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8 Responses

  1. June S.
    June S. March 10, 2014 at 7:45 am | | Reply

    This situation IS unfortunate. I do want to add my two cents by saying I am a member of IP, and that I applaud Michael Robinton for having started it. I have found tons of useful information about insulin pumps via e-mails from other members, and I regularly contribute information that other IP members are seeking. If you wear an insulin pump and haven’t joined IP, do so. And while you’re at it, write a check (in whatever amount) so Michael can keep this great organization going!

  2. Non-Profits Getting Swindled | The Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance Blog

    [...] DiabetesMine ran a report today about how Insulin Pumpers, a non-profit that has been around since 1997, lost quite a bit of money when they signed up for a donor database service that didn’t really provide them any value. When they tried to cancel their membership and get their money back, they wound up having serious problems. [...]

  3. Kita
    Kita March 11, 2014 at 8:00 am | | Reply

    Funder databases like those Insulin Pumpers subscribed to are valuable tools for nonprofits, but the organizations have to know what they’re doing with them. Unfortunately it sounds like IP wasn’t equipped to write successful grant proposals, though I’m not sure 7 months is long enough to see the results. So, I wouldn’t place the blame on the products here. It just wasn’t a good fit. These services and the others like them provide information; they don’t really “help charitable organizations raise money.” Nonprofit organizations should also be aware that it’s much more challenging to find successful grants if they’re not registered charities.

    That said, I appreciate the DOC and everyone in it a great deal and hope IP doesn’t have too much difficulty making up for this lost revenue.

  4. Aaron Deitcher
    Aaron Deitcher March 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm | | Reply

    Metasoft offers a very generous money back guarantee that allows non-profits who have never pursued foundation fundraising before to do so with no risk. There are seven conditions that apply for the guarantee to be valid and all are spelled out very clearly in “non-legalese” plain English in regular sized print on a one page form. The conditions are very strictly enforced, and the several dozen of non-profits who have met the conditions have had their money refunded. Michael Robinson signed the Money Back Guarantee form.

    One of the key conditions of the guarantee is that the non-profit schedules a “Grant Development Services Initial Consultation” within 6 weeks of their membership activation. The purpose of the Initial Consultation is to help ensure the success of the member by going over foundation fundraising strategies and providing the how-to’s of foundation fundraising including developing a Case for Support, performing effective prospect research, crafting a compelling letter of inquiry, writing winning grant proposals, and following up.

    The guarantee form signed by Mr. Robinson mentions the Initial Consultation requirement in TWO separate places:

    “Your FoundationSearch and/or BIG Online membership includes a complimentary Initial Consultation with our Grant Development services designed to support your fundraising strategy. The Initial Consultation must be scheduled by contacting Grant Development Services (gds@foundationsearch.com) within six weeks of membership activation and must subsequently take place.”

    “GUARANTEE CONDITIONS
    1. Client must arrange Grant Development Services Initial Consultation within 6 weeks of activation.”

    Condition 3 on the form signed by Mr. Robinson states:
    “3. An endorsed guarantee form must accompany a refund application”.

    On the form, right under Mr. Robinson’s signature is another signature block for “Metasoft Grant development Officer” with a “Date endorsed”.

    Mr. Robinson did not schedule the Initial Consultation, nor did he contact gds@foundationsearch.com to arrange the consultation and he submitted the money back guarantee form with his request for refund without it being signed and endorsed by the Metasoft Grant Development Officer.

    We disagree very strongly with author’s contention that ‘“initial consultation” and “orientation webinar” may not seem different’. In addition to the money back guarantee form which spells it out 3 times, every new FoundationSearch member receives an email when the account is activated. Mr. Robinson was sent one on August 14th, 2013 and he even responded back to it on the very same day presumably after having read it. The email has in it two completely separate paragraphs: one for orientation and a separate one for the Money back guarantee requirements. The distinction between the two is very clear. Again there is no fine print here nor is there any “legalese”.

    “Orientation Training

    Customer Support provides Orientation to FoundationSearch America webinars that serve as interactive database training sessions on best practices or the most efficient methods of using FoundationSearch. Our next training webinars will be on September 5th and September 19th at 9am Pacific Time.

    It will include information on:

    Geographical data regarding foundations and grant recipients
    Conducting Prospect searches using the Global Search
    Information on Metasoft’s “Four Point Assessment” method
    Use of My Foundation Manager
    Accessing the New Foundation Visualizer
    Questions and answers

    Please let me know which session you would like to attend and I will book you a spot!

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you.”

    “GRANT DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

    As part of your purchase of a membership of FoundationSearch/BIG Online with a Money Back Guarantee, your organization must schedule an Initial Consultation with our Senior GDS Consultant within six weeks of your activation date.

    If you would like to discuss the Initial Consultant and/or schedule an appointment, contact GDS at 1-888-638-2763 or email GDS@foundationsearch.com

    In conclusion, we agree with your conclusion – “Always know what you are signing”. And although we agree with your other statements “Always get everything in writing” and “Be sure to read the fine print”, in this case, everything is in writing and there isn’t any fine print.

    After refusing Mr. Robinson’s request for a refund for failing to meet the above requirements, Metasoft’s customer support offered to help Insulin Pumpers with a review of their Letter of Inquiry to find out why it did not attract any funding for their very fundable cause, make suggestions for improving the LOI, and help identify prospective funders who have funded similar projects in the past. Mr. Robinson refused the help.

  5. Aaron Deitcher
    Aaron Deitcher April 11, 2014 at 9:26 am | | Reply

    P.S. Mr. Robinton subsequently filed a complaint against Metasoft with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has ruled in favor of Metasoft saying:

    “BBB found business made good faith effort to resolve complaint but customer not satisfied with business response – See more at: http://www.bbb.org/mbc/business-reviews/computer-online-information-service/metasoft-systems-in-vancouver-bc-129328/complaints#breakdown

    Note that Metasoft retains its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

  6. Allen
    Allen August 15, 2014 at 6:27 am | | Reply

    Metasoft Systems Inc. is a fraudulent predatory organization. They have reached out to two nonprofits I’ve worked for offering big rewards from their software, with a money back guarantee. All you have to do is commit thousands of dollars.

    Anyone in the nonprofit world knows many nonprofits are run by volunteers with much more on their plate than just the organization. Asking them to adhere to a specific and remote curriculum is disingenuous and never enters into the marketing pitch that Metasoft Systems Inc. puts out with so much vigor.

    A food bank in a small town here in North Carolina just got defaulted into spending $8,000 on a huge subsrctiption for this foundationsearch software. They were told they didn’t apply to enough foundations within the 6 months required. The kicker – Foundation Center, which is a much more stable and comprehensive program, is available free at most public libraries in the United States.

    This is not an “unfortunate situation”. It is soul-less individuals scamming A LOT of money from mom and pop nonprofits.

  7. Darren Dylan
    Darren Dylan September 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm | | Reply

    This program works if you put the effort in. Not sure how much more of a guarantee a company can offer – if you don’t send out enough feelers you’re not going to hook any fish.

    Just my two cents….

    DD

  8. cisse
    cisse December 19, 2014 at 2:15 am | | Reply

    ONG FCIAD (Fan Club International Des Amis De Patience Dabany Pour La Paix, Le Développement & L’épanouissement De La Jeunesse Africaine) nous vous demandons de soutiens à notre projet.

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