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NWFlyer

Manufacturer Support of Fundraising Efforts

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Earlier this year, I was helping a fellow skydiver get manufacturer donations for a fundraising raffle. I offered to reach out to several reps that I knew, and was able to secure support from several. Different companies choose to participate in different ways, and some declined to participate, which is cool.

However, one manufacturer agreed to participate and promised to send a box of things we could use for the raffle and as giveaways. This was maybe 3 months before the event. I let the event organizers know, and they included that manufacturer on the list of supporting organizations on the web site.

As the event got closer and closer, nothing showed up. I made several attempts through a couple of different channels to contact the rep, but never heard back, and the promised box never showed up. Eventually I told the event organizers to remove this company from the list of sponsors.

However, that company received 2+ months of free positive publicity despite not making good on its commitment to participate. Obviously, how to respond to these types of requests is up to the individual company, and the cost/benefit needs to be considered as part of the overall marketing strategy of the company. I'm sure they all get tons of requests and have to carefully consider.

But what would your thoughts be on how to react to a company that promised support, got the positive PR from making that promise, then didn't come through (and offered no communication as to why)?

I've deliberately not named the manufacturer, but to me, how you handle requests like this says a lot about how you handle your customers overall. Part of me wants to jump in any time I see a discussion of this company's customer service, but so far I've kept my mouth shut because the other part of me says "well, they don't *have* to help out situations like this."
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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As the event got closer and closer, nothing showed up. I made several attempts through a couple of different channels to contact the rep, but never heard back, and the promised box never showed up. Eventually I told the event organizers to remove this company from the list of sponsors.



So, it sounds like you didn't have good communication set up with the person at the company that committed to the event. Do you think part of the fault rests with you for poorly organizing with and communicating with the company's rep? If so is your question even valid?
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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I'm not sure how it's my fault that the rep did not return the multiple messages I left (through various channels - in other words, email, PM, voice mail, not just one of the above). How that turns into me being poorly organized and not communicating well, I'm not sure.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Krisanne,

I read your post with alot of interest and took the time to chat to the office and I have found that we might be the company you are referring to. Seems we had a slight communication glitch in the office, and this lead to us not getting the items out to you.

Please accept our apologies for not getting the promised items to you for your event. It was an event we were very pleased to support and the level of information and communication you had with me was more than professional and adequate. I just dropped the ball with my communication with my office.

Hope your event went off well and that you are planning to continue your efforts.

Blue Skies

Karl Meyer
Sales Representative
Aerodyne Research
Office: 1 813 891 6300

www.flyaerodyne.com
www.myspace.com/flyaerodyne

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You are correct that they get tons of these requests. As a rep. myself (up until a few months ago) its still not an excuse. In my almost 8 years of a boogie organizer (a fund raiser as well, and specifically for skydivers) it took a while to get used to that. Its even worse when they promise to attend the event then dont show. Although I must say that has happened only twice so I cant complain too much. One had a very valid excuse, yet a notice would have been appreciated.

We stopped doing boogie bags 5 years ago, or requesting a box of items, too expensive for the mfrs and too time consuming for me. Of course we have many mfrs attend our event so they just hand out items as requested. If you have Sept 06 Issue of Skydiving Mag. there is an article on "How SF Boogies are ran" there is some good stuff on how to deal with the mfrs.

We have been very successful with the mfrs, I have left all of them on our site in two locations for years.

I wouldnt worry about it, just know that it might happen again. Maybe have a "ship" date when requesting items, thus giving them a time line to work with.

Bet I can guess who it was though...;)

I wouldnt post it, as they say sh$^ happens and they might do a better job for you next year if you dont burn any bridges now.


good luck with the next one



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Bet I can guess who it was though...



Look one post up, no need to guess. Thanks for the tips on working with mfgrs - I'll dig up that article as well (I remember reading it), since this will be an annual event and I'm sure I'll be continuing to help out.

Karl - not at all necessary to do it publicly, but I do appreciate you stepping up on this one. I have seen some very positive efforts by Aerodyne to use DZ.com as a channel for addressing service and product issues, which is part of why I was so surprised that this one just fell through altogether. Thanks for explaining what happened this year; hopefully things will go better next year.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Bet I can guess who it was though...



Look one post up, no need to guess. Thanks for the tips on working with mfgrs - I'll dig up that article as well (I remember reading it), since this will be an annual event and I'm sure I'll be continuing to help out.

Karl - not at all necessary to do it publicly, but I do appreciate you stepping up on this one. I have seen some very positive efforts by Aerodyne to use DZ.com as a channel for addressing service and product issues, which is part of why I was so surprised that this one just fell through altogether. Thanks for explaining what happened this year; hopefully things will go better next year.



We look forward to assisting your 2008 LP Boogie in any way we can.

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We look forward to assisting your 2008 LP Boogie in any way we can.



I'm sure Fred Sand from LP would be glad to hear that (heck, come on out to Montana - it'd be great to have some demos available out there), though actually it's the Leap for Lupus Boogie that I'll be calling you about next year. ;) That's great to hear!
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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