Mystery Shopping: How organisations respond to donations

You may have seen this elsewhere, but I am only getting around to posting about it now. However in case you missed it, I think its worth posting.

Earlier this month Pareto Fundraising, Pell & Bales and The Fundraising Company have released the key findings from their most recent charity ‘mystery shopping’ exercise.

The study, conducted from the end of January through to the end of April 2010, looked at the performance of several organizations fundraising for the Haiti emergency disaster in 5 different countries, and specifically how they responded following donations made online.

They made a 25 dollar donation to 52 organisations in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and Spain and then “sat back and watched what happened”!

They analysed the results based on 5 key criteria:

1. Initial contact experience

2. Response time

3. Value of the ‘thank you’

4. How proactive the organisation was

5. The follow up

Overall they felt that the response to gifts was very good with most organisations responding immediately, although in Spain only 30% responded on the same day and 4 of the 10 charities in Spain never took the donation from the credit card.

They found that while the responses were mostly immediate and all but 3 used the words thank you (Im shocked 3 managed to omit that word!) they tended to lack stories or a explanation of Impact and were mostly operationally focussed.

Interestingly of the 52 organisations only 5 asked to consider converting to a long term monthly gift.

You can read the full release here and it would be worthwhile as Pareto outline some recommendations for organisation to improve their responses to donors. Read it here


One thought on “Mystery Shopping: How organisations respond to donations

  1. Fundraising is about asking people to help your cause – they are not looking for a reward. Especially for sports teams, clubs, churches doing fundraising. Scratch off cards – work great as fundraisers and you hand back the donor a nice discount card or coupon sheet. Try scratch cards – they worked great for our fundraiser.

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