Donor care to donor despair

Howard Lake | 7 September 2007 | Blogs

Following my holiday, this week I have been absorbed by the latest report from nfpSynergy, The 21st Century Donor, which is available for free download from their website.
It is a fascinating and thought provoking read and while much confirms the assumptions and conclusions that many fundraisers already hold, there is also much there to challenge many of our accepted norms both large and small. For example, competition amongst charities being largely irrelevant to donors, why the idea of merging similar causes is peculiar, the internet as a reactive not proactive tool for fundraisers, and the be all and end all of donor choice is not about opting in and out of mailings.
Amongst the many gems of opinion and assertion it contains, I particularly loved the analogy of how much of our supporter care within the sector is the equivalent to that which you might have received in a 1950s seaside B&B.
This was particularly relevant to me as we are currently in the middle of a Supporter Care Mystery Shopping exercise, but one, which we believe, offers a new approach to this often very basic measurement of service.
Sadly, the initial results have been predictably disappointing – the worst being one organisation that would not take a telephone donation from us because the person who handled them was in a meeting. Rather disapprovingly, we were told to call back tomorrow and then they hung up.
No name, no amount, no engagement, no thanks, no effort. Sadly, it seems that 50s seaside B&B is alive and flourishing.