4 steps to dealing with donor complaints

You are going to make mistakes.

Something that’s going to upset one or more of your donors. Possibly a large number of them.

It’s almost inevitable.

Being careful and vigilant helps a lot, but there is no fail-safe way to avoid mistakes.

Here’s what to do when it happens, from the Bloomerang Blog, at How To Handle A Disgruntled Donor:

  1. Apologize. As quickly as possible once you find out about it.
  2. Take responsibility. Don’t make excuses. Tell then how it happened, and what you’re doing to make sure it won’t happen again.
  3. Be vulnerable. It helps them see you as human and often defuses anger.
  4. Show your gratitude. Remind them that they are important to you.

Sometimes donors get upset about something you’ve done that isn’t a mistake. They just disliked something you did or the way you did it.

Your job in those cases:

  • Listen. This is the main thing they need. It’s very common that a complainer who is listened to becomes a better donor than ever. Because they made a connection.
  • Tell them the truth about why you did it the way you did. Be human about it: “I know it’s surprising, but when we do it this way, more people donate. And that means we can help more abandoned pets!” Very few donors will argue with that.
  • Don’t promise to change your strategy — unless you know your strategy was a failure. Don’t give a few complainers the power to undermine your fundraising!

Mistakes are mortifying. So are complaints. But if you follow these approaches, you can turn these things toward good.


Comments

4 responses to “4 steps to dealing with donor complaints”

  1. My responsibility is my long time in the financial research which enabled me to reach your website out
    Obviuosly everything will be demostrated when I will receive my fundraising
    As for me all positive disposal has been taken to put my donors at ease according to their funds.
    Definitely I have no comment to develop more nevertheless wait for everything can develop for you to know my capacity on any plan.
    Thanks to be near me through your thought full of meaningful.

  2. My responsibility is my long time in the financial research which enabled me to reach your website out
    Obviuosly everything will be demostrated when I will receive my fundraising
    As for me all positive disposal has been taken to put my donors at ease according to their funds.
    Definitely I have no comment to develop more nevertheless wait for everything can develop for you to know my capacity on any plan.
    Thanks to be near me through your thought full of meaningful.

  3. When I glanced your written you develioped a Lot of intereting things and so comes to get me more experience through what I learnt in my researches
    In effect I would take all disposal to master them and so making like my”horse of struggle
    Thanks for this precious advice.

  4. When I glanced your written you develioped a Lot of intereting things and so comes to get me more experience through what I learnt in my researches
    In effect I would take all disposal to master them and so making like my”horse of struggle
    Thanks for this precious advice.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.