In his posts on ‘donor centricity’ (start here and use the links!), Roger strives to separate the wheat from the chaff. As he has put it, just using the word ‘you’ in every other sentence doesn’t make your fundraising program donor centric.

The true magic ingredient of donor centricity is listening. Listening to each donor — in fact reaching out for and simplifying donor feedback — and then acting on the information donors provide. Indeed, if you don’t intend to act, why bother listening … why pretend?

Acting on what your donors tell you might lead to changing things that probably could be working to the greater satisfaction of all donors (such as streamlining your online donation page) … a better systematic or ‘wholesale’ solution or practice.

Or, at the ‘retail’ level, changing the way you interact with respect to an individual donor, based upon their expressed preference (such as communicating only online).

Response to listening — carried right through to the individual donor — is the true test of donor centricity.

Here, from the commercial space, is an example written up in Marketing Profs — with a bit more marketing jargon, of course — of how to move an organization in the direction of customer-centric.

Step #1, which would apply to any nonprofit as well, is focusing on understanding the customer experience from the customer’s point of view. Why? Because it’s only the customer’s or donor’s perception of whether things are working satisfactorily that matters, not yours.

I liked this ‘experience map’ used to illustrate the point for a catering business (click to enlarge). In this case, by listening across the entire ‘customer journey’, it became clear that, while the customers raved about the food, there were also a number of dissatisfying aspects to the service that could actually jeopardise its viability.


In short, offering great food isn’t enough to hold the customer.

Is your nonprofit just offering ‘great food’? That’s not good enough these days.



This article was posted in: Donor Centricity, Donor retention / loyalty / commitment.
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