If only we could be like Chimpanzees

Published by Hanneke Propitius on

6132905924_b09da86926_mWho doesn’t love a good office gossip on Monday morning? Since this blog is a safe haven for us as fundraisers, it is time to share our real feelings about our non-fundraising colleagues. You know whom I mean.

No, not the communication team! They are all right. Besides that: we still need them for our donor magazine and to get our ‘donate-now-button’ on the website. What about the colleagues sitting on the other side of the corridor? No, neither the guys from the program! All though they have no clue about fundraising, they can provide us with concrete and tangible projects for our fundraising campaign.

The marketing team

You don’t have a clue? Let me help you with a tip-off: they love to have meetings with young, hip, good-looking guys and girls from the advertisement agencies. Now you got it: the marketing team!

All though it is fun to have them around in the office, you know that discussing a forecast set up in Excel can be hopeless. Let alone their somewhat derogatory remarks about fundraising. And did you watch the last television advertisement they produced? It is with beautiful images and a nice voice over, but without a call to action. So what do they expect from the audience? Last but not least: marketing launched a public campaign with a completely different topic with regards to the pitch we use for our direct dialogue programme. You see, Fundraising & Marketing are separate worlds. Let’s keep it that way!

Or not?

Customer journey mapping

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Last week I enjoyed a great workshop about customer journey mapping (from a well known strategic marketing agency in the Netherlands). And of course we don’t have customers so lets replace ‘customers’ by ‘donors’. For those who haven’t heard about it yet: donor journey mapping is a great way to get a better understanding of your donors and gain greater donor insight. In short:

• Donor journey mapping helps to identify how donors are treated during each contact with your organisation that takes place. From orientation, encounter on the street, becoming a donor, seeing an advertisement on television, the first gift or fill in a form to change your personal information: every moment you can think of.

• It is a visual representation of the donor experience (just google ‘customer journey mapping’ and you will find lots of useful examples)

• It’s from the donors view (based on qualitative and quantitative data)

• It’s about the feeling donors have towards your organisation at every contact and interaction moment

• The feelings are categorized as: negative, indifference, positive.

• The visual representations show quickly gaps and opportunities to improve the donor experience

I know: this all sounds very much like marketing but hang in there!

Involved donors = less attrition

Research has made clear, that if you know to improve the donor journey by filling in the gaps or improving the interaction moments that generate negative emotions, the loyalty towards the organisation increases! Even better: if you enforce the positive moments with experiences that really fit with your mission and values the donor you can have real emotional impact. Or to say it in clear fundraising terms: involved donors = less attrition.

For example: to resign as a donor can be a nasty moment if you cannot find a contact number to call or a form which can be filled in. As a NPO you can improve this moment by removing the hurdles and making it a ‘indifferent moment’. Or you could even try to make it a positive moment with a ‘thank you for being our donor’ card (or even a movie).

So maybe those guys from marketing can be handy after all. They know how to get consumer insights, so they must be able to contribute in a positive way when working out this donor journey mapping. And if we do it together, we may be able to see if all the interaction moments from our organisation make sense according to our donors.

So guys, do like the chimpanzees and solve the loyalty problem together. Start with mapping this donor journey with your colleagues from communication and marketing. It’s a great way to get mutual understanding about the problem and solution. And maybe the marketing team isn’t that bad at all…

p.s. one more gossip: I used to be working in marketing…

Hanneke Propitius

Fundraising & Marketing consultant. Broad experience with fundraising management for several NGO’s like Medecins sans Frontieres, Cordaid, Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam, Stop Aids Now!, FNV Mondial. Working as international fundraising consultant for new markets (i.e. India).


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