Di Flatt's Blog

It’s your neck on the line…..

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.




My horoscope today in Metro reads:  ‘Details matter today, especially if you’re in charge of planning a big event.  Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.  Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.  It’s your neck on the line.’


This made me smile, as it fits so well with what I promised yesterday that I would tell you about today! The major faux pas made at one of my previous charities.  Oh my goodness what an unfortunate happening it was too.


I had just written our latest appeal and supporter newsletter.  Included within the newsletter was a piece about our previous president, a well known Bishop, who had just died.  The piece paid tribute to his work, his previous work with and support of the charity, and details of his love of sport and so on.


As always there was the letter, the newsletter and a BRE to go into the outer envelope.  Everything was carefully proofed and went through our quality assurance system before going to the mailing house – which shall remain nameless!


It was in fact about six years previous that this Bishop had stepped down from being our president.  And two years previous I had taken the charity through a full rebrand, including our name.  There is a reason for me telling you these two things….


When we went through the rebrand we gave instructions to all our offices, mailing houses, storage places and so on – directing them to destroy all print materials with the old details on them, and we supplied everyone with all the nice new rebranded print.


So – and this is why it made me smile reading the horoscope this morning – one went ahead assuming that all of these people and organisations had followed my direction and destroyed everything.   And yes people you no doubt have done this too.


So what happened I hear you ask?


Well in a nutshell – the letters were printed perfectly, the newsletter was printed perfectly and (in my opinion, but then I am biased) was a really good issue, the giving mechanism was all nicely coded and pretty.


BUT, oh I blushing at the memory of it, the business reply envelopes were just held at the mailing house.  They didn’t need proofing as they were the same ones that were sent every time…




Well as I said above, we had requested that all previous print was destroyed – BUT we then assumed they had done this.  WE HAD NOT GONE TO THE MAILING HOUSE AND MADE SURE THERE WAS NO OLD PRINT KEPT, EVEN BY MISTAKE.


The mailing house – just prior to my mailing – had decided to have a big tidy up and had moved things around the warehouse.


Somehow – oh dear – they had managed to find old boxes of BREs used in an appeal seven years previous that were actually addressed to our president the aforementioned Bishop.


Oh my goodness, when my copies arrived in the post – to show the appeal had landed – I just sat there looking at them in silence for what must have been minutes.  Then after a huge sigh and a series of rapid and ranting phone calls to the mailing house I rallied my poor team, who were equally mortified and upset.


We spent the entire day and evening printing apology letters and getting them straight out in first class post.  I signed over two thousand letters that day by hand – it was important to me to sign every one.


We had some complaints but the prompt apology was accepted graciously by everyone.


So my fellow fundraisers – and yes a couple of you reading this will recall the day and stuffed those envelopes alongside me – as my horoscope this morning stated:


Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.

Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.

It’s your neck on the line!



Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.


Di x



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