Things I have learned from our nonprofit customers that you can use!

We just hosted our first Customer Success Tour.  The idea, which seems like a no brainer now, had never been done before.   We wanted to bring our customers together.  Share where we are going and see where they are and want us to be.  Simple!

The event was an amazing success.  Here are a few of the top lessons I learned from our customers that you can use for your donors:

1. Communicate- Your donors want to know more.  Email is not enough.   We need to share what we are doing multiple times, and we need to share it in multiple channels.

2. Share- Your donors want to know how the organization is impacting others and what others are doing in the organization.   One of the primary benefits of the success tour was being able to share the success The Jazz Foundation is having with Sage Fundraising Online.   It was a win/win for everyone in the room.  We were able to share the success of  great product, and our customers were able to learn a great deal about online fundraising.  You can do that in your organizations too.(Thanks Petr!)

3. Give them what they want– I have said this a million times and heard it a billion, but it bears repeating.  If you are sharing information about dog rescue with a cat person the message will not be heard.  Target your audience based on what they want to hear and what they care about.

4. Timing- New York in December is beautiful, but it is also hard to navigate and a very busy.   Sadly we inconvenienced our customers by bringing them into the city during the Holidays.   A great lesson for us and you.   Is the timing of your events suited for your schedule or the schedule of your donors?   Make sure they both jive.

5. Answer the questions– A great learning for me was that we need to have a more succinct resource for supporting our customers, so we put together  a customer resources page to help answer their questions.  Time and again, I stumble upon nonprofit pages that don’t answer the basic questions of donors.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why should I give you my money?
  3. Are you accountable for the money you have gotten before?

These are must have’s for all nonprofit websites, and it was a great reminder for me.

Take-away:  All in all, I learned more from those four short hours than I have in my five years with Sage.  When was the last time you got your donors together and asked them how you were doing?  Maybe it’s time!!!

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