Posted: 29th April 2015

Are ‘satisfied donors’ sufficient?  NO!  You need ‘VERY satisfied donors’.

Research shows that 65% of satisfied customers are not loyal and our donors will follow the same pattern. To sustain or hopefully increase commitment we need to exceed our donors’ expectations.  Thanks to Manchester Business School and a special thank you to Professor John Murphy (who volunteered his valuable time) delegates at The Cranfield Trust Masterclass heard how they could practically transfer commercial sector experience to improve their organisations’ donor retention.

So what can we do to completely satisfy our donors and to keep them giving to us? In a nutshell, “do a good job and be nice”.  Really it’s that simple and here’s how:

LISTEN – Have you heard? There are five levels of listening (increasing in scale) to enable deep understanding and effective communication.  We start with ‘hearing noise’ move onto ‘recognising the words’,  then ‘being aware of the meaning of the words’ followed by ‘understanding the meaning of the words’ and finally reaching our goal; ‘empathy’. 

EMPOWER – Who owns our donors?  Once we’ve listened to our donor and empathised with their interests, beliefs and culture what can we AND  our staff, beneficiaries, volunteers do to completely, yet economically, satisfy them? Does everyone know what they could and should be doing? Look to behaviours that can move donor satisfaction from good to excellent.

BE SINCERE – Do we keep your promises?  Hopefully your answer is ‘yes’ since this is the greatest eroder of trust, followed by, in order: ‘receiving wrong advice/information’,  ‘non-return of calls/e-mails/letters, ‘insincerity’, ‘overcharging/ hidden charges’ and finally ‘being told lies/untruths’.

DELIVER – Are we meeting our donors’ expectations?  22% of customers defect due to poor product or service quality this is just beaten by the first reason for defections which, at 23%, is unfair fees or charges.  Donors, like us customers are looking for value, great service and despite all adversity, a smile.

Cranfield Trust Masterclass at MBS 2015 - Donor Retention
COMMUNICATEDo our internal and external communications support each another?  Beware not to risk service and donor satisfaction by failing to align internal with external communications. Professor John Murphy talked about the ‘synchronisation of endeavour’. Ensure that everyone in the organisation is working together towards continuous performance improvement.
With all this in mind and a whole lot more, we left knowing that 74% of completely satisfied customers and in our case donors, are more likely to return and repeat donate.  The message was clear; we need VERY satisfied donors.
“We are very grateful for the continuing support from Cranfield Trust. Events like this are a useful way of keeping our knowledge up to date and providing opportunities for learning from peers.”   Quote from a Cranfield Trust project client and masterclass delegate.

Wish you had attended this Masterclass?

More events are available for charities to attend for free, thanks to the generousity of our speakers and partners.