This makes me smile. The Smile Train, an organization that does corrective surgery on children with cleft palate in the developing world, has stepped out and offered donors a money-back guarantee. I first saw it in this newspaper print ad:
"Send us a donation of any amount, and we'll use 100% of it to help children born with clefts in developing countries. The free cleft surgery we provide for poor children who can't afford it, costs as little as $250 per surgery, and takes as little as 45 minutes. We'll show you how we used your donation to give a desperate child not just a new smile -- but a new life. If you're not smiling too, we'll send you your money back."
(Emphasis added because it's so wonderful.)
As far as I know, this is indeed the first use of an up-front guarantee in fundraising. And for that, the Donor Power Blog is happy to award The Smile Train with the first ever Donor Power Award (soon to be called a Deepy) for donor-respecting innovation in service to a nonprofit.
Now that someone's done it, you can do it too. Maybe you want to wait a few months a see if The Smile Train flies off the rails as a result of this risky maneuver. But they won't. They'll prosper, and more kids while get the surgery they need. Now it's your turn.
(More about the nonprofit guarantee at Nonprofit guarantee: I dare ya!)