How to delight your donors

Do you delight your donors? Is that even possible?

It might be. And the organizations that figure it out are going to get all the donors in the coming years.

A good place to start is to watch businesses that are seeking to delight customers. As in this post on the Forbes.com Entrepreneurs blog: 6 Steps To Refocus Your Business On Customer Delight.

Here they are. I’ve changed customer to donor and added some comments:

  1. Start with an overriding top-down focus on donor experience. (Most nonprofit organization are entirely focused on their mission; donors are an afterthought. In some organizations, donors are seen as the enemy. If you can make this fundamental change happen in your organization, you can expect great things!)
  2. Find the best of the best models, and aim even higher. (Spy on nonprofits that are getting this right. Then do better than they do!)
  3. Make sure the team understands the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ will follow.
  4. Tie donor experience to all compensation and recognition. (Really, I dare you!)
  5. Practice is better than training on what saying ‘yes’ looks like.
  6. Collect and publish compelling stories of donor delight.

Delighting donors is a big job. But it will pay off for those who figure it out.


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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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About the blogger

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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