The psychology behind every donor is different. There are different drivers we all have in place that either push us toward something or drive us away. However, in America it seems we are addicted to and expect service with a smile regardless of how the other person feels or thinks about us.
Interestingly I think nonprofits could learn a great deal from its for profit counterparts on how to treat donors and responding to donor needs.
When you say the word Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons most people think of a fine and elegant hotel. They also know that it is expensive and that the rooms and service is and should be over the top. Basically everyone is treated like a “major donor” and the red carpet is rolled out and the attitude is all about how you can be helped.
What would happen if “donors” were treated in such a way that they had this same feeling of excellence?
Shifting gears, let’s now go in a different direction and talk about another for profit giant namely Wal-Mart. These stores are know for their low prices, period! If you want to get the best deal this is surely one of the places you want to compare prices.
What would happen if “donors” really knew i.e. by seeing data and hearing first hand stories from your clients that the services you offered changed lives and really made a difference in the community?
Finally, let’s talk about yet another for profit entity: Best Buy. Here is a store that if you want to know something more about a product you are unfamiliar with you can rest assured that there is an employee in the store that can tell you volumes of information on that product. These folks are trained not just to sell but to know the details of how things work and what works.
What do you think would happen if your “donors” had the information on the success and failures of your programs? What reaction would donors have if they knew beyond a reasonable doubt that you were trying to maximize how their money was being spent?
So, I need to ask you now: Do you need to treat your donors differently?
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.