Strength Training for Fundraisers
3. I'd develop a culture of appropriate but high-quality donor service in our organization
I'd make sure we are always a pleasure to do business with. Tragically, nonprofits are not very good at customer service — and that is an understatement. We should perhaps reflect that customer service is like personal hygiene. Without it, your relationships won't even get started.
Not a savory thought. Yet experience tells me good, appropriate customer service is missing in most of my competitors (so providing it is just one more way we'd be 15 minutes ahead). As almost every "mystery shopping" test confirms, fundraisers are almost invariably rotten at customer service. In the past, most donors haven't expected anything better, but as customer expectations rise generally, that will change for nonprofits, for sure. To enhance the experience of being a donor to our nonprofit, our department would offer the most appropriate, most friendly, most efficient and most effective customer service to be found anywhere. All at a time that suits our donors rather than suits us. So our donors would like doing business with us. And they'd tell their friends.
I'd get all of our fundraisers used to saying thank you and welcome promptly and properly. Ours would be a nice place to be and to be in contact with.
4. I'd be very choosy
Fundraisers almost never have unlimited resources, so of necessity we have to be choosy. Nowadays, we need to be very selective in where we focus our attentions. So I'd concentrate our resources very finely. We can't build relationships with everyone, so we'd focus our energies and resources on those who really count. Remember, real donors are rare creatures. A real donor is someone who has shown a propensity to support your cause over time. People who have given just once, in my definition, are responders — not yet donors.