This week’s post that made me stop and think

surprisingI read a lot of blog posts each week.  And, the more I read, the more difficult it seems to be for me to be truly impressed and intrigued with a post.

This week, however, I read “The Surprisingly Simple Way to Keep Donors” by Allison Gauss.  First of all, I found it interesting that Allison wrote this post back in August 2014, and it’s still being re-tweeted!

And, the post really did talk about a surprisingly simple way to keep donors…….are you ready?  It’s  PROACTIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE!  Actively listening to your donors and doing everything you can to improve their experience with your organization.  Often BEFORE they ask for it or call in with a complaint.

It all starts by making a conscious effort to notice your donor’s reactions.  You’d think that would come naturally, right?  But it doesn’t for most people.  And, in my experience it’s no different in the field of development and fundraising.

It means going above and beyond the call of duty for your donors. And, this applies to everyone in the organization, because everyone plays a part in the donor’s experience, even if you don’t talk directly to the donor.

This well-written blog post discusses the concept of listening proactively.  This is drastically different from listening reactively.  It means taking the burden of initiating the interaction off the donor, because many will simply never mention their concerns or problems.  They will just disengage, and move on to the next non-profit, and take their donations with them.  So, instead, it’s important to use proactive listening that is initiated by the organization.  One example is sending out quick surveys to determine the level of satisfaction of your donors.

As pointed out in this post:  Don’t be afraid to ask for criticism!

Another example is to personally call donors whose donations have fallen off.  Find out what the reason is and use the information to improve your process.

Or, use your social media sites to actually ASK for feedback from your donors.  And then respond!  Too many organization put content out on their social media sites, but forget to monitor the sites for the conversations that are taking place.  You can get valuable information from these discussions whether it’s good or bad.

Retaining donors is the goal!  So make the effort to improve your social and emotional IQ.  It will help you to provide the exceptional – PROACTIVE – customer service that your donors deserve.

Do you send out surveys to determine your donors satisfaction level?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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About dknotek2015

I am a Development Director for the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having worked in the Development and Alumni Relations Department for the past eight years, I have a unique background in development, philanthropy, and relationship building. I am a University of Nevada, Reno alum as well as a current MBA candidate. You could say I am silver and blue through and through! I am passionate about helping others. I understand how important education is to our local community, the nation, and the world. I remember struggling as a student to finish my own education, and how grateful I was when I received support through the generosity of others. As a professional, I excel at securing private donations which support the students, faculty, programs, and research of the College of Science. I am uniquely qualified to bring potential donors together with areas about which they are passionate and feel compelled to support.
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