Tuesday, January 21, 2014

There's a new "C" word in the diabetic alert dog industry...


  • Get one.
  • Ask for one.
  • Don't give ANY money without one.
  • Don't trust "it's getting revised"...I've heard that TWICE. From legit organizations doing good work.
  • Hearing about one that exists isn't enough.
  • Reading it, but not signing it, (both parties involved) doesn't count.
  • WRITE ONE UP or REVISE one proposed if you MUST!
Ask for your money BACK if you already made even one of the mistakes above... It's simple.
  • Call your org head/owner to set up a meeting in person if possible. Face to face says a lot. Listen well if you get the chance...and if you don't get the chance: (or even if you do and are still on the same path...)
  • Email/write your formal withdraw request. Give an anticipated timeline for being refunded.
  • Do everything in writing for legal reasons
  • Lawyer up if needed. No one can hold your money hostage, especially without a contract. (You raised thousands, and it'll only take hundreds to handle this for you legitimately and legally).
  • VERBAL intent, trust built from phone calls and emails, patience, and "the waiting game" are NOT EASY, and NOT good enough for MOST consumers; so ORGANIZATIONS TAKE NOTE:
  1. Do not take a dime without written consent of intention of money and timeline of purpose.
  2. KEEP YOUR CLIENTS INFORMED! Newsletters, email updates, pictures and testimonials go a long way for someone who has given you thousands of dollars collected by their close family and friends.
  3. Remember that they are accountable to donors. It's not just THEM bothering you for information, a timeline, bench marks to understand this process, or photos. It's THEIR community of support that is asking THEM. And they only have you to turn to!
  4. Clients that have the boundaries and understanding of written word will be happier to do business with you during the waiting game. And if they sign it, they are bound to it. SO what harm is there requiring one SIGNED for yourselves? 

When a consumer thinks: "What if I agreed, and am changing my mind about an organization?"
  • How did you agree? Is it just "an understanding" because your FB best friend knows this place and had a great experience?
  • Have you been visiting and getting involved with the organization for so long that empty promises of "a contract that being revised is coming or unnecessary...?"
  • Did you ACTUALLY SIGN something and now you are unsure? (again, lawyer up; firms familiar with non-profit business law are out there)
  1. Losing your money?
  2. Losing your reputation?
  3. The FB community being against you?
  4. Upsetting friends and the support you've grown to know along this journey?
  5. What may happen if you speak out?
VALID CONCERNS...for any consumer AND organization owner.

So BEGIN clearly and honestly. Signatures equal money, which produce dog, which produces DAD.
Money without signatures equals ignorant but honest BAD MOVE (may as well send me thousands!), no promise, and no DAD. Follow that logic. 
  • Your definition of a SCAM may be different than someone else's. 
  1. You may not get a mature/"finished" dog as expected (ps- community, let's rename that "finished dog" nonsense to "prepared", can I get an AMEN?) = "I got scammed."
  2. Your organization does not follow up training after giving you your dog... = "I got scammed."
  3. You did not receive a contract ever, never, no where. = "I got scammed."
  4. Through research you discover nothing really makes any dog trainer more "certified" than the next, and your DADs don't even require registration/certification, NOT EVEN THEIR VESTS! = "I got scammed."
  5. You thought getting a DAD was a certain thing, come to experience it's another... = "I got scammed."
Let me reassure you, there are high functioning, quality organizations that have done ALL OF THE ABOVE, and continue producing DADs and happy clients. They are tooting their horn and have their happy clients singing their praises again and again all over social media.

  • know what kind of DAD you are getting and time frame it's going to take
  • expect to need follow up care and resources for that
  • READ READ READ up on this subject of "diabetic alert dogs" (yes, of course I'm suggesting you peruse my blog! DUH!)
put it all ON PAPER....CONTRACT.
if you don't, You have PERMISSION TO GET SCAMMED. (resource)

WHEN YOU FUNDRAISE, keep a personal account of every PENNY donated. If I can keep track of $15,100, you can too. We had a break down of EVERY DOLLAR (which was sent by email to the org head and book-keeper once our goal was reached). This is your safe-guard, in the event money needs to go back to DONORS instead of forwarded to the next non-profit/organization...Donors will handle their write-off and tax issues. That's not your job. Your job is to decide if the money goes back to donors or to another organization/trainer and communicate that. Period.

Make sure you explicitly trust and understand the trainer/organization you are with. Look for the "4 C's":
  1. Credibility 
  2. Competency
  3. Chemistry
  4. Character (takes the longest to get to know, but is most important!)
  5. INTEGRITY (yea, I know I threw that in there!)
Don't get seduced. 
Impressive results do NOT equal character!
Character + skills carry WEIGHT.
Honesty is strength. 

Advised reading for the newcomer: Top 20 things (most) organizations don't tell you!
"Do your research..." (ps- most annoying well intended piece of advice EVER)

Consider joining a FB group of organization heads that play nice, and folks just like you that won't lead you in the same direction of circle referrals time after time. We allow you to advertise 1x every 10 days as an org, and advise as long as you are pleasant.
Diabetic Alert Dog Advice

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