of people in this business, sales people and losers,” he said, sounding a lot like the Alec Baldwin character in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”.

“That’s why I’m wearing a diamond ring the size of a baseball and those guys are unemployed.”

Next month the Trust will be offering “Cash back” on donations of more than $250 or more.

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