Tip of the Cap

A few days ago I received the following email from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and I just wanted to share my thoughts with the world on why this brief little message made me squeal with delight. I’ve worked for far too many non-profits in my life and I’m just going to lay it all out here now: I never plan to work for another. Suffice it to say, I’m not a fan of non-profits for many reasons, most I won’t get into here, but I will say that I think there is a lot of administration inefficiency and mismanagement that happens in non-profits. That’s not to say the same thing doesn’t happen in governments, corporations, and small businesses as well, but when people selflessly donate money to a cause, they want their money to make a difference, not to pay for staff busy-work. For example, I worked for one non-profit that had me call every person who donated in the past year and thank them. It took several months, hours of staff time, and a huge phone bill to make these calls just to thank each and every donor for their $100 contribution. Many donors got pissed at me and I couldn’t blame them. Another non-profit I worked for spent hundreds of dollars printing out their annual appeal letter just to find it riddled with typos. They reprinted them only to find more typos. Unfortunately, these so-called administrative costs eat up donations. I was thrilled to see the subject line “Save a Stamp!” in my inbox. I normally get loads of appeal letters from all sorts of non-profits looking for money but I rarely get an appeal email in lieu of a printed, stamped, enveloped letter. This year, the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest gets my donation because they actually have the best interest of the environment in mind and more of my donation will go to the chimps and not to administration and marketing expenses. Moreover, I enjoyed the short and sweet nature of the email. The message got right to the point and they let the adorable chimp photo do the rest.  I hope more non-profits follow suit.


Dear Jaime,We’re getting ready to send out a mailing thanking donors like you for your support in the past, and asking for a donation before 2012 is over. Because we respect both your time and the Earth’s resources, I thought we’d send you a quick email to see if you’d consider donating onlinetoday. That way we’ll save some stamps (and trees) and more of your donation will go straight to where it counts – the chimpanzees and their dinner orders!burrito with armful of food
What do you say – can we count on you and cross you off our snail-mail list? I’d be so grateful for your continued support.All my best,

Sarah Baeckler

P.S. You can get some holiday shopping done by making a donation too. Sponsor a Day in the lives of the chimps as a one-of-a-kind holiday gift! Or make one of the chimpanzees a Pal of one of your loved ones.

Sarah Baeckler
Executive Director

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P.S. I want to tell my old friends J.B. and Diana that they are doing a fantastic job at the Sanctuary. Keep up the good work and I’m proud to know you. Give Miss Jamie the chimp a pat on the head for me!

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