Opinion: FIRST's fundraising emails are not just tone deaf-- they're nonsensical and bizarre

MentorBuilt News is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous letter to the editor.  The letter is in regards to a Thanksgiving Day fundraising email signed by Mark Giordano, FIRST Vice President of Development.  We believe publishing this letter anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.

FIRST has recently changed the voice and tone used in messages soliciting donations to the New Hampshire-based nonprofit.  As an unfortunate result of this change, many current FRC mentors (volunteers who already devote significant resources to the FIRST family of programs) have received messages which are confusing, overly informal, or even personally insulting.

Man, the email FIRST sent today really rubbed me the wrong way:

1. They don't even express their thanks until the sign off. And it's with high fives.

2. Thanksgiving Day seems like it'd be a great time to just express thanks for the mentors and sponsors that make the program run in general and leave it at that without trying to guilt anyone into donations.

3. It's trying to use karma as a reason to donate?

4. The phrasing of "just a few dollars."

-- Anonymous, Houston


  1. It is also worth mentioning that the line about karma seems to be a bit of a guilt trip.

  2. Gotta pay for more champs somehow.

  3. I’ve actually emailed back basically saying that the emails are unprofessional, one was even titled “blah.” Got a reply saying that they’re trying to see how many people are actually paying attention and honestly that’s a pretty crappy reason.


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