Create good experiences for your donors

According to the Customer Experience Matters blog, customer experience matters.

Okay, that makes it sound about as un-newsworthy as possible. But really, this is interesting stuff at New Report: The Customer Experience-Loyalty Connection.

The report looked at a number of customer experience factors in 12 industries, from airlines to wireless carriers, and found that better customer experience correlated with increased revenue:

Customer experience leaders enjoy a double-digit advantage in customers willing to buy more from them, reluctant to switch business away from them, and likely to recommend them. A modest improvement in customer experience can drive between $179 million (for health plans) and $308 million (for hotel chains) of incremental revenue over three years for every $1 billion in annual sales.

It begs the question: Does donor experience matter in a similar way? After all, the difference between a good and bad charitable giving experience probably isn’t as dramatic as the difference between a good and bad experience at a hotel. We fundraisers just don’t have nearly the capacity for tormenting our donors that airlines do.

But I’m guessing experience matters, and that if they applied the same study to nonprofits we’d see similar results — that treating people right means they give more and stay with you longer.

I think giving donors a good experience includes these things:


  • Get the data right. Don’t spell names wrong. Don’t have duplicate records. Don’t mess up giving records.
  • Be thankful. Receipt promptly. Thank specifically for what they gave. Thank more than you have to.
  • Report back. Let donors know about the difference they make. Send a newsletter that’s about them, not you.
  • Offer choices. Let them control how often and how you communicate. Let them direct their giving to the things that interest them. Find cool ways to put them in the driver’s seat.


Comments

2 responses to “Create good experiences for your donors”

  1. Can certainly validate the “experience” value for our William Booth Society major donors. One calls each year well before the “save the date” cards go out for the annual WBS dinner to make sure it’s on his calendar. They very much enjoy the evening in each other’s company at a fine restaurant (hosted by a Board member, not with donations) and the private briefing on what’s happening in their local Salvation Army.

  2. Can certainly validate the “experience” value for our William Booth Society major donors. One calls each year well before the “save the date” cards go out for the annual WBS dinner to make sure it’s on his calendar. They very much enjoy the evening in each other’s company at a fine restaurant (hosted by a Board member, not with donations) and the private briefing on what’s happening in their local Salvation Army.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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