Is No an Answer?
Recently, an executive director responded to an email I had sent him letting him know about my services and products for non-profits. Having been an executive director for some time, I started a business to assist non-profits with their issues which includes services for executive directors.
The answer: No. Nothing more, just No.
Is that an answer I would expect from a senior representative of a non-profit? I don't think anyone would. Just simple manners would dictate that someone in such a position understands that every single communication to anyone and everyone needs to reflect the attitude of the organization - mainly, a welcoming and polite approach.
Is There Something Worse?
Yes, not replying at all which most of the executive directors did. They seem to forget their role, their position and how much they need support from the community in general. When they are contacted by anyone, the reply needs to be written especially when the communication is directed to them by name.
Why Is It Important to be Conscious of Responses?
Non-profits need all the help they can get no matter how successful they are.
No means that the executive director does need help and a lot of it. I have never met an executive director who couldn't use help in some way.
Executive directors are under a lot of pressure because they must deal with many things in one day unlike many executives in other entities. Executive directors often can't delegate tasks to others since their staff is small and each staff member is working at full capacity.
Courtesy Doesn't Cost Much
Executive directors represent the organization. Each and every communication needs to be courteous and professional. "No" is neither nor is no reply at all. An executive director never knows who knows who. It could very well have been a board member or volunteer who recommended that the executive director be contacted.
Being polite takes a little bit more time, thought and care - a minute or two - but the dividends are far greater than being dismissive. The higher the position, the more important it is to pay attention to responses to everyone who makes contact whether the contact is known or not.
How are you doing in your communications?
On Contract Only