by Angela White
Recently, I was in Southern Indiana to teach the Managing the Capital Campaign course for The Fund Raising School. I spent three days team teaching with my colleague Ernie Vargo, President of the Eskenazi Health Foundation.
We had a room full of 50 nonprofit leaders who were anxious to learn about the ins and outs of campaigns, and we were ready, complete with a big binder of information and a power point presentation.
However, in preparation for the class, I was reminded of the real key to a successful campaign - how you treat your donors.
This lesson came from an unlikely source: a well meaning server at a national restaurant chain the night before our first day of teaching. I ordered a Caesar salad but asked for Salmon on my salad instead of chicken, as was listed on the menu. Moments later, the server came back to our table to inform me that I could not have a Salmon caesar salad because there was no button for that combination.
Hmmm....my mind immediately went to the many other restaurants I have frequented who excel at customer service and would have been happy to accommodate my request. And, you can bet I will be loyal to those other restaurants and not return to this particular chain.
Think about this example and apply it to your donor relations and stewardship program.
Are you setting the stage for strong philanthropic support by how you treat your donors today? Are you focused on your current menu items or are you flexible and able accommodate your donors’ needs and wants?
Strong donor stewardship is a vital component of campaign success both now and for future campaigns. Are you pushing the right buttons to build donor loyalty and increase philanthropic capacity?