Did anyone ever tell you, “Quit your whining?” Complaining is practically second nature for most of us, and some people have been known to raise it to an art form. The thing is, no one likes a whiner, right? I’ll bet you didn’t know that sometimes whining can be a good thing – maybe not with your spouse or boss – but when it comes to donor relationships. That’s because letting your donors complain can actually be good for your donor retention efforts!
You heard me right.
You will be doing your donors a big favor if you give them an opportunity to complain. And your organization will reap unexpected benefits. Let your supporters tell you exactly what they think about how you do things.
Go ahead and whine
Send your donors a survey asking things like:
- Why do you give?
- What is your connection to our organization?
- What are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong?
In addition to sending the survey as an email or snail mail letter, consider linking to it in your email signature or on the fundraising portion of your organization’s website. Any invitation to provide feedback is a chance to gain new insights into your marketing strategies – and provides a great opportunity to boost your donor retention rates!
Our friend Steven Shattuck over at Bloomerang suggests that donors taking the opportunity to complain “is a strong signal that these donors care about your organization and its future.”
Follow up on responses with a call or visit, using their feedback to build a stronger relationship between the donors and your organization. The happy result of their whining is greater donor retention and engagement, leaving you with no excuses to complain.
At Plannedgiving.com and The Center for Major Gifts, we have a variety of surveys to help your donors vent, as well as ways to follow up with them.
Go ahead, and encourage your donors to start whining! You’ll experience first-hand how supporting the feedback loop can strengthen and crystallize your donor retention and fundraising efforts.