We're No Gates Foundation, But Are We Chopped Liver?

Most of you have had it up to your eyeballs in digital requests (take our survey, join our webcast, read this whitepaper!), and so we at Pharmaceutical Manufacturing take our requests seriously. We try to make sure that what we push out to you has purpose and value for you as well. As a way of expressing our gratitude for your help in our online surveys, we have recently taken to donating money when you participate. For our recent surveys, we have pledged to donate $5 for the first 100 people who helped out, for a modest but meaningful total of $500. (Yes, we know that the Gates Foundation just donated $10 Billion to vaccine development, but we don't have that much cash on hand.) We considered various charities before deciding upon St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as one worthy of our donations. Well, the best laid plans . . . here is how our endeavor turned out, in the words of our publisher Tonia Becker, who wrote the following on our LinkedIn group page:

In December 2009 we deployed our first research study in which we notified our audience that we would make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of survey participants. In fairly short order we were contacted by the Corporate Affiliates department of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (I did not even think to call them in advance). Great I thought! One less phone call I had to make to determine where to send the checks.

We would not make huge donations ($150 - $200 at a time which is our typical incentive budget per survey—$1500 – $2,500 over the course of the year), but I believe every bit helps when you are working toward something big and important.

Although I certainly did not expect to be given V.I.P treatment, I did expect that our donations would be politely received and perhaps we would even enjoy some level of feigned gratefulness.

I was informed that St. Jude was not interested in “our opportunity” and that the minimum donation for their corporate affiliate program was $250,000.

As a highly specialized information source, I don’t even believe that Pharmaceutical Manufacturing benefits much from offering any kind of incentive for the completion of our surveys. However, I view our research incentive budget as a small opportunity for us to do a little bit of good.

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does outstanding and important work, but their “business,” their “brand,” is not interested in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s “opportunity.” I am O.K. with that. Non-profits have been hit hard by this recession just as businesses and individuals have. Plenty of organizations are seeking donations of any size.

Maybe this situation worked out for the best. CharityNavigator.org, a resource I find to be quite helpful, features some interesting information that points to the potential need for St. Jude to improve fund raising and administrative efficiencies. Click on the URL below if you are interested in reviewing CharityNavigator.org's ALSAC-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital profile.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=5234

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing brand is not ours, it is yours. Without our loyal audience and advertising supporters, there would be no Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. In this spirit, please e-mail me at tbecker@putman.net or post a blog comment naming the organizations you would like us to support. We will maintain a list of organizations we donate to on our website PharmaManufacturing.com.

Because we made a promise to the respondents of our 2010 Career and Salary Satisfaction Survey that we would donate to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a donation of $150.00 has been sent.

Please understand, our donations will not be huge. But as Mother Teresa so beautifully said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

--Paul Thomas