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Rethink and Restructure Your Donor Relationships

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) seeks continuous improvement. We have to improve if we hope to raise funds necessary to provide scholarships and pay for technology-based education programs around the country. As such, I thought that this article by the folks at Network For Good (NFG) was excellent.

If you lead a BDPA chapter or other nonprofit organization then I encourage you to download the NFG e-book and enjoy the following tip:

The biggest thing that needs to change for nonprofit organizations this year is how we think about our donors. We are in the midst of an enormous generational shift that has major implications for our work. The Greatest Generation of older, civic-minded Americans who wrote checks out of a sense of duty and trusted charities to use their donations wisely is moving on. The torch has passed to a far more demanding series of donors, who view their giving as an investment, and want to be informed of the progress.

That means it's not enough to declare a need and send a thank-you.

Consider how to reorganize your fundraising efforts with a focus on the donor experience at each touch point with your organization. Here are some steps to take:
  1. Have a Be Your Donor Day. Go to your website. As the donor, ask yourself: Is it apparent what your organization does? Do you see something that forges an emotional connection? Are there tools to share what you are seeing via social networks, right on the home page? Are the voices of donors and supporters clear in the content? Does the website feel like a community or a brochure?
  2. Donate online and offline. How and when are you thanked? What happens after that? Call information to ask for your 800 number and your local number. Call both and see what happens. Sign up for e-News. Tweet your support. What happens?
  3. Do a "walk" online and in the shoes of your donor at least one once each quarter. It will surprise and perhaps horrify you. That's okay. It will very quickly uncover where you are failing to make the donor feel amazing about his or her support of your organization - and supply the insight needed to improve the situation.
  4. Pay particular attention to your online tools. Are you using them to enhance the donor experience or are they lacking? If they don't work well, fix them or stop using them.
Here's the good news: If you make your donors feel appreciated through your website, you will truly stand out. Most nonprofits aren't focused on their donor experience online. When you start doing that, you will be a wonderful anomaly. You will delight, engage, and entrance the people you want to reach.

I'm looking for one or more volunteers that may want to work with me to implement these ideas for BETF. Interested?

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