Please make it easy to find your staff

I’m on the planning committee for next year’s Fundraising Day in RI hosted by the RI Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. We were looking for a venue after our first choice became unavailable and wanted to pursue a few different campus options.

Looking to enlist an insider, an obvious choice was to contact someone on their fund development staff — which should be really easy to find in the giving section of their web site, right? Wrong!

This isn’t the first nonprofit web site that I’ve looked at that doesn’t list names and contact information for fund development staff. I’m not sure I completely understand the reasoning… maybe the staff changes so frequently that they couldn’t keep current with personnel changes? Or perhaps it is to keep unwanted parties — vendors? stalkers? — from calling.

It seems to me that not listing a name is such an effective impediment to calling that it might actually turn away a few donors who’d rather not have to explain themselves to a department receptionist who, absent another contact name, would be the the first person I’d expect to answer the phone.

I’ve seen web sites that don’t list any staff at all, not even the Executive Director.

Is the number of unwanted calls so disrupting that you need to make it really? difficult for the media or donors to find the person they are looking for?

I’m sure I’m missing some compelling reason to keep names, direct email and business numbers off your web site — but I, for one, much prefer to associate with organizations where I have some idea who I might want to connect with first.

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