A Much Better Way to Make Money Than Fundraising
This is how my daughter plays hide and seek ...
... she thinks if she can't see me then I'm not there. That strategy sound familiar? Isn't it exactly the same approach our sector takes to getting feedback from prospects or supporters?
If everyone from Multinational Corporations right through to my local curry house are doing everything they can to find out what people interacting with them think, why don't we? It's long been common knowledge that more than 50 percent of the decision to purchase again is tied to the interaction in the moment. And as was reported recently the ROI of servicing an interaction is 70 percent (not a typo! And that's only accounting for increase in lifetime value. If you actually act on the feedback and improve the overall experience there's no telling how high that number can go).
So it begs the questions: Why are we doing nothing to seek and act on information about these interactions? The answer is purely down to mind-set. No matter how sophisticated our programs or how shiny and new the channel, we fundamentally have not evolved from rattling a tin. The only thing we're set up to notice, process and care about is the money being dropped in the "tin."
The fundamental flaw with the transactional mind-set is that the data, no matter how much you torture it, can never (never, never, never ...) tell you why something did or didn't happen, only that it did. It can't ever tell you why X amount of people click on your "donate" button but only Y donate. It can't tell you why over half of peer-to-peer event registrants never make a gift or raise a penny. Nor can it tell you what's working so you can scale.
The only way you'll get these answers is to ask, in the moment. Charities that have gotten into this way of working are seeing extraordinary results. In a test involving only a single instance of collecting donor feedback, here's the performance six months later:
- Contributions/purchase of additional offers increased three times over the control
- 50 percent reduction in attrition
- 35 percent increase in net income
In other words, this is the silver bullet (and a much better way to make money than fundraising)! All we need do to start seeing these numbers in our own organizations is to make ourselves available. Recently the Agitator offered free, forever, online feedback tools.
The opinions, thoughts and feelings of our prospects, supporters and donors exist whether we seek them or not; 100 percent of the risk lies in ignoring them.
Charlie is managing director of DonorVoice, the experience and relationship company. He helps charities drastically boost performance, value and retention, using a unique set of tools for delivering donor led campaigns. Voted a top speaker at the Institute of Fundraising's National Convention, he writes frequently for SOFII, 101fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising and many others.