Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Three simple steps to raise more money

Thought I would blog something incredibly practical and remarkably simple today.

As you know I have studied the way hundreds of charities service their donors and members of the public over the past six years, from all over the world.

One of the biggest reasons charities fail to deliver an acceptable level of donor care is their reluctance, inability – call it what you will, to mystery shop themselves and ourselves. It’s so damn simple but usually overlooked/ignored.

As I have said time and time again to fundraisers on this topic, you don’t need to wait until Pareto Fundraising or another fundraising agency undertakes some formal mystery shopping and benchmarking exercise. Here are three simple but effective ways to make this happen and raise more money for your worthy causes:

1. Select 20 charities in the country within which you fundraise and send them $20 in the post and monitor what happens.
2. Set up a process to mystery shop yourselves – by phone, mail and email. You may even do it face to face (get a friend to walk in off the street and attempt to donate to you or make an enquiry)
3. Look abroad and pick some charities to mystery shop – email might be easiest here, again attempt to send them $20 and sit back and watch what happens

Don’t get hung up on processes, just do it. But make sure that you do allocate someone whose responsibility it is to look after this and make sure they have a decent chunk of time allotted to do it – ensuring they don’t get torn away to do something considered ‘more urgent’.

And finally – do something with the learning’s. Rip off what you like, critique your own materials, and continue the process on an ongoing basis. You’ll be amazed what you can learn and the impact it can have on your communications and service handling. And most importantly, your beneficiaries.

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