- Wed, November 22 2006
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
Here is a fact that should both horrify and inspire us.
According to a slew of research studies in the latest Chronicle of Philanthropy, (sorry, this link only works if you subscribe), most donors stop giving to charity because of dissatisfaction with how they were treated by the charity rather than personal constraints like financial problems.
The poor service? Too much mail, no thank-you acknowledgements, and little information on how their money was spent.
Wow. Are we as awful as the corporate sector on this front? (See this old post on the topic.)
This would be depressing except it’s so darn easy to fix. The more we improve in our customer service, the more we will stand out, because great customer service is an incredibly rare thing in this world. (Further proof courtesy of Seth here.) You’ll be feeling this fact acutely after dealing with airlines and store clerks in the coming days. But before you get too mad at them, ask yourself, how polite is your nonprofit? Forget web 2.0, fancy messages and everything else until you are:
1.) Asking your donors how and how often they want to hear from you, then honoring their preferences.
2.) Thanking your donors nicely.
3.) Telling your donors the difference they made.
We absolutely must do better.