So I just got back from a week-long trip, during which I had occassion to buy a new computer mouse, a USB drive, and a package of portable razors.  Three disparate items in three different stores — in each case things a traveler is not unlikely to buy.

All three parcels came sealed in a people-proof vault of tough plastic that required a 9/11-hijacker style box cutter to open.  The Radio Shack guy actually broke his scissors trying to liberate the USB drive.  In each case, the company made a choice — perhaps not consciously — that they would rather bug the crap out of 100% of their customers rather than risk the theft of a single item.

As Internet fundraisers, we make a similar choice when we hide away the information a would-be donor wants in order to make his or her giving decisions.  Following are some of the things that might be the moral equivalent of people-proof plastic casing:

  • No phone number on your home page
  • No mailing address on your home page
  • Financials are hidden away inside a pdf document
  • Member ID required for renewals and additional gifts

Those four jump out at me as important examples.  Can you think of some more?