One of the most important lessons we can use to improve our work: be one. Become a mystery shopper and do some field research. We’ll be sharing how you can do field research throughout your organization in upcoming posts, but today let’s focus on fund development.
If you are a fundraiser, give.
One of the most effective ways a fundraiser can expand understanding of how a donor feels is to be one – be a donor. Besides a gift to your own organization, make donations to charities you respect and see how they treat their donors. You might be surprised and learn a thing or two – on what you can add to your process, or how you can be sure to improve on their ways.
Things you can learn from your gifts:
- Online giving experience – take notes on the number of clicks it takes you to get from the starting point to the gift completion. Notice where the giving button “Give Now” appears and if it is obvious. If you give from a social media channel, take note of that experience. (Check out Does Your Online Giving Pass the Test?)
- Thoughtful stewardship – no matter if your gift is online or a check through the mail, be sure to notice how the organization makes you feel about the gift. Hopefully, you feel appreciated but how did they accomplish that? And if you didn’t feel appreciated, think through why not? Maybe the form letter is outdated, or feels just like another form letter.
- Donor communications – following your gift, see if the organization stays in touch with you. What communication channels do they use? How are there messages? Do they use photos effectively? Also take note of the frequency of the communications. Just as with stewardship, ask yourself how the communications made you feel.
- Subsequent solicitations – after that first gift, be mindful of how quickly and how often they ask you to give again. Notice if the subsequent solicitations acknowledge that you’ve made a previous gift.
Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers and board members to share examples from the charities they support. This will allow you to create a library of samples – good and bad.
Because fundraising is about building relationships, you can learn things long after your gift is made and apply them to make improvements in your charity’s development efforts. Remember to be one – if you are a fundraising, give.
Keep an eye out for our next Be One post on volunteering, or you can subscribe below to get our posts straight to your inbox.