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Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Part 4 - Dr. Adrian Sargeant's 7 principles of donor loyalty
Tom Ahern

April, 2014

Charities that get straight A's in 7 things reap the rich rewards of contented donors.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant is a marketing professor specializing in charities. In his groundbreaking research, he uncovered 7 chief reasons why donors will sometimes stay with a charity for years. Previous issues of this newsletter talked about reasons #1-#4.

5. They trust you.

Before I'll make a gift to your charity, what do you have to prove to me?

Research awhile back by Cone found that donors had two main preconditions:

#1: A charity has to be effective.

#2: A charity must seem trustworthy.

And why would I trust you?

Well, you could display all your charity watchdog credentials, as Operation Homefront does on its home page. That would help convince me.

But there's an even easier way to make me trust you.

Oddly, as Adrian points out, if your organization is seen as smart in one area, then people assume you're smart (i.e., reasonably trustworthy) in all areas.

Isn't that a twisted bit of reasoning? Yet reliably true.

How to look smart? I strongly recommend being smart on the customer service end, since that's where your customer (i.e., your donor) will notice you most.

Thank donors well ... and you'll be seen as smart.

Manage the donor relationship well, by asking new donors up front, for instance, what their communications preferences are ... and you'll be seen as smart.

In my personal thesaurus, I see "smart" as a synonym for "thoughtful." If your organization is thoughtful about its donors' questions and needs, then you'll be seen as smart. Or vice versa.

Remember this photo, offered up by Mark Phillips in his Queer Ideas fundraising blog:

[inserted here: photo of a woman in her 60s holding a sign that says, "Make me feel special."]

Mark, managing director of the UK's staggeringly intelligent Bluefrog agency, titled it: "Everything you need to know about fundraising in one photo."

1 + 1 = 2: when you answer your donors' underlying psychological needs, you attract more giving and earn improved retention rates.


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