Donor Communication Is A Life And Death Issue

By | October 6, 2014


donor communicationDoes your organization care whether it’s supporters are alive or not?

The way you handle your data in your communication with donors is not a “tech” issue.

It’s vital to your relationship. Vital–literally, as in life or death.

My friend Rosie just wrote an angry note to the university her son attends:

I would be much more likely to feel “excited… for the start of the school year” for my son, or even to respond positively to the rah rah e-mail that you just sent me if you hadn’t addressed it to me and my late ex-husband!

We were divorced. That’s in your records. We have not shared a home for more than 9 years, let alone an e-mail address. And he has been deceased for 6 years (That’s in your records, too). He has not been alive the entire time our son has been a college student.

I have been through this with you before. Last time, you assured me that it would never happen again. Grrr.

Rosie is not a donor yet. She’s still struggling to put her son through school on a single parent’s income.

But when the university asks her for money in the future, what do you think she will remember? The great classes her son took, or the anguish she felt every time she opened an email and saw the name of the man she married, divorced, and buried?

To you, it’s just a database. To your donors, it’s what you think of them.

Make sure you treat your data with the same respect you’d treat a person.

Category: Communication Data & Analytics Direct Mail Technology

About Dennis Fischman

Passionate about social change, Dennis Fischman helps nonprofit organizations tell their stories and win the support they need. As a consultant, he leads you to develop your communications strategy, attracts supporters for you through content marketing, and helps you manage your blog and social media. Dennis has guest posted on the John Haydon blog, Social Media Game Plan, and the B-Cause blog for nonprofit executives in Australia. He is an Associate at Cause and Effective. Read more of his advice on his Communicate! blog and follow him on Twitter @DennisFischman.

3 thoughts on “Donor Communication Is A Life And Death Issue

  1. Pingback: Clairity Click-it: Donor Communication; Donor-Centered Leadership; Call for Submissions - Clairification

  2. Pingback: Clairity Click-it: Donor Communication; Ethics; Donor-Centered Leadership - Clairification

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