I used to be Donor Services Supervisor for a large nonprofit, which meant my department was largely responsible for how donors were treated. A month into my new job (and I’m embarrassed it took me so long), I gave a small donation via our 800 number and was horrified at how badly it was handled. After fruitless attempts to improve the service, I ended up firing the outside firm that handled the 800 number and found some far better people. The lesson stuck.
I’d like to declare today “be your donor day.” Pretend you are one of your donors (you’ll have to disguise your voice) – or, better yet, recruit a friend to help you out — and do the following:
-Call your switchboard and see what happens when you ask for help or information
-Call your 800 number, if you have one, and ask some average questions and make a donation
-Send an email to your nonprofit’s donor services department (if you have one) and see if you get a cordial response
-See how many seconds it takes your friend to find out to donate on your web site – and to do it
-Donate to your own organization so you see how your thank-yous arrive (if they arrive) and how you’re treated
It could surprise you.