But only 34% had bothered to ask!
While “customer” is probably not a term we use in the nonprofit world, we clearly have groups that should be treated like customers. They are called donors. And for many organizations, they are called participants or clients.
So do you really know what either of those groups want from you?
When I was a teacher and the drug culture was just getting started, the administration thought they had all the answers to how to “fix” the problem. But after months of failure, one of my students said to me “Why don’t they ask us to help?”
Clearly the kids knew the real story. And they wanted a better school, too. With the help of a student group, the real situation became clear. Lots of options were discussed, and a plan was developed that actually worked.
Talking with donors seems always to be focused on securing the next gift. It may be wrapped in a program or initiative idea, but usually it is an area that your organization wants to address. Not necessarily something your donor wants out of their relationship with you.
C’mon, don’t think this suggests another survey to be done. How about a few selected conversations with people who will tell you the truth about what they really thought they would get by working with you.
My students knew the bad guy students and knew the meeting places of the dealers. And they were interested in finding a fix for the problem. If we would just include them.
A private conversation among trusted people provides a wealth of information. Give it a try and maybe you’ll get some great new ideas.
PS – I will be attending the National Conference For Growing Community Foundations of the Kansas Association of Community Foundations October 17 and 18 at the Wichita Marriott Hotel. Please stop by and see me if you will be there.
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