I know I have posted about this recently but its important and I really believe its going to make the difference to charities in the coming years.
As fundraisers we are up against . Never enough time, never enough staff and never enough cash to spend. That all leads to us trying to do 100 things in a day and never really getting a chance to sit back and look at what we are doing.
Now that we are in a recession taking this time out will seem less likely. But now is the time to take that time out.
Take the time out and talk to your donors. Find out what motivates them. Find out why they support you (and by you I mean your organisation). Find out how they like to donate. The only way to do this is to get out and talk to your donors.
We sit in our offices and we think we know what motivates our donors. We develop appeals and they get a response so we assume we are on the right track. But that may not be the case. We may get “traditional” reponse rates. But how do we know that a few small tweeks to the campaign would not lead to an extra 1 or 2 % being engaged. We think we know what people want but do we? You need to find out. This means talking to your donors.
While it is important to Talk it is more important to LISTEN.
If you are going to truly get a sense of why people support the cause you need to listen to what they are saying. Are there things you arent doing now that you could easily do that would make a difference to your donors? Are you speaking their language or the language of the organisation? Do they feel that they are important to the cause. If you arent hitting the mark with current donors you wont hit the mark with those who arent currently supporting you.
I truly believe that listening to what donors have to say will make the difference. Take the time.
Here’s a really good related post from the Donor Power Blog