Put Yourself in your Donors Shoes

If you’re on Twitter you may have seen this tweet from @101fundraising

“Do you know what it feels like to be a donor of your organisation? Add your name to your own database. #AdrianSargeant


put-yourself-in-your-donors-shoesSeeing something like this mentioned can make us think, really think, about how we’re perceived by our donors. Are we making the effort to find out how they feel; are we getting and giving the right message?

The best way to see if you’re meeting your goals with your donors, is to put yourself in their shoes – add your name to your own database.

Not everyone who works for a charity/non-profit supports it financially, why? If they’re passionate about something why aren’t they also putting something (more) back in? Sure, not everyone can, but generally in the main people can afford to give something.

If you’re organisation is loosing ground with your supporters, why? Unless you’re on your own database you have no idea what message the are (or aren’t) getting. The only way for you to find out if they are getting the right information/message is to ask them; this can be labour and cost intensive.

Another reason for including yourself in your organisations database is to check the delivery times of information, how long does the letter take to get to you, how does the email look when you get it in your inbox – does it all meet your expectations?

What you do as a non profit is the vitally important, but you can’t do anything without your supporters. So it is important that you take the time to walk in their shoes.

When was the last time you asked your supporters what more you could do for them as supporters, did you even know you needed to ask? Unless you’ve walked a mile as one of your supporters the chances are you haven’t.

In not understanding what your supporters are feeling about your organisation you have no way of knowing what you can do to improve your ‘donor appeal’ – or what you can do to improve things so as to gain new donors.

In business it can cost about 8 times the amount to gain a new customer as it does to retain an existing one; for a non-profit this figure is likely to be similar, can you afford not to be nurturing and understanding your donors?

Take the time, open your donor database, add your name to it; encourage your staff to become supporters, only then can you all see and understand what your donors are seeing.

You owe it to your organisation, those you’re helping to Put Yourself in your Donors Shoes.