20-40-60 Etiquette: Pay up!

A neighbor offered a fundraising pledge but didn't pay it. What do I do? 20-40-60 Etiquette answers, with Yvette Walker as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Yvette Walker and Callie Gordon Modified: October 12, 2013 at 12:27 am •  Published: October 14, 2013
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QUESTION: I was on a fundraising committee for a local nonprofit organization. My neighbor knew I was fundraising and told me she really liked the cause. She voluntarily pledged $1,000 to the group. I turned my results in to the committee and bills were sent out. When it came time to pay, she did not respond to any letters or phone calls from the treasurer, president or me. Should I ask her again? Should I ignore it when I see her or keep mentioning it?

Has that ever happened before?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: I am sure this happens a lot. Quit calling and sending bills, I'm sorry to break it to you but she isn't paying you. Maybe she realized she couldn't pledge as much or something. Fundraising is hard for this very circumstance. Be sure to count for issues like this to come up next time.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: That's a tough one. You were counting on her pledge, and so was the nonprofit that you support and thought she did, too. I think you have to let this go. I am not sure your agreement is legally binding, but even if it is, it sounds like you would have to seek relief in the court system to attain it, a move that would likely signal the end of any neighborly friendliness. Her circumstances may have changed, or maybe she intended to follow through but couldn't or wouldn't. Next time, get it in writing if you can, or let the charity handle as much interaction as possible with your donor friends so it doesn't seem so personal.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Yvette Walker
Night News and Presentation Director
Yvette Walker is Director of Presentation and Custom Publishing at The Oklahoman. She supervises the look and feel of the paper, as well as coordinates content in several special sections and niche publications. Previously, she managed online...
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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